Recipe: Chocolate and buckwheat cake with ganache and hazelnut praline

Styling: Kate Arbuthnot.
MANJA WACHSMUTH

Styling: Kate Arbuthnot.

This fudgy chocolate cake just happens to be gluten-free, which makes it an all-round crowd pleaser.  

INGREDIENTS

Chocolate ganache: 

190g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
190g cream

Hazelnut praline: 

1 small handful hazelnuts, lightly roasted and skins rubbed off 
1/2 cup golden or regular caster sugar

Cake: 

190g unsalted butter 
190g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
3 large eggs
100g light honey
100g coconut sugar (or raw sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla powder or extract
115g buckwheat flour
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
½ teaspoon salt
Dried rose petals for decorating (optional) 

METHOD

Ganache: Place chocolate in a stainless steel bowl over a pot of gently simmering water, being careful not to let the base of the bowl touch the water, and allow it to gently melt, stirring with a spatula. 

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In another saucepan, gently warm the cream. When the chocolate has melted, take it off the heat and slowly pour the warm cream over, whisking to combine. Try not to overwork the mixture or it can split. If this happens, add a tablespoon of boiling water and whisk until it emulsifies again. Set ganache aside to firm up – this can take a couple of hours. 

Praline: Spread hazelnuts on a non-stick or greased baking tray. Place sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and allow it to melt, tilting the pan every so often to dissolve and completely melt it all. Bring to a simmer and cook until dark golden then pour it over the nuts and set aside to cool. 

When cold and rock hard, blitz in a food processor to create a mixture with some fine crumbs and some chunky bits. 

Cake: Heat oven to 180°C. Line a 20cm round spring-form cake tin with baking paper. 

Melt butter and chocolate in a heavy-based saucepan over medium to low heat. Take off heat and set aside to cool a little.

In a bowl, beat eggs with honey, sugar and vanilla until thickened and pale. 

Measure flour, arrowroot and salt into another bowl. 

Beat egg mixture into chocolate mixture until combined then add dry ingredients and mix on low speed. 

Pour batter into tin and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 25 minutes or until the top is cooked and firm but when pushed very gently you can feel the soft interior. The cake will cook a little more as it cools. 

When cake is cold, remove from tin and place on a cake plate. Cover with ganache, sprinkle with praline and add some rose petals if desired.  

Serves 8-10  

 - NZ House & Garden

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