Hazlenut and buckwheat chocolate cake

This cake uses the other half of the chocolate ganache left over from making the Chocolate Orange cake. The ganache freezes well.


200g softened unsalted butter

200g caster sugar

3 eggs

50g buckwheat flour

½ tsp baking powder

130g toasted ground hazlenuts

½ tsp vanilla essence

Set oven to 350F. Base line 9″ spring form round baking tin with circle of baking parchment and oil sides.

Toast hazlenuts in oven; when cool rub skins off and grind in coffee grinder; do not over-grind as nuts can become oily and some slightly larger chunks add to the texture.

Soften butter and make creamed mixture with sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Mix baking powder into flour and gently beat into mixture. Finally add vanilla essence.

Spread over base of lined tin. Bake at 350F (Bake setting) for 35 to 40 minutes.

When cooked allow to cool a little before removing outer ring from tin and transfer cake on tin base to cooling rack. It may be necessary to gently loosen sides of cake with a rounded knife. The cake is rather fragile at this stage but when cooled sufficiently remove from tin base and leave to cool on rack. I found it easiest to handle when left on the baking parchment.

Before it is completely cool the chocolate ganache (see below) can be spread over the cake. Store in fridge when cool because the ganache contains cream. Bring to room temperature before serving, although it is easiest to cut slices while firm and cold. Raspberry coulis goes well with the cake for a dessert.

Chocolate Ganache

This is sufficient for two cakes and will freeze well.


300gdark chocolate Lindt 70%

3 tbsp white corn syrup (or glucose syrup)

3 tbsp cointreau or other liqueur

400 ml double cream (35%)

Break up the chocolate and put in a heatproof bowl resting above (but not touching) a pan of barely simmering water. Add the syrup and orange liqueur, and leave to melt, stirring occasionally. Once melted, set aside.

Beat the cream until it has slightly thickened (but not so it’s stiff), fold half of this into the slightly cooled chocolate, mix gently, then fold that back into the remaining cream. Pour the mixture over the sponge, tap the tin gently to even out the filling, or use a palate knife, and refrigerate for at least four hours.