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Print this Recipe    Italian Chocolate

Serves: 8

1/3 cup hazelnuts
1.5 cups sugar
225g/8oz unsweetened chocolate
6 eggs
3 egg yolks
1/2 tsp honey
115g/0.25lb butter
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup flour, sifted plus 3/4 cup cake flour
6 Tbsp heavy cream
1 Tbsp apricot jam
200g/7oz sweetened chocolate
3 Tbsp Maraschino liqueur
2 Tbsp brandy
Butter for greasing and flour for dusting the cake pan

Toast the hazelnuts in the oven and remove the outer skins. Melt
1 Tbsp of the sugar in a small saucepan and add the toasted hazelnuts
to it. Process or pound this combination to a smooth hazelnut

Melt 3oz/85g of the unsweetened chocolate and set aside. Whisk
together the 6 eggs, 3 egg yolks, and all but 1 Tbsp of the remaining
sugar until foamy and thick. Do this with the bowl standing over
a saucepan full of warm water; don't allow the water to get any
more than body temperature, or the cake will be spoiled. Add the
honey, remove from the heat, and continue to beat until completely
cool and thickened.

Place the butter, melted chocolate, vanilla, and hazelnut paste in
another bowl over a pan full of hot water or in the top of a double
boiler and stir until smoothly mixed together.

Sift the flour and cake flour into the egg, sugar and honey mixture
and fold in very carefully and gently. Then fold in the
chocolate-hazelnut mixture. Pour this into two buttered and floured
9-inch/23cm cake pans and place in a preheated 190C/375F oven.
Bake for about 40 minutes. When the cakes are done, lift out of
the oven and turn out onto a clean cloth, where they can be left
to cool. Put the remaining 5oz/140g unsweetened chocolate in a
bowl over a pan of hot water or in the top of a double boiler, add
the cream, and stir until smooth.

As soon as it begins to boil, remove from the heat and pour into
a bowl to cool, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming
on the top.

Put the apricot jam in a small saucepan and add the remaining 1
Tbsp sugar. Stir over low heat until melted, then set aside in a
warm place.

Melt the sweetened chocolate and also set aside in a warm place.

Whip the cream and chocolate mixture until stiff. Place the cooled
cakes on a serving platter with a sheet of wax paper underneath.

Slice off the hard crust. Mix the liqueur with the brandy and
paint half of it all over one of the cakes. Spread three-quarters
of the chocolate cream over the same cake, then put the other cake
on top, so that the two form a single cake. Paint the top of the
cake with the remaining liqueur, then coat the cake completely with
apricot jam. Spread with the sweetened chocolate and decorate with
the remaining chocolate cream. Remove the wax paper before serving.

Do not put the cake in the refrigerator, but keep it in a cool
place until ready to serve.

This cake is traditionally baked in a round pan and has "Gianduja"
or "Gianduia" written across it with melted chocolate.


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