Hazelnut cake

Hazelnut cake

A la Grecque
Mark Roper

Hazelnuts and brown sugar complement each other beautifully in this nutty cake. It also makes a wonderful dessert served with coffee and cognac.


Quantity Ingredient
300g brown sugar
240g plain flour
130g unsalted butter, roughly chopped
240ml thickened cream
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
200g roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped

Coffee crème anglaise

Quantity Ingredient
200ml milk
200ml pouring cream
150ml very strong espresso coffee
5 egg yolks
200g sugar
50ml kahlua


  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC and grease and line a 23 cm spring-form cake tin.
  2. Combine the brown sugar and flour in a mixing bowl. Use your fingertips to rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Spread half the mixture into the bottom of the cake tin.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the cream, eggs, and baking powder. Fold the remaining flour mixture in until thoroughly combined. Pour into the cake tin and scatter on the chopped hazelnuts. Bake for 40 minutes then remove the cake from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
  4. To make the coffee crème anglaise, combine the milk, cream and coffee in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat.
  5. Half-fill another large saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. (A stainless steel bowl is best, as it is a good conductor of heat.) Slowly pour the hot milk onto the egg mixture, whisking continuously. Sit the bowl on top of the saucepan of boiling water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl. Cook, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, until the temperature reaches 83ºC. If you don’t have a thermometer, the custard should be thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
  6. Remove from the heat and cool quickly in the refrigerator to prevent further cooking. When cold, stir in the Kahlúa.
  7. Serve the cake with a generous amount of coffee crème anglaise.
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