Chocolate Hazelnut & Pistachio Cake

The health benefits of nuts are quite amazing considering they have been around for thousands of years.  Pistachios and hazelnuts are extremely tasty and work really well with chocolate, they are also super healthy.  Both containing good fats, the unsaturated kind which is good for your heart.  Nuts contain Omega 3s and are a good source of protein, fibre and antioxidants.  Dark chocolate contains several minerals including iron, magnesium, cooper and manganese.  Dark chocolate is high in calories so should be consumed in moderation.  The higher the cocoa content, the lower the sugar content.    Once cooked and cooled this cake is like a giant brownie that is also gluten free, which is always a bonus if you do have any wheat allergies.  

You will need...

3 medium bowls
Large saucepan
23cm cake tin with a lose bottom
Non stick baking parchment
Electric Whisk
Pestle & mortar or mini blender (for the nuts)

60g roasted chopped hazelnuts
80g shelled pistachios
250g good quality dark chocolate (70% solids or more)
100g cold unsalted butter, diced
4 large free range eggs
180g unrefined golden icing sugar (plus a little to dust)
150g ground almonds
1 tbsp good quality vanilla extract

To make...

14-16 Slices
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180/160(fan)
  2. Line the bottom of the cake tin with baking parchment and grease the sides with a little butter
  3. Add 100ml of  water to a saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Break the chocolate into small chunks in one of the bowls, add the diced butter and place over the saucepan ensuring that the bottom does not touch the simmering water
  4. Leave the chocolate and butter to slowly melt which will take about 10 minutes, check to make sure the water is not boiling, if so, turn it down a little
  5. Chop the pistachios in the mini blender or bash in the pestle and mortar until they are the same size as the chopped hazelnuts
  6. Place the other two bowls side by side and crack one egg to separate the yolk into one and the whites into the other, repeat with the remaining 3 eggs
  7. Add the icing sugar and vanilla extract to the egg yolks and whisk until pale and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes)
  8. Rinse off the whisk and whisk the egg whites until stiff
  9. Once the chocolate and butter has completely melted remove from the heat and mix into the egg yolk mixture until full combined and you cannot see any of the egg mixture
  10. Mix in the ground almonds, chopped hazelnuts and pistachios, mix until fully combined
  11. Gently fold in the the egg whites with a metal tablespoon
  12. Make sure the egg whites are fully incorporated into the chocolate/almond mix
  13. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake in the hot oven for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean
  14. Leave to rest in the tin for about 20-30 minutes
  15. Decorate with a little icing sugar and some crushed pistachios

Nutritional Info
Per Serving
312g kcal | 23g fat | 8.5g saturates | 16g carbs | 16g sugars | 3.7g fibre | 7.3g protein | 0.07g salt


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