my friend Jessica has been on a now running into years long hunt for a chocolate Guinness cake that she once had and treasures in her memory. I would suppose the malty chocolate flavor of the Guinness runs toward enhancing the flavor that already sits within the chocolate, kind of like adding a tablespoon or so of brewed coffee into chocolate cake batter just makes it more ‘chocolatey.’
If I had a dream of chocolate cake I think it would be filled with Nutella. Nutella is that hazelnut and chocolate spread prized in countries where they make and buy fresh bread and croissants daily and I could spoon it in my mouth directly from the jar like peanut butter.
I came upon this recipe by way of my blog reader and it is attributed originally to Nigella Lawson, which makes sense when you consider she is a proponent of lush big flavor. It looks and tastes gorgeous. Being naturally gluten free it is dense and sensuous and delivers a hit of decadence. I would probably substitute brewed coffee for the rum on the next go.
Adapted from Nigella Lawson Cake:
6 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 13-ounce container Nutellla
1 tablespoon rum
1/2 cup finely ground hazelnuts
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted and
4 ounces whole hazelnuts
1/2 cup half and half
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 degrees; butter a 9-inch cake pan. In a large bowl (preferably metal),
whisk the egg whites and salt until stiff. In another bowl, cream the butter and Nutella, then add
the rum, egg yolks, and ground hazelnuts. Fold in melted chocolate.
Add a blob of beaten egg whites to the chocolate batter, and mix gently until well-combined. Fold in the remaining whites, one-third at a time, very gently but thoroughly. Pour into cake pan and bake for 40 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting tester, which should come out mostly clean; lightly pressing finger into top to check for a slight bouncing-back; and observing edges beginning to separate from pan. Let cool completely, in pan, on a rack.
Toast the hazelnuts in a dry skillet, or toaster oven shaking them around frequently. Do it for about 4 minutes, or until they are lightly browned, then let cool completely. If hazelnuts came with skins on, put them in a towel after toasting and rub around; this will remove most of the skins.
Chop chocolate, and add to sauce pan with half and half and rum over medium-low heat. Once chocolate is melted and components are combined, whisk until mixture reaches desired thickness, then cool. Turn cake out onto your serving plate and pour cooled ganache over, spreading lightly to create a smooth, shiny surface, and apply hazelnuts all over.