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Chocolate & Hazelnut Meringue Cake

Birthday Cake Preparations

Thank you guys so much for playing the game the other day and giving me great suggestions for B’s birthday cake. He was a bit shocked I did not have any of my own – the truth is I had too many and after staring at them for a few days, none seemed that fun anymore! And, I really like when we can all share, communicate, participate.

As you can guess, B’s cake had plenty of chocolate, eggs, sugar and nuts…Which one did I/we pick? EP’s Chocolate and Hazelnut Meringue Cake from Martha Stewart ended up stealing the show. Congratulations on winning the "Artisan Breads At Home". You are going to love this book!

Chocolate & Hazelnut Meringue Cake

How did I pick? Actually I ended involving B. a little in the process as I noticed after 50 or so comments that I was slightly putting in the "maybe" or "no sure" columns flavors, desserts, ideas that he could picked if given the chance. It was his birthday after all. And I have known in the 13 years we have been together that I should never expect anything if only be surprised.

We sat down and I asked him for key words that would help me narrow down the winning suggestion. Here were his specs: chocolate, nuts, crunchy – creamy, gluten free so I would not have to worry about adapting (go ahead, insert "awwww" right here!). I read everyone of your comments and put a star next to the ones that fit his criteria then I went back and had him look them over, one by one and pick his top three.

Chocolate & Hazelnut Meringue Cake

You guessed it, I didn’t want to spoil the element of surprise completely. Yes. It turned out into a day 100% tuned into him and I am happy for it. This year has been nothing but tranquil for us and he deserves every bit of "you you you you you" that I could give him. And I am glad you indulged me in this rather fun and chocolatey quest.

Chocolate & Hazelnut Meringue Cake

That cake is sublime! flourless, creamy, complex and yet not so rich that you have to stop after one bite – more like control yourself not to want it for dessert at every meal! Granted we invited plenty of friends to share with us so the slices were small but I have to say, sneaking in the kitchen passed midnight and sharing a slice with a cold glass of milk after everyone had gone home was pretty much the "ahhhhhh" moment of the day.

Chocolate & Hazelnut Meringue Cake

The combination of the deep flavors of the cake (I added espresso to the batter instead of vanilla extract) with the meringue was exactly what he asked for. Because we have been heat indexes hovering around the 115F-120F and high humidity, I cooked the meringue topping longer than what the recipe called for to make sure it would not end up in complete puddle of goo when the time to serve it came about. It worked perfectly and yielded the right amount of crunch and softness after standing for a few hours. Like macarons, this cake only tastes better after 24 hours.

Speaking about cake and chocolate, how about doing a little French Word A Week on chocolate cake while we are at it? So, here it is: click on Gateau Au Chocolat to hear its pronunciation.

Thanks everyone for playing along! Have a great weekend everyone!

Chocolate & Hazelnut Meringue Cake

Chocolate and Hazelnut Meringue Cake, adapted from Martha Stewart.

Makes one 9-inch cake

– Now is not the time to use the cheap-o chocolate. Get the best quality bittersweet chocolate you can find as it is the star of the recipe. (Guittard, Callebaut, Valrhona, El Rey, Scharffen Berger, etc…)
– To toast the hazelnuts, preheat oven to 350F and spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown.
– To skin the nuts without driving yourself crazy, place them in a mesh bag (like a recycled orange or lemon bag) and rub the nuts between your hand over the sink. The skins will fall and only the "naked" nuts will remain in your bag.
– The cake at room temperature is excellent but served really cold, it becomes even fudgier and the meringue gives slightly under your tooth like a soft pavlova. Brilliant!

