This cake reminds me of Iron Chef: Battle Apple and Chocolate. I kept thinking that apples and chocolate can’t possibly pair well because I couldn’t think of any recipes that highlight both ingredients. Think of apple desserts and caramel likely comes to mind. As far as chocolate desserts go, even if many fruits taste great with chocolate, apples are seldom high on the list.
Quite frankly, I wouldn’t have tried this recipe if it wasn’t from Valrhona, but I hear they know a thing or two about baking with chocolate.
Flourless and leavened only with whipped egg whites, this chocolate cake is dense and moist. The gooey center fell from the weight of the fruits and nuts as the edges souffléd, forming a border reminiscent of pizza crust. The roasted hazelnuts also added crunchiness along with the crisp apples that tasted fresh even after baking.
The bottom line is, bittersweet chocolate and tart apples actually taste great together.
recipe adapted from Valrhona
Apple Hazelnut Chocolate Cake
Suave au Chocolat et aux Pommes
makes one 8 or 9-inch chocolate cake
For the Apple Hazelnut Chocolate Cake:
Ingredients Volume Ounces Grams tart and crisp apples 1 to 2 hazelnuts, chopped 1/3 cup 1.8 50 bittersweet chocolate, chopped 8.8 250 heavy whipping cream 2/3 cup 5.3 150 yolks from large eggs 3 2.1 60 cornstarch 4 tsp honey 3 tbsp 1.8 50 whites from large eggs 3 3.2 90 confectioner's sugar and ground cinnamon (for dusting)
- Use tart apples such as Pippin or Russet. I used Granny Smith apples.
- Use 64 to 85 percent for the bittersweet chocolate (the original recipe calls for 66% chocolate). I used 71% chocolate.
Apple Hazelnut Chocolate Cake Instructions:
Preheat Oven 375ºF / 190ºC Prepare an 8-inch or 9-inch springform pan (at least 2 inches deep) Use nonstick spray or softened butter to grease the bottom and sides of the springform pan. Prepare the apples Peel, core, and slice the apples into 1/2-inch dice and set aside. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Pour over the chopped chocolate and let cool for about a minute. Using a rubber spatula, slowly mix in the egg yolks and cornstarch until thoroughly incorporated. The mixture will be smooth and slightly thick. Whip Add the honey to the egg whites and whip to soft peaks. Fold Using a whisk, add about 1/3 of the whipped egg whites to the chocolate mixture to lighten. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the remaining whipped egg whites in two batches, taking care to avoid over-mixing. White streaks of egg white should still be visible in the chocolate. Pan Deposit the batter into the greased springform pan. Top with the chopped apples and hazelnuts and dust lightly with confectioner's sugar and ground cinnamon. Place the springform pan on a cookie sheet or sheet pan and bake immediately. Bake 375ºF / 190ºC for 25 to 35 minutes, until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool Let the cake cool in the springform pan for at least 15 minutes before unmolding.
Apple hazelnut chocolate cake cooling on a wire rack.
Best served warm shortly after baking.
Something tells me this cake is going to be delicious.
Links about Valrhona’s Suave au Chocolat et aux Pommes:
- Apple Hazelnut Chocolate Muffins at Le Pétrin (in French)
- Trying out the recipe for Valentine’s Day at Spicy Salty Sweet