This is what I did:
- Roasted 4oz of hazelnuts in hot oven for 10 mins. After skinning them (rubbed them between my hands and skins came off very easily) ground them roughly in a coffee grinder. Reserved a handful of whole ones for decoration.
- Creamed 10oz unsalted butter with 6oz unrefined brown sugar until quite pale.
- Beat in 3 duck eggs alternately with 10oz sifted flour (5oz wholemeal + 5oz white spelt) and 3 tsp baking powder.
- Mixed in 5 tbsp coffee.
- Finally stirred in hazelnuts and 2oz grated 85% chocolate.
- Divided mixture between two 21cm round tins (well, silicone thingies really) and baked at 180°C (gas 4) for 35 minutes until firm.
Hey ho, the best laid plans! One of the baking trays I put my sandwich thingies on was warped so I ended up with a rather lop sided cake which meant that the ganache went merrily rolling down hill and over the edge in a great chocolate waterfall. I also had trouble with my ganache, which separated and refused to behave so I had to rescue it with some icing sugar.
I continued thus:
- Peeled and chopped 1.5 lb apples (original recipe stated Bramley - I used 1/2 Cornish Gillyflower and 1/2 Cornish unidentified).
- Simmered this with juice and grated zest of 1 lemon and 2 tbsp unrefined granulated sugar until apple soft but not too mushy.
- When cool used to sandwich cakes.
- Melted 5oz 85% chocolate with 125 ml whipping cream and 1 tbsp grappa.
- When tried to stir this, mixture curdled so added about 2 tbsp icing sugar which luckily sorted the problem out.
- When cooled, poured this over top of cake and decorated with reserved hazelnuts and chocolate shavings.
Despite its rather interesting angle and the pool of chocolate down one side, I'm glad to report that the cake was a success. The hazelnuts really made it quite scrumptious. The apple filling was also a delicious addition and its fruity tartness complemented the chocolate really well. The next time I make this, however, I shall give it a few minutes less in the oven as it was a little on the dry side.