For the cake:
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
3/4 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
6 large whole eggs, separated
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 1/2 tablespoons espresso (or vanilla)
1 1/2 tablespoons rum (optional)(not with us!)
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the meringue:
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped (1 cup)
1 cup hazelnuts (about 4 ounces), toasted and skinned (see notes)and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar

Prepare the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-3-inch springform pan. Line bottom with parchment paper. Butter parchment and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the butter and brown sugar until pale and smooth at medium speed, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping the bottom and sides of your bowl if necessary. Add the melted chocolate, espresso (or vanilla), rum, if using, and salt. Beat until combined. Transfer to a clean bowl and wash your mixing bowl thoroughly.
In a clean mixer bowl fitted the whisk attachment, beat the 6 egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Fold one-third of the egg whites into chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining egg whites and pour batter into prepared pan, and bake 25 minutes.

Prepare the meringue:
Combine the chopped chocolate, nuts and cornstarch in a small bowl, and set aside. Place remaining 4 egg whites in a clean mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until frothy. With the mixer running, slowly add the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Fold in hazelnut mixture.

Assemble and Finish:
Remove cake from oven. Using a large offset spatula, spread meringue mixture on top of cake using as little strokes as possible not to deflate the meringue, and return to oven. Bake until meringue is lightly browned and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let stand 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen, and release sides of pan. Let cool, about 30 minutes, before slicing and serving.

Some inquiring minds asked so here is a short prop list.
– Plates: the ever fabulous Asya from Gleena.
– glasses and little bottles (they are bud vases actually): Wal-Mart.
– paper straws from Bake It Pretty.
– silverware, glass jar and linens: vintage from a little shop in town.
– candles: gift from my friend Jen from Use Real Butter (I think she got them at Peppercorn in downtown Boulder).
– wire cake stand and green handled strainer from etsy.

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Maria July 30, 2010 um 3:11 pm

Looks like the perfect way to celebrate to me! July 30, 2010 um 3:16 pm

Oh my word! This looks amazing!! I love every ingredient in here. I'm going to have to make this sometime soon, but I've got a few things lined up I've been wanting to bake for ages so I can put them up on my own blog. Will def keep this in my recipe binder though!

JelliDonut July 30, 2010 um 3:25 pm

This is one of the most beautiful cakes I've ever seen. I will make this one SOON. Thanks!

Carter @ The Kitchenette July 30, 2010 um 3:27 pm

Where oh where did you get those lovely candles, Helene? They are nothing short of fabulous!

Lauren July 30, 2010 um 3:27 pm

What a gorgeous cake! I love the combination of flavours :). As always, your photos blow me away. I think they keep getting more jaw-dropping!

Nads' Bakery July 30, 2010 um 3:29 pm

Wow! The cake looks absolutely STUNNING! And as always, your photography is AMAZING.

Debugcooking July 30, 2010 um 3:30 pm

Helen…what a lovely cake..and the whites and browns look so good in your pics…I vaguely remember making something similar but was called death by chocolate cake and had a cocoa meringue layer…Where do you find such amazing props?

Kelly @ EvilShenanigans July 30, 2010 um 3:31 pm

I think I would need to try this chilled because your description of the cake and meringue has my mouth watering! It looks fantastic, and sounds even better.

Silvana July 30, 2010 um 3:37 pm

Wow! Beautiful images. Truly. This cake looks out of this world. I love the styling and those candles are a must have!!

Momgateway July 30, 2010 um 3:47 pm

I rarely make cakes but this is one I will definitely try because it has all the things I enjoy–chocolate, hazelnuts, espresso, rum and meringue!!!! Thanks for the tip about the meringue and Belated Happy Birthday to B!

chriesi July 30, 2010 um 3:51 pm

Wow! Amazing!!!

m July 30, 2010 um 4:04 pm

Yay! The cake looks AMAZING. I love the candles haha.

Helene July 30, 2010 um 4:06 pm

Thanks guys! I put a short prop list at the bottom of the post. Lots of scavenging and sale shopping is key to keep it affordable.

Martina: I live in a very sunny part of the country where my studio is on the second floor of a house already 12 feet up from ground area where there are 3 huge windows. Lots of sun all year long.

