I have many recipes for flourless chocolate cake and I love them all. This one was given to me by my foodie friend Megan, whom I’ve known since high school, who happens to have the brilliant blog Children’s Books Daily. If you are ever looking for inspiration and encourgament to seek out books for your kids and read to them each night then her blog is for you.
Sitting down at the end of the busy evening routine to read to my children is one of my favourite things in the whole wide world. Elliott is going through a stage of wanting to learn about animals, the ocean and aboriginal culture. Essie is absorbed in the world of Nutmeg and Tumtum and Violet Mackeral. And Levi and Tilly can be anywhere from Big Nate to Wonder to The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. It is all good.
April has been a month full of activity with Levi’s 12th birthday, holidays, Easter and my birthday. I think we had the last of the seasons snow and spring has definitely sprung. It is amazing how one day our backyard is covered in snow with kids having snow ball fights, sledding and making Maple Syrup Snow Taffy and then a week later the grass could not be greener and blossoms have shot out from every tree. It looks like a completely different place.
With Spring the kids have been doing swimming, rock climbing classes, soccer and Tilly has been doing a horse management class Saturday mornings working with mostly rescue horses. She absolutely adores it and is desperate to have her own horse – which won’t be happening.
On Easter Sunday we woke up painfully early, 3:45am, and drove to Red Rocks with a thermos of Hot Chocolate to keep to kids fueled for the dawn Easter Sunday Service. It was cold and it was early but Joel and I were blown away with how well behaved our kids were sitting through the service. Joel had a negative experience taking Levi to a dawn service on ANZAC day many years ago and we hadn’t braved a dawn service since but it seems our kids have grown up since then – hooray!
The rest of the day was spent doing craft and feasting. Before we left the house in the wee hours of the morning, I put a leg of lamb in the oven to slowly roast for 8 hours which resulted in tender meat. It was a Kate Quinn Davies recipe where the meat is shredded then drizzled in salsa verde along with a generous squeeze of lemon and crumbled feta. It was delicious served alongside roasted asparagus, tomatoes and potatoes. Dessert was individual Balsamic Strawberry Upside Down Cheesecakes.
Yesterday I celebrated my 38th birthday. We were given movie tickets from Levi’s orthodonist, a long story, so we took advantage of having all the kids at school and went to see a movie followed by lunch at Google. For dinner I had some helpers in the kitchen and we made Duck Confit with Red Cabbage, Hazelnuts and Bacon and Wet Polenta from Philip Johnson’s book Ecco Classics. The kids had never had Duck Confit before and I had never made it before but it was easy and delicious and the kids adored it. As the majority of cooking is done well ahead of time, all that was required just before serving was to heat it up and then crisp up the skin under the grill. It is a dish I will be making again and again – for special occasions.
Dessert was Megan’s Chocolate Hazelnut Cake and Belinda Jeffery’s Orange Cardamon Ice-cream from her new book Desserts. A beautiful cookbook which I have made several recipes from already.
Well I have another quiet day today as all the kids have gone with Joel to work for Kids Day At Google. I hope to get in a quick hike up the foothills before doing some study and then later we will be making a batch of ANZAC biscuits for kids to take to school tomorrow and thinking about all the activity that is happening back home as everyone commemorates the ANZACs. I’m still missing home but I can’t help but count the many blessings that we have here. Colorado is a stunning part of the world and I particularly love our little pocket of Boulder.
megan’s chocolate hazelnut cake
185g dark chocolate, chopped
185g unsalted butter
185g raw sugar
185g hazelnut meal
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F) and grease and line a 20cm round cake tin.
Separate eggs and whisk the eggs whites until stiff peaks form and set aside.
Melt the chocolate in microwave or over a double boiler and stir until smooth. Set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy and then mix in the egg yolks one at a time. Stir through the melted chocolate and then the hazelnut meal. Fold through the stiff egg whites gently and pour into the prepared tin. Bake for 1 hour.
Being a flourless cake it will no doubt sink in the middle but don’t worry. Top the cake with ganache or just dust with icing sugar or pile berries high on top. Serve with ice-cream or cream.