Monday, January 12, 2009

Chocolate Hazelnut Flourless Cake

160 calories, 15g. carbs

2 Tblsp. unsalted butter
3 Tblsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup blanched hazelnuts or almonds
8 Tblsp. sugar, divided
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 eggs yolks
1 Tblsp. Frangelic or amaretto (opt.)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
5 egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 tsp. salt
Fresh sliced straw berries for serving (opt.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously coat an 8" or 9" springform pan with 2 tsp. of butter and dust with 1 Tblsp. of cocoa powder (d0n't tap out the excess cocoa; leave it in the pan).
In a food processor, process the nuts with 1 Tblsp. of the sugar until finely ground.
In the top of a double boiler, over barely simmering water, melt the chocolate and the remaining 4 tsp. butter, stirring occasionally, until smooth.
Remove from the heat. Place the chocolate mixture in a large bowl. Add the nut mixture, sour cream, egg yolks, Frangelico or amaretto (if using), vanilla extract, cinnamon, 5 Tblsp. of the remaining sugar, and the remaining 2 Tblsp. cocoa powder. Stir until well blended.
In another large bowl, with an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg whites and salt until foamy. Gradually add the remaining 2 Tblsp. sugar, beating, until the whites hold stiff peaks when the beaters are lifted.
Stir 1/4 of the beaten whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Gently fold in the remaining whites. Spoon into the prepared pan. Gently smooth the top.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cake has risen, is dry on top, and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool on a rack until warm. The cake will fall dramatically. Loosen the edges of the cake with a knife and remove the pan sides. Serve with the strawberries (if using).
Makes 12 servings.

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