Brandon July 30, 2010 um 4:14 pm

So so so beautiful! I love the image with the candles. The combination of chocolate, coffee and hazelnut seems divine. Since I am not much a cake maker, perhaps I will use the same flavors for a pot de creme.


RV July 30, 2010 um 4:15 pm

love the cake stand, perfect birthday cake.

Montserrat July 30, 2010 um 4:16 pm

Beautiful pictures Helene.. the cake platter is very pretty & so unusual. I must give this cake a try.. I can imagine it in my mouth already ;))..

Patty July 30, 2010 um 4:18 pm

Wow, I don't know if I'm brave enough to try this one, but it looks so awesome I might just try!

Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking July 30, 2010 um 4:21 pm

That cake! Oh, there are no words! That has to be the most elegant dessert I've ever seen, and it just looks so heavenly and delicious… Absolutely lovely, Helene!

Also, if you’re interested, I’m having a silicone muffin pan giveaway on my blog – You should enter!

Asha @ FSK July 30, 2010 um 4:31 pm

WOW! awesome cake!! Happy Birthday to B! :))
Love the props in the photos Helen…

BriBriMX July 30, 2010 um 4:54 pm

holala ce gateau a l'air d'une vraie tuerie, je salive à l'idée de mettre une cuillère en bouche, ça doit être un vrai régal !!!
déjà pour nous, ça l'est, rien qu'en regardant les photos !

Bella Bonito July 30, 2010 um 4:56 pm

What a great post!!! I especially love the tone and color coordination of the styling. Thanks for the clear and detailed information as well. Makes me want to eat this cake really badly…

Patricia Scarpin July 30, 2010 um 4:59 pm

Oh, sweetie, my birthday is in November – any chance you'll bake me such a pretty cake? 🙂
Lovely, Helen! A show stopper, indeed.

A Crimson Kiss July 30, 2010 um 5:02 pm

I'm drooling! This looks incredible.

Bonnie July 30, 2010 um 5:10 pm

Lovely cake. I loved the wire cake stand.

Thanks for tip about skinning the hazelnuts in a mesh bag over the sink. Invaluable! I usually just do it on the counter with a towel. Your way is so much better. I always learn something from your posts besides the recipes. Thanks so much for sharing!

t July 30, 2010 um 5:10 pm

What is it that you dolloped on the top of the cake slice? Chocolate whipped cream? more meringue? Lovely…

Natalie July 30, 2010 um 5:12 pm

sounds like the perfect cake 🙂 and it looks just as good…

Pallavi July 30, 2010 um 5:13 pm

Awesome photography-as usual! You are such an inspiration Helene. I am an amateur food photographer and I try to learn by looking at your work- its just fabulous 🙂
I know you keep very busy and if this is not asking for too much I would really love for you to see my photographs and give me some tips on them! Appreciate all your help! Please follow the link attached to my name to see my work.

Thanks and good wishes,

Jessica @ How Sweet July 30, 2010 um 5:22 pm

Oh my gosh it looks FAB. Beautiful!

heather July 30, 2010 um 5:29 pm

I love your photos, the candles, your writing, the whole presentation! This looks and sounds so decadently delicious!

sara @ CaffeIna July 30, 2010 um 5:47 pm

Wow! I'm not a chocolate lover and still I could eat this all by myself!

Deirdre Anne July 30, 2010 um 5:49 pm


sally cameron July 30, 2010 um 5:54 pm

Exactly like the kind of cake/dessert I like! Love nuts and meringue, crunch and lightness. I've always loved tortes. Can't wait to try it, Thanks Helene. Beautiful photos too. As a new blogger you are an inspiration!

Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle July 30, 2010 um 6:07 pm

I love this cake, not just the flavors you've used but because I know this…I CAN make a meringue layered cake.

I just made one a couple of weeks ago. Meringue, whipped cream, raspberries, drizzled with chocolate. So easy, so elegant and no worries about feet. You know what I'm talking about!

