Apple Hazelnut Chocolate Cake

Apple Hazelnut Chocolate Cake Valrhona Sliced

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

Apple Hazelnut Chocolate Cake Valrhona Ingredients

Special Equipment:

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

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 Valrhona Cooling
Apple hazelnut chocolate cake cooling on a wire rack.

To Serve:

Best served warm shortly after baking.

Apple Hazelnut Chocolate Cake Valrhona Recipe
Something tells me this cake is going to be delicious.

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50 Responses to “Apple Hazelnut Chocolate Cake”

  1. arundathi says:

    That looks amazing, jude. I love hazelnuts.

  2. Meeta says:

    I think almost anything can pair well with chocolate. I love this cake. It’s so perfect for the apples that are lying in my basket right now. Jude you are a genius!

  3. Chocolate Shavings says:

    I recently had an apple and chocolate cake, and I am sold. It’s an unusual pairing but it really tastes great. Your cake look beautiful, I will be trying this really soon. Thanks!

  4. Y says:

    Looks somewhat rather extremely fabulous. I love the chunky topping. Wonder what it would do without any topping at all…? Anyway, looks like there is only going to be one way to find out :D

  5. Elizabeth says:

    wow- those ingredients scream healthy! I bet it was delicious.

  6. Manggy says:

    I actually haven’t tried the combination of apples and choc either, but Pierre Hermé swears by it (I guess you have to have the correct percentage of chocolate, which isn’t always easy to do here). Great-lookin’ cake! :)

  7. Brianna says:

    That sounds amazing Jude. I haven’t had that combination together but it really does sound delicious and perfect for the holidays!

  8. Squawkfox says:

    I’m a huge fan of green apples. But this cake is divine. I think you need to publish an eBook with all your delicious photos and recipes.

  9. Ben says:

    I’ve never tried to make anything with apples and chocolate, but your discoveries seem yummy enough. Great recipe! Can I ask you a question about your blog? The images in the upper right corner that link to their posts… is that a WP plugin or did you write the code? I think it is very clever.


  10. Fearless Kitchen says:

    Apples and chocolate… I remember that Iron Chef and having thought, “Well, that just won’t work” at the time. I very quickly learned that I was wrong on that… this looks great!

  11. kat says:

    Oh my! I’d eat that cake all by myself!

  12. Joelen says:

    Love the combo of apples and hazelnuts – great job!

  13. Indigo says:

    Oh! So beautiful!

  14. Christina says:

    Gorgeous cake! I love how the top is studded with toppings.

  15. The Wind Attack says:

    that looks fantastic. I’ll take a piece… or two.

  16. Heather says:

    It’s funny – apples go so well with hazelnuts, and hazelnuts so well with chocolate, but I’d never have guessed chocolate with apple. This looks absolutely gorgeous, Jude.

  17. Peter says:

    The chunks on top actually make a great looking decor!

  18. rainbowbrown says:

    Yeah man. That sounds pretty delicious.

  19. MyKitchenInHalfCups says:

    That looks stunning. Wonder if I could have that for breakfast?
    Funny thing, I think chocolate and apples especially with hazelnuts sounds totally excellent!

  20. Soma says:

    I really haven’t heard of apple & choc. together, but can anything look better than this? I love those pieces on the top.

  21. grace says:

    i don’t believe i’ve ever, ever had chocolate and apples together! i’m intrigued and delighted. :)

  22. Rachel says:

    I love apples and chocolate, and I’ve never thought of the pairing as particularly strange, but then again now that I think about it, I haven’t seen too many recipes for it either. I’m ahead of my time! Or maybe I just like to eat chocolate. *shrug*

  23. Miri says:

    Apples and chocolate, never thought they’d pair up well together, but this cake looks and sounds like a winner. Gonna have to give it a try sometime.

  24. maris says:

    This looks too good to be flourless! I would never have thought to pair apples with chocolate but I bet the hazlenuts pull everything together nicely.

  25. Carolyn Jung says:

    Simply gorgeous looking! I love how the top looks like a mosaic, too.

  26. Andrea says:

    So I’m going to guess that this changed your mind about apples and chocolate. It looks beautiful!

  27. snookydoodle says:

    wow this is my favourite cake. I m planning to make this one for my birthday which is in two weeks time :) yummy

  28. Jesse says:

    That looks unbelievably good – and that’s saying a lot as I’m not a sweets person. I love that you write your recipes with weights -what a help – thank you!

  29. PG says:

    what I right now like the best about this lovely cake is that it does not contain any flours. a lovely recipe! I’m sure it tastes fantastic.
    I’ve bookmarked it. Yum yum!

  30. Cheryl says:

    that looks absolutely incredible. what an idea!

  31. redmenace says:

    You’ve outdone yourself! Gorgeous. Like a fruit bowl and sweet cake all wrapped into one.

  32. The Purplefoodie says:

    I’d never try the apple and chocolate combination, but this cake of yours has made me rethink that. Your cake looks fantastic!

  33. pris says:

    i baked this into muffin pans. they are still in the oven now!

  34. Rachael says:

    Thank you for the helpful information. I bookmarked your site, and I hope you keep up the good work on making your blog a success!

  35. Jody Fetherolf says:

    Hello, I tried this chocolate cake recipe few hours ago but somehow couldn’t get the same result as you, my cake clearly wasn’t looking that good (but tasted fine). What sort of chocolate are you using? Maybe it’s coming from the flour I used, i’m gluten intelorant so I used amaranth flour instead of regular wheat flour.

  36. Chocolaholic says:

    -Thank you for the WONDERFUl recipe, can’t wait to dry it out. Do you know how to replace splenda or xylitol in the recipe? Will it rise as high or would I have to add something extra to make it rise?

    -Hi Jody Fetherolf : I don’t think theres ANY flour in this cake. “Flourless and leavened only with whipped egg whites, this chocolate cake is dense and moist.”

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