Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Chocolate Mud Cake

Servings: 12

For The Cake:
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) (100g) hazelnuts
10 - 11 oz. (300g) dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL) olive oil
1 tbsp. espresso coffee powder
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder

For The Icing: (optional)
8 oz. (200g) dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup cream (light cream can be used as a lower fat alternative)

Extra cocoa for serving

To Make The Cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F (180° C).

Place hazelnuts on baking tray and roast for 10-12 minutes. Rub hazelnuts in clean tea towel to remove skins. Place nuts in food processor to chop finely. Reduce oven to 300° F (150°C). Grease and line an 8-inch (20 cm) round cake pan with non-stick baking paper.

Place the chocolate, olive oil, coffee powder and water in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and transfer mixture to a large bowl.

Add the cocoa powder, brown sugar and eggs, whisk well to combine. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Add the sifted flour and baking powder mixture and the chopped hazelnuts to the chocolate mixture, whisking gently to combine. Pour the mixture into prepared pan and bake at 300° F (150°C) for 50-60 minutes or until the cake crumbs cling to the skewer when inserted into the center of the cake. Stand for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.

To Make The Icing:
Combine chocolate and (light) cream in a heat-proof bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water. Heat, stirring frequently for 4-5 minutes or until melted and smooth. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until thick. Spread the icing over the top and sides of the cake. Allow to set. Cut into wedges using a warm knife and serve with seasonal fruit.

Makes 10 servings.

Date: March 23, 2003