Unknown July 30, 2010 um 6:31 pm

That looks absolutely fantastic. I want a slice now. 🙂
I'm always amazed by your beautiful pictures. Have a great day. Michael.

Paula July 30, 2010 um 6:55 pm

wow! what a georgeous cake!

jennchic July 30, 2010 um 7:53 pm

such beautiful cakes. wonderful and inspiring. i will definitely make this cake – and probably take many photos of it, too. yum!

Anonymous July 30, 2010 um 8:23 pm

This cake looks divine! I love your photos, especially the first one. Evrything is so beautiful.

Rhonda July 30, 2010 um 10:11 pm

That just looks so – wow. Chocolate and crunch. But I think I'm with you about the midnight tasting.

Rachel July 30, 2010 um 10:36 pm

I am totally making this to serve with raspberries when my Aunt comes to visit!

Alycia @ Fit n Fresh July 30, 2010 um 11:15 pm

Wow that looks GORGEOUS!!

Alycia @ Fit n Fresh July 30, 2010 um 11:15 pm

Wow that looks GORGEOUS!!

marla {family fresh cooking} July 31, 2010 um 12:17 am

I love that you had a private moment with this cake. That would be my favorite part…time to sit down and savor it in peace. Glad to read B had a lovely b'day celebration. That photo with the candles (as are all of them) is just breathtaking! (glad to see u flavored the cake with espresso!)

El July 31, 2010 um 1:25 am

It looks heavenly. May I ask, where did you get those wonderful No. 5 plates?

notyet100 July 31, 2010 um 1:42 am

wow this looks so delicious

citymouse July 31, 2010 um 4:22 am

This looks heavenly. What a nice way to celebrate!

Shaheen {The Purple Foodie} July 31, 2010 um 4:35 am

I absolutely adore this, Helen! I'm thinking of something with hazelnuts for my mom's birthday on the 3rd too!

Jen Yu July 31, 2010 um 5:31 am

Happy belated bday to B! I've been offline for a while and just now slowly coming back. What a gorgeous gorgeous cake! I'm not even a huge fan of sweets and this cake has me wishing I had some right now 🙂 Beautifully done, as always, my friend. You rawk. xo

♥peachkins♥ July 31, 2010 um 5:44 am

meringue on top of a!!!

Michelle Davies July 31, 2010 um 6:39 am

Hi there, please can you advise where the candles are from?



Helene July 31, 2010 um 6:53 am

El & Michelle: prop info and resources located at the bottom of the post.

Thanks everyone!

Lorna July 31, 2010 um 7:12 am

Helen, you impress me everyday. This is STUNNING!

Margot July 31, 2010 um 7:44 am

Delicious!! And I love your cake stand…

gfs July 31, 2010 um 7:49 am

oh my this looks wonderful – might just make this my birthday cake in a month!

MollyCookie July 31, 2010 um 1:50 pm

What a beautiful cake! It looks amazing!

It's fun to come up with a dessert on your own for someone's birthday, but I think it's hard and stressful! It's best to ask. Good job, that's what I would have done! I bet he had a great birthday.

Antonietta July 31, 2010 um 2:26 pm

This cake look decadent! Your photos are beautiful, as always!

kami @ July 31, 2010 um 4:10 pm

When can I come stay with you?! Oh man that looks amazing!

Gen July 31, 2010 um 4:53 pm

Wonderful! I wish I could have a slice…

test it comm July 31, 2010 um 5:35 pm

That cake looks amazing! Great photos!

Heidi July 31, 2010 um 6:23 pm

The wire cake stand was from last fall at Crate & Barrel, (I'm positive cause i work there ;o>) weird that you found it on etsy…

Gorgeous cake! I'd love to try it! Your blog is always so nice to read. Beautiful!

Darina July 31, 2010 um 6:34 pm

This looks awesome and I'm happy that it's gluten free. I've discovered meringues lately. I don't know why I thought I would hate them. Love that crispy, flaky texture that gives way to the moist chewiness beneath.

