Recipe: Hazelnut cake

By Rosalind Rathouse, April 15, 2011

Long before carrot cakes were in vogue, my mother invented this wonderful hazelnut cake. She realised that adding finely grated carrot to the finely chopped nuts produced a beautifully moist cake.

If you don't grease the tin, the cake clings better, and rises beautifully.

Don't panic - when cool it comes away easily from the sides of the tin.

Do remember to place a piece of greaseproof paper or bakewell at the bottom of the tin to stop sticking there.

For a rich dessert, I top the cake with a dark chocolate ganache. My Mum used a thin rum icing drizzled over the top which is also delicious, not so rich - and parve.


● 5 eggs, separated
● 90g caster sugar
● pinch salt
● 250g ground hazel nuts - finely ground but not to a paste
● 1 large finely grated carrot (250g)
● a squeeze of lemon juice

Chocolate Ganache (optional)
● 250g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
● 250ml double cream

Icing (optional):
● 250g icing sugar
● few drops boiling water
● 1 tspn rum


● Grease and paper the base of a 23cm springform tin and heat the oven to 180C.
● Beat the yolks, sugar and salt until snow white and moussey and fold in the ground hazelnuts and then the grated carrot.
● Beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the squeeze of lemon juice and beat until stiff. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.
● Pour into the tin, heaping the mixture in the centre.
● Bake in oven for up to 1 hour - check after 45 minutes.
● Remove from oven and cool completely before icing.
● Make the rum icing by mixing the icing sugar with the rum and a few drops of boiling water. It should have a thin spreading consistency. Spread thinly over the cake, allowing the icing to drip over the edges. It will harden as it dries.
● For the ganache, bring the cream to scorching point (just before it boils) and pour over the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Whisk to combine until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Spread over the cake once it has thickened a little – which it will as it cools.

Rosalind Rathouse is the owner of Cookery School at Little Portland Street, London

Last updated: 2:45pm, May 10 2011