Flourless chocolate cake is the most decadent gluten-free dessert out there. With the absence of flour, eggs and chocolate create a magical pairing that melts in your mouth once baked. The only thing that can improve this fabulous dessert is enhancing the chocolate with rich, deep espresso.
This simple Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake with Roasted Hazelnuts is the best way to make chocolate taste even more chocolatey. Dutch-process cocoa powder and chopped high-quality bittersweet chocolate are accented with instant espresso powder and roasted hazelnuts. The hazelnuts give a nutty textural difference that is so satisfying with the silky cake.
The foundation of this recipe is high-quality chocolate. To make the best cake, you’ll need to use the best chocolate. If you like semisweet chocolate more than bittersweet, feel free to use that. Just be sure to find whole chocolate bars and chop your chocolate yourself. Chocolate chips have stabilizers in them to help keep their shape, which you do not want in your cake.
Topping the cake is a chocolate glaze that is also coffee-scented with the use of instant coffee granules. The espresso powder and instant coffee have different levels of intensity, which works well in such a rich cake. Once the chocolate glaze firms on top of the cake, it becomes fudgy and decadent.
Providing the greatest textural contrast are the roasted hazelnuts on top. By slow-roasting your nuts yourself, you are gaining so much flavor. Simply add some whole hazelnuts to a dry saucepan over medium-low heat and toss every 2-5 minutes until the nuts take on a deeper color. Remove, chop, and garnish your cake with this special topping.
Make this cake for a crowd, especially if you have a gluten-free friend or family member. Everyone should be able to enjoy a rich dessert, and this one is one of the best. Coffee and chocolate lovers will swoon over this flourless chocolate espresso cake!
For the Chocolate Glaze:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch round baking pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment that matches the size of the pan. Grease the top of the parchment too, and set it aside.
Chop your chocolate from whole, as it will melt much easier and silkier. Add your chopped chocolate and butter to a microwave-safe bowl and melt for 20-second intervals in the microwave, stirring in between until totally melted. Allow it to cool slightly.
Add the sugar, salt, espresso powder, and vanilla to the melted chocolate. Stir well with a whisk. Add the eggs and mix until everything is totally combined. Be sure the chocolate is cooled enough that it won’t cook the eggs. Finally, mix in the Dutch-pressed cocoa.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes, until the middle of the cake registers 200 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer and there is a thin crust on the top of the cake.
Remove from the oven and let the cake cool for 5 minutes in the pan.
Using a paring knife, run it along the edges of the pan to loosen the cake. Invert the cake onto a serving plate. The crust on top now becomes the bottom of the cake. Allow it to cool completely before making the glaze.
To make the glaze, melt the chopped chocolate, instant coffee granules, and heavy cream together in a bowl using the same microwave method as before. Stir in between each 20-second pulse until totally smooth.
Spread the glaze over the top and immediately top with the roasted hazelnuts. Allow the glaze to firm up for at least 2 hours before serving.