Happy Birthday to Bill!

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets July 31, 2010 um 11:44 pm

Your cake is stunning, Helene, and happy belated to B. I'm also in love with that stand. I'd actually seen and fallen in love with this recipe on Martha's site already and I'm glad you've reminded us how delicious and gorgeous it can be.

Unknown August 1, 2010 um 12:12 am


Your food looks and sounds all so delicious…but then they're all so full of eggs. It's nearly impossible to adapt your recipes to accomodate lacto vegetarians because there are always so many eggs in a recipe. Would you kindly consider making some of your scrumptious recipes without eggs? Maybe as a redux or else something totally different.

Thanks 🙂

Best of luck.

Y August 1, 2010 um 1:38 am

Awesome looking cake! Happy Birthday again to B!

Kareen August 1, 2010 um 3:07 am

I will be making this cake very soon. It looks yummylicious!

oneordinaryday August 1, 2010 um 11:02 am

One of my favorite cakes is a meringue cake that my mom makes, but I never even imagined a chocolate meringue cake. My head is just spinning! It looks wonderful.

Kate M August 1, 2010 um 11:25 am

Hi Helen,

I knew whatever you would make for your husband would be one of a kind. It was hard to wait for this post.

Now how do I bake a cake for my next birthday knowing that two days later you will post something that will definitely make me want to celebrate again? 🙂

Kelly-Jane August 1, 2010 um 1:02 pm

Looks delicious. Your ingredients shot is great too, you have a real knack. Happy birthday to hubby.

Olivia F August 2, 2010 um 5:16 am

The cake is exquisite but I can't help but be distracted by your gorgeous homewares! That cake stand is to die for and the linen, spoons, sieve and glass bottles are so beautiful.

Do you mind if I ask where you get all your beautiful homewares from? Thanks Helen!

Helene August 2, 2010 um 6:17 am

Olivia: check at the end of the post for a list of props and resources.

fragolina August 2, 2010 um 7:13 am

It is an amazing cake, what a perfect combination, meringue and chocolate. ohh I would love to have a piece right now 🙂 Thank you

Reni August 2, 2010 um 11:30 am

What a gorgeous cake.. Amazingly beautiful and really, makes my mouth waters just to look at the pictures.. Happy belated B'day to B and wishing u guys to always live happily ever after.. Cheers.. 🙂

shaz August 2, 2010 um 1:30 pm

This cake sounds absolutely fabulous. Happy belated birthday to B. The candles on the cake are so pretty!

katie August 2, 2010 um 2:16 pm

Great! yummy yummy~

Ms. Pearl August 2, 2010 um 3:56 pm

Your blog and Flickr photostream are amazing.
I'll defintely be back!

Camila Akemi August 2, 2010 um 4:38 pm

Helen, Such a beautiful cake!!
I wish i could jump in the
computer to try it..
By the way you paired the cake with what? The cream?

Valérie August 2, 2010 um 5:16 pm

This cake looks absolutely sublime! My goodness! I bet the texture is out of this world, too!

Mrs. Stoyko August 2, 2010 um 7:58 pm

This whole post is divine, but those candles, they add such a wonderful and whimsical element to the cake and the photo! Beautiful as always!

bridget {bake at 350} August 3, 2010 um 1:59 am

Oh, it's *just* beautiful! And all the pictures….gorgeous as always!

Anonymous August 3, 2010 um 2:04 am

Hi!! I just finished to cook this cake!!
And I have to say thank you!! It works perfectly!! 😀

And is soo tasty!! ^______^

Your pictures are awesomes!! and your recipes are really well explained.. 😀

Thanks again!
And a big hug from Chile!

P.S: please forgive my english mistakes!! I'm a spanish speaker!! sorry! 😛

Amanda August 3, 2010 um 2:39 am

wow this looks so good! and i love those candles!

