Monday, April 30, 2012

Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Orange Cake...without eggs

So its officially starting to get real around here.  I officially signed up for the DC Grey Market on May 20 and am SO pumped.  I figured my big meeting for spring is over, so why not sign up and have something to plan for and keep myself busy.  So, its time to go buy cupcake boxes, design a fun label, make a sign and get organized!

Any who, so before I hopped on a plane to California for a week of hanging out in meeting rooms; I had my most challenging cake request yet.  A flourless chocolate hazelnut orange cake...the couldn't have eggs in it.  Now for anyone who has made a flourless cake, you know there are normally between 2 & 4 eggs in one to bind the cake together.  

So, I hopped on Google (what did we do before Google?) and learned that I could potentially substitute soft tofu for eggs in denser baked goods...

I thought I would give it a go and this is how it turned out.  Orangey with a hint of hazelnut and a rich chocolaty flavor.  The consistency is not quite the same as that of an egg-based flourless cake, but it came out chewy, moist and delicious. 

FYI when you pull this cake out of the oven its going to like it is not completely done.  It will probably look almost oily on top, but will set up.  I got so worried that mine would taste terrible, that I also threw together some hazelnut orange brownies...recipe to come.

Yummy, toasted hazelnuts...

Lets just lay it all out here...

Melted chocolate, crumbly hazelnuts and smooth tofu...

Just a little zesting action...

And then fold it all together...

Into the oven we go...

Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Orange Cake: (recipe adapted from Sugar Laws)
*serves 8-10
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp raw hazelnuts
7 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3.5 ounces dark chocolate (60 or 70% cacao)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup soft tofu squeezed of excess water (or 2 large eggs)
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 orange

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter an 9-inch spring-form pan and line with parchment paper.

2.  Toast the hazelnuts in the oven or in a nonstick saute pan on medium heat for 5 minutes. 

3. Cool for a few minutes, then place the nuts in a food processor and pulse until the nuts become powder, with a flour-like texture.

4.  Break the chocolate into pieces, and melt over a double boiler with the butter.  Once everything is melted, stir in the cocoa powder and orange zest.

5.  Food process the tofu until it is smooth.

6.  Mix together the the sugars, tofu, and vanilla in a large bowl until blended. 

7.  Add the hazelnut powder and chocolate/butter mixture and fold them into the batter.

8.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the cake is barely set, but super wobbly (a toothpick inserted into the cake will come out with wet crumbs). Cool to room temperature on a rack and then store in the fridge until the cake is set.  Bring to room temperature or briefly reheat before serving.

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