The Flourless Cake That Will Make You the Hero of Friendsgiving

For your next Friendsgiving potluck bring this delicious, rich Flourless Hazelnut Chocolate Cake. We all have that friend who very vocally can't eat gluten, for one reason or another, legitimate or not. Please that friend, and your gluten loving buddies, with this decadent creation. You will truly be the hero of the meal by providing a gluten free option and a delicious dessert. 

cake

Will they miss the overplayed pumpkin pie? Most likely not since they will probably have it for Thanksgiving or any other occasion in October and November. Personally, I have had at least 5 opportunities to eat pumpkin pie and it's not even Thanksgiving yet. Do something different and unique. It will be a dessert to remember, and who knows, maybe it will be expected at next year's function. 

I made this for a joint birthday party for which I was asked to prepare dessert. I was planning to make a from scratch Banana Cream Pie, a favorite of the birthday boy, but was aware that there were a few gluten free people attending as well, including the birthday girl. That is why I made the flourless cake, as an alternative for gluten free and those not interested in Banana Cream Pie. However, almost all 21 guests tried it and were amazed by how moist, rich, and, frankly, chocolately it was. I even converted a flourless nonbeliever to have more faith in flourless desserts. 

chocolate

The best part of this cake is the versatility. Although the hazelnuts scream "fall," it can be served as a birthday cake, Thanksgiving treat, or even a classy Christmas dessert. 

This cake has some serious depth and three separate parts. First, the rich chocolate cake. Second, the dreamy, silky "frosting" for the top. And third, a simple hazelnut brittle to bring the wow factor. I kept the three recipes separate since they are all optional, the cake can be a standalone dessert without the frosting and brittle. And, the brittle is great on its own too. 

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Flourless Hazelnut Chocolate Cake (adapted from Hummingbird High)
Gluten free chocolate goodness!
Ingredients
  • 1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 C salted butter
  • 1/3 C Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 7 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 C granulated sugar
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 F and spray 9" springform pan with cooking spray.2. Combine chocolate, butter, Frangelico, and vanilla in a double boiler over medium high heat. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove top half of double boiler and set contents aside to cool.3. Combine eggs and sugar on medium-high for about 10 minutes in a freestanding mixer with whisk attachment. 4. Fold egg mixture into lukewarm chocolate mixture with a spatula until just combined. 5. Pour into springform pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes until a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it.*6. Run a knife or spatula around pans edge to loosen cake and release spring immediately after taking it out of oven, let cool on wire rack. 7. Be careful when taking cake off of the bottom part of the springform pan. Serve with frosting and brittle. * I draped foil over cake after 45 minutes to prevent top from getting too crