Thursday, 12 July 2012

Chocolate, Orange and Hazelnut Slice

Just before we start, I wanted to quickly say that this blog hit 1000 pageviews today. One THOUSAND!! And although I know that in the scheme of things, that is one very, very, very small number, that's taken a long time to get too, for me, a beginner, this is a BIG deal. So thanks to everyone who's made up one of those pageviews; I can't tell you how exciting I find it to think there are people like you out there who genuinely want to here what I say!

To celebrate, I've got something yummy for you today. Like, very yummy. In Mum's words 'Possibly one of the best baked things I've ever had!'. And Mum has had her fair share of baked goods, so that means something!

This is possibly more of a brownie than a slice, though I'm a bit unclear on the boundaries. It's like a rich chocolate-cake in slice form- does that make it a cake, a brownie or a slice? Whichever it is, it's very yummy- the rich chocolate is cut by the orange, and complimented by the almond meal and the hazelnuts. Yummo!

This was my first time cooking with hazelnuts, but I can tell you it won't be my last (partly because I love hazelnuts, and partly because 1/2 the packet is still in the cupboard). They go so, so, so well with chocolate that I can't believe I'd never considered making that combination myself!

So, overall, I'd HIGHLY recommend you make this whatever-you-want-to-call-it because it is delicious and anyone you give it to will probably love you for it.

Chocolate, Orange and Hazelnut Slice
Based on:
Makes 1 20x30cm cake for slicing (approximately 15 serves)

200g unsalted butter softened plus extra for the tin
80g whole roasted hazelnuts*
300g good-quality dark chocolate
4 large eggs
160g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g ground almonds
65g chopped candied citrus peel
zest of 1 orange
icing sugar to dust
whipped double cream to serve

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter a 20cmx30cm baking tin about 7cm deep (or equivalent square tin), line the base with baking paper and butter this too.
  2. Keep a few nuts whole and roughly chop or crush the rest. Chop 100g of the chocolate into very small chunks and reserve. 
  3. Place the remaining 200g chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water, and melt, stirring from time to time, until smooth and satiny. Turn off, allow to cool a little and then reheat it**. Add the 200g butter while it reheats and gently beat together until thoroughly mixed. Leave to cool a little. 
  4. Using an electric hand whisk, beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla extract until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes, then mix in the melted chocolate mixture.
  5. Stir in the ground almonds, candied peel and orange zest, the whole and chopped hazelnuts and reserved chopped chocolate. Spoon the mixture evenly into the prepared tin. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until firm on top but with a slight spring.
  6. Once cooled a little, remove and leave on a cake rack until cooled completely. Dust with icing sugar and cut into thin slices or bars as you prefer.

*Buy ready-roasted hazelnuts to save time or, to roast your own, spread nuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven at 190C/170C fan/gas 5 for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden. Tip into a tea towel and rub off the skins.  
**Reheating isn't essential, but provides a smoother finish. If you're short on time, add the butter as soon as the chocolate is melted and continue as normal.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats for the milestone! And yes, that brownie-cakey-slicey thing appears the perfect way to celebrate!


Why hello there! If you liked or disliked this post or just want to say 'hi', feel free to leave a comment. I love getting comments- it's nice to know that someone out there is actually reading what I have to say, and they're really motivating!
Mia xo

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