Sweet seduction in Italian. A soft heart of chocolate, crunchy hazelnuts and a touch of orange. This simple chocolate cake seduces with its intense aromas. It tastes great with coffee or, even better, with a good glass of Italian wine.Jump to Recipe
Dolce e vini: wine to accompany a dessert
What wine goes with what dessert is a question of personal taste - and of a few simple basic rules. One is: never offer dry ones with a dessert. Even if these are mild, their sharpness does not harmonise with sweet desserts. Those to accompany desserts should be fruity, with a resonance on your palate. Fruity to semi-dry sparkling wines go well with cakes made of yeast dough such as Panettone and creamy desserts. Their perlage also makes lavish desserts taste lighter. Spätlese (late harvest) or dessert wines, which have little or no effervescence, taste great with classic short pastry cakes such as crostata di frutta or with biscuits. Just think of the congenial pair Vin Santo and Cantuccini from Tuscany.
Grande amore: chocolate and wine
The more aromatic the cake or dessert, the richer the wine should be. The famous Piedmontese chocolatiers, for example, recommend combining intense types of chocolate with wines of strong character. In other words, with those that emphasise the taste of the chocolate while maintaining their own identity. Try it for yourself: let a piece of chocolate or some chocolate cake slowly melt in your mouth, then take a sip of distinctive sweet wine, such as a Passito di Pantelleria. You will notice that this can enhance the aroma of the dark chocolate and its intensity. Aromatised ones such as Barolo Chinato also harmonise perfectly with chocolate. Liqueurs such as Limoncello or Grand Marnier also go well with dark chocolate cake with a hint of orange.
Fast chocolate and nut cake
- 400 g dark chocolate , 70 % cocoa
- 200 g butter
- 300 g plain flour
- 1 packet baking powder
- 120 g hazelnuts
- 6 eggs, medium-sized
- 400 g sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- grated skin orange, organic, optional
- Pre-heat oven (upper and lower heat) to 180° C. Butter a rectangular baking tin and dust with a little flour or line it with baking paper.
- Melt the chocolate with butter over a bain-marie and let it cool down.
- Mix the flour and baking powder well, before sifting it so that the dough becomes light and fluffy. Coarsely chop the hazelnuts. You can also use walnuts, cashews, almonds, pistachios or pre-cooked chestnuts, as you prefer.
- In a bowl, mix the eggs with the sugar. You do not need to beat the eggs until they are creamy. Stir in vanilla extract, salt, grated orange peel and the cooled chocolate-butter mixture. Finally, fold in the flour and hazelnuts. Spread the dough evenly on the tray.
- Bake the cake for about 60 minutes. When testing, toothpicks or wooden skewers should still be slightly moist. Let the cake cool down, cut into hand-sized pieces and serve.