A chocoholic’s delight! Instead of using shop-bought praline or chocolate and hazelnut spread, both packed with refined sugar, this recipe allows you to make your own praline paste using nut butters and natural sweeteners. It adds a really pure nutty flavour and texture to this rich and decadent cake without making it sickly sweet. (Clean Cakes by Henrietta Inman, Jacqui Small, £20)
For the praline paste
- 90g hazelnut butter
- 90g almond butter
- 20g raw honey
- 20g palmyra nectar powder
- ¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt
For the torte
- 160g hazelnuts
- 100g dark chocolate (85% cocoa)
- 100g coconut oil
- 100g praline paste (see above)
- 3 eggs, separated
- ½ tsp Himalayan pink salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 50g palmyra nectar powder
For the honey praline ganache
- 90g dark chocolate (85% cocoa)
- 120g praline paste (see above)
- 100ml hazelnut milk
- 35g raw honey
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3. Grease and line the bottom of a 23cm (9 inch) springform cake tin with coconut oil.
- To make the praline paste, mix everything together well and set aside.
- For the torte, line a baking tray and toast the hazelnuts for about 7 minutes. Set aside 60g for the topping and remove the skins from the remaining hazelnuts, then blitz in a food processor until as fine as possible.
- Slowly melt the chocolate on the hob by putting it into a bowl in a large, shallow pan of hot water and heating it gently, then add the coconut oil.
- When everything has melted, remove from the heat and add the measured praline paste. Stir to combine then add the ground nuts, egg yolks, half the salt and the vanilla extract.
- Whip the egg whites with the remaining salt until fully whipped and firm, then add the palmyra nectar powder and whip a little more to combine – you should have soft caramel-coloured peaks.
- Very gently, fold the egg whites into the chocolate mix, about a third at a time. Mix until just combined and don’t go overboard – it should look like a light chocolate mousse.
- Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 10 minutes, then rotate and bake for another 5 minutes. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean, the top should be light but firm to touch, and you should hear air bubbles popping when you touch it. Leave to cool in the tin then demould.
- To make the ganache, melt the chocolate in the same way as before, then remove from the heat and stir in the praline paste.
- In a small saucepan, heat the hazelnut milk with the honey. When it is warm and the honey has dissolved, gradually pour it over the chocolate, stirring continuously until a thick and glossy emulsion forms.
- Cover with baking parchment and leave in a cool place for about 1 hour until the ganache has thickened and the cake has completely cooled. Stir the ganache lightly and spread it over the cooled cake using a palette knife (frosting spatula). For a firmer set ganache, just leave it for a little longer. Chop the remaining hazelnuts in half, scatter them over the top and serve.
- This torte is lovely with whipped vanilla coconut cream and keeps for up to five days in the fridge. It freezes well too.