The truffle-like texture of this flourless cake is decadent — perfect for the gluten-free chocolate lover in your life!
Five eggs provide the leavening, and there's a truffle-like creaminess to the texture — with one main change: Toasted hazelnuts are folded into the batter, adding a delectable depth of flavor.
- Prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 9-inch springform pan. Line bottom with waxed or parchment paper; grease paper.
- Place hazelnuts in 15 1/2-inch by 10 1/2-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, shaking pan occasionally. Remove pan from oven. Wrap hot hazelnuts in clean cloth towel; with hands, roll hazelnuts back and forth until as much skin as possible rubs off. Cool nuts completely.
- In food processor with knife blade attached, place 3/4 cup nuts and 1/4 cup sugar; pulse until finely ground. With chef's knife, roughly chop remaining nuts; set aside separately.
- In 3-quart saucepan, melt chocolate and butter on medium-low, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, in large bowl, with mixer on medium-high speed, beat eggs and 1/2 cup sugar 7 minutes or until tripled in volume. With rubber spatula, fold in chocolate mixture, then fold in ground-nut mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 35 minutes or until top is dry and cracked and toothpick inserted in center comes out slightly wet. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove side of pan and cool 30 minutes longer on wire rack.
- Meanwhile, prepare praline: Line 9-inch cake pan with foil. In pan, spread reserved chopped hazelnuts in single layer. In 12-inch skillet, spread remaining 1/2 cup sugar in even layer. Cook on medium-high 3 to 5 minutes or until sugar is melted and golden amber, swirling sugar in pan to cook evenly. (Do not stir.) Immediately drizzle melted sugar over nuts in pan to coat evenly. Cool praline completely in pan. When cool and hardened, break into 12 large pieces. While praline cools, in large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat cream until soft peaks form, 3 to 5 minutes.
- To serve, cut cake and divide slices among serving plates. Top each slice with dollop of whipped cream and shard of hazelnut praline.
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