Brilynn August 3, 2010 um 9:07 am

Gorgeous! Anyone would be lucky to have this as their birthday cake!

Palaisdeslys August 3, 2010 um 9:13 pm

Je regarde depuis une série américaine "how i met your mother" où j'ai appris un mot qui traduit exactement ce que je voix là: this cake is awesome!!! Tes photos sont magnifiques, rayonnantes de gourmandise et de discrétion!

Joy August 3, 2010 um 9:28 pm

That looks just lovely. I love hazelnuts and chocolate. what a great combo.

Lana @ Never Enough Thyme August 5, 2010 um 2:03 pm

Beautiful cake. And, as always, a breathtaking presentation.

Eva August 5, 2010 um 7:14 pm

Magnifique, bravo !

Pastrychefgrl August 6, 2010 um 2:39 pm

I am definitely trying this it looks wonderful and now that I am back in LA I can go to my fav restaurant supply store to get some good quality chocolate like always everything looks amazing!!

Magic of Spice August 7, 2010 um 7:07 pm

Just a beautiful dessert, and love the look with those candles:)

Vera August 7, 2010 um 7:35 pm

Wow. I've said it before and I'll say it over and over. Your posts just make me want to live in the kitchen to try out these recipes, see if I can get anywhere near your lovely creations. 🙂 But this one really is worthy trying out, chocolate, flourless… keywords I love to hear!

Chef Chuck August 8, 2010 um 3:20 am

Simply Beautiful!! Thank you!

Unknown August 11, 2010 um 4:09 pm

Very nice pictures.
Feels like the chocolate cake is inviting you…

Kathryn August 12, 2010 um 6:30 am

sounds really nice!

Pastrychefgrl August 14, 2010 um 9:31 pm

How many days in advance do you think I could make this? I have a pot luck coming up soon and I think this would be perfect!

Helene August 14, 2010 um 11:54 pm

PastryChefgrl: the cake keeps well for up to 4-5 days.

The Curious Baker August 15, 2010 um 1:27 am

So I made this, this weekend and well it didn't look as gorgeous as yours and to be quite honest even though I'm a dark chocolate fiend I found it to be a bit too rich, but a day and a number of hours in the fridge later and self control is no longer a word in my vocabulary! The chilled option is definitely best. I remember looking at the size of your cake and thinking aren't there only two of you? But now after eating the WHOLE cake myself, I totally get it! Merci mille fois pour la recette, c'était un vrai délice 🙂

Helene August 15, 2010 um 1:39 am

The Curious Baker: it's definitely a celebratory cake. Anything flourless will be richer as the flavors tend to be more concentrated.
As I said in the post, we had a party for my husband so it was not the two of us eating the cake but about 10 adults!!

Amber August 15, 2010 um 4:15 am

This is the first of your recipies that I have made and it turned out so well!

I made it as a birthday present, but adapted it slightly. I added a banana to the batter (and removed two egg yolks), and used white chocolate instead of the darker stuff (this was more in line with the tastes of the birthday boy).

All I can say is WOW! I have never made something so beautiful or delicious before. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

ChowBellas August 16, 2010 um 2:09 am

Your photography is really amazing and makes everything look so delicious!

angela@spinachtiger August 23, 2010 um 4:31 am

I see this was a perfect fit for the birthday. I would love to make this this week as I'm hosting our book club. The tip with the nuts is so valuable.

Sofy September 1, 2010 um 8:02 pm


Ce gateau a l'air vraiment delicieux et j'aimerais beaucoup le faire pour un diner que je fais le 18 septembre. Pourriez vous me donner les mesures en grammes car je n'ai pas la moindre idee de ce que fait 10 cuilleres a soupe de beurre ou encore 12 ounces de chocolat. Pour ce qui est des directives a suivre pour executer le gateau pas de probleme, je parle anglais. Merci d'avance.

Yue Jiang September 6, 2010 um 1:43 am

wow, it looks so rich!! Nice photographs!!

L-A September 13, 2010 um 8:25 pm

Just found out about your blog- and I spent a few hours perusing it. It's gorgeous!!! creative recipes and beautiful pictures!

I am thinking of making this cake very soon- but I am wondering if the cake itself could be frozen and unfrozen just in time to add and bake the meringue.

Thanks for any advice!

Makronka September 17, 2010 um 8:15 am

Hi, I love your blog and your beautiful pictures! Im making this cake right now :-) I hope, it will be good done :-). I make it to our wedding home family party… Thank you and Im looking forward to every new recipes!

Inés Castellano September 17, 2010 um 6:07 pm

Hi! This is just beautiful! Im planning on making it for my birthday on sunday, do you think it can hold up if I make it today? Should I keep it in the fridge?

Beth October 14, 2010 um 9:51 pm

Oh, yum!

Eileen October 17, 2010 um 1:59 am

We are celebrating my father's 90th birthday in a couple of weeks and I still haven't decided on what cake I will make for him. After seeing this cake I think I've found the one I'm going to bake!

Nina December 10, 2010 um 7:41 pm

Hello! What kind of cream is there in the bowl besides the cake? It looks all so delicious!

Catalina December 12, 2010 um 1:08 pm

I really love this cake! Thank you so much for sharing it.
I struggled a bit when folding the meringue with the hazelnut mixture….it didn't look fluffy anymore…. 🙁 I folded it delicately but still….not good with meringues!
What's that thing you put on the top?
Thank you!!

Helene December 12, 2010 um 3:20 pm

Nina & Catalina: I am presuming you are referring to the same thing: chocolate chantilly.

Anonymous December 24, 2010 um 5:00 am

I just made this today. OMG I can't wait to eat it tomorrow for Xmas lunch. It looks just like yours…so I am hoping that it tastes as good as it looks. I only wish I had a beautiful cake pedestal to put it on…Louise

Pia March 27, 2011 um 4:35 pm

Wonderful cake! Just made it now and it is yummy!! One question though, how firm is the chocolate base after it has been baked the first time (i.e. before the meringue goes on?) Mine came out too gooey in the middle. Should it be quite firm to the touch? I am assuming that if a stick in the center comes out dry it has been in for too long, as it goes back in for another half hour with the meringue? Thanks 🙂

Helene March 27, 2011 um 5:09 pm

Pia: should come out dry but not super dry. the center should not be gooey but not completely dry either. Might be coming from the calibration of your oven or there might be a colder spot in your oven where the cake was.

Maria Carloto May 7, 2011 um 1:11 pm

This cake looks delicious! Why join first 1/3 of egg whites and then the rest?

Yelena June 25, 2011 um 3:51 am

Cannot wait to try this recipe. Looks sooooo yummy.

Poppy July 7, 2011 um 10:33 pm

This looks fabulous. I would like to try the recipe made into miniture cupcakes!

Chelx July 22, 2011 um 11:03 am

Mouth watering cakes. Love it.

bethh August 15, 2011 um 7:05 pm

I made this last week and it was amazing!!!! I have a question:

I made this using a 9-inch pan but the baked cake filled it nearly to the top. When I pulled it from the oven at the midpoint I carefully banged it a few times to make the cake deflate. Do you think that's the best technique? I probably could have heaped the meringue up above the tart pan edge but was afraid to do so – should I have just used that approach instead? Your baked-cake pictures are lovely but I was wishing for a process photo 🙂

At any rate it got raves, so the deflated cake didn't seem to be a problem!

Helene August 16, 2011 um 5:13 am

Bethh: I don't understand what you mean by "best technique" – why were you trying to make it deflate? The meringue is dense so it won't fall on the side of the cake pan even if yours reaches the top completely.

bethh August 16, 2011 um 5:33 pm

Helene, I lacked the courage required to pile the meringue *above* the cake pan walls! I didn't realize that was an option, honestly 🙂 The cake was about a quarter-inch from the top of the pan and I imagined meringue falling and burning all over the oven.

Oh darn, I guess I'll just have to make it again. I've been getting rave reviews every time I see the people who got some of the cake last week. It really was very easy to do – thanks for the recipe!

Jacqui September 14, 2011 um 9:44 pm

Hi, Just made this beautiful cake, and will be cutting it later. Could you tell me when you take the cake out of the oven after the first baking, is it meant to be fairly cooked, as mine was wobbling, I was still able to put the meringue on. I didn't want to cook the base anymore as I knew it was having the second cooking and I didn't didn't know if I would overcook it. So it has come out with the base collapsing a little on itself, will have to see what it is like when we cut it! looking forward to tasting it!!!

angelamelnik November 14, 2011 um 6:22 pm

I just made this cake and it was so delicious!
Excellent excellent cake!

Next time however I will not put chopped chocolate in the meringue, I dont think its needed because you get so much chocolate flavour from the base.
I just put extra hazelnut in the meringue.

Great job!

mtx April 1, 2012 um 5:57 pm


Thanks for the recipe. I have two questions:

1. If we make it 2 days in advance, how do we store it? Cake-saver container or refrigerator?

2. Can we use almond as a substitute? (allergy reasons)


Helene April 1, 2012 um 10:20 pm

1/ I don't recommend doing it two days in advance because the meringue will turn to soft goo.
2/ any nut works

mtx April 2, 2012 um 8:28 pm

The reason I ask is because you said that this could be made 4-5 days in advance:

Pastrychefgrl said…

How many days in advance do you think I could make this? I have a pot luck coming up soon and I think this would be perfect!
5:31 PM
Helene said…

PastryChefgrl: the cake keeps well for up to 4-5 days.
7:54 PM

Helene April 2, 2012 um 10:55 pm

mtx: thanks for pointing that out but now that I have done the cake again and refrigerated it for more than 24 hrs, I can safely say, it won't keep well.

mtx April 3, 2012 um 2:07 am

Okay! Will it keep well for 14 days or should I not even bother???

Helene April 3, 2012 um 2:13 am

mtx: 14 days?! Heck no!

mtx April 3, 2012 um 5:55 am

Ughhh, sorry, I meant 14 hours… I want to make it 14 hours in advance and leave it sitting outside in air-tight room temp

Helene April 3, 2012 um 12:58 pm

mtx: you can refrigerate it for 14hours. As I said, it's if you go passed 24 hrs that it won't keep as well.

mtx May 2, 2012 um 3:06 am

Hi it's mtx again….. just wondering if it was recommended to use aged egg whites like some people use for macarons? Also is it okay to mix aged egg whites (some 2 days, some 3 days)??

Annette June 6, 2012 um 2:46 am

This looks like a perfect chocolate dessert. I can hardly wait to try it. Thank you!

Chocolate Cake Blog December 30, 2012 um 5:14 am

Love your photography. The cake looks fantastic!

mharend March 20, 2013 um 1:35 am

the cake looks amazing! i hope i can make it :p do you think a 8-inch pan will work? that's all i have, and some ramekins, so i was thinking of making some in pan and some in ramekins 🙂

also, when making the meringue, it says to fold in the hazelnut mixture into the egg whites, so do i just pour the mixture altogether, or bit by bit? thanks a lot!! 😀

Helene March 21, 2013 um 12:37 pm

mharend: it will work but you will have some batter leftover and some meringue leftover since the pan is smaller. Yes, a pan and small ramekins will work. You might want to adjust baking time too. Fold the meringue little by little.

Mnmini-m November 14, 2013 um 2:38 am

Hi, thanks for sharing, i'm inspired. What did u sprinkle on top? cocoa or espresso powder? will chocolate curls or shavings do?


Helene November 18, 2013 um 12:47 am

Mnmini-m: cocoa powder

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