Preheat the oven to 200 degrees
Put the double cream and chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.
Once the chocolate has started to melt, remove from the heat and beat the cream and chocolate together with a hand balloon whisk. Put to one side to cool for about ten minutes then use an electric hand whisk to whip together. Whip for about two minutes then stop. After ten minutes, whip again. You will need to do this a couple of times until you have a delicious whipped ganache. Keep in a cool place, not in the fridge until you are ready to decorate the cake.
Put the hazelnuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven for ten mins.
Leave to cool
Reduce temperature to 180 degrees
Line two 8 inch loose bottomed tins with non-stick baking paper. It is a runny mixture so I usually line in one piece so the paper goes up the sides. Or use a cake tin liner.
Whizz 250g toasted hazelnuts in a food processor to the consistency of fine breadcrumbs, don’t leave them too long as they will go oily.
Put 100g of the hazelnuts to one side for topping the cake
Put butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Once they have melted, remove from the heat, stir to combine and leave to cool a little.
Stir in the ground hazelnuts
Separate the eggs, make sure the mixing bowl is completely clean (wipe with the cut side of a lemon if not sure) and then
whisk the egg whites to just stiff peaks. Transfer to another bowl.
Rinse out the mixer bowl and whisk attachment then use to beat the egg yolks and sugar for five minutes until pale and creamy
Use the folding tool & folding mechanism to fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks and sugar.
Using the folding function, fold in the orange juice and then a couple of tablespoons of the whisked egg whites. Fold in until combined and then add the remining egg whites a little at a time.
Scrape into the prepared tins and bake in the centre of the oven 35-40 mins -
Remove from oven, leave to cool in their tins for 30 mins
When the cake is cold, use a dollop of the ganache to stick one cake to a pretty cake stand, spread with the whipped ganache and gently press the second cake on top. Put a thin layer of the ganache on top and sprinkle with the roughly chopped hazelnuts. Dust with cocoa, chocolate shavings and perhaps a few edible flowers. I used the flowers from alpine strawberries but pansies, primroses or rose petals would be lovely too.
Recipe by Miranda Gore Browne:
Miranda Gore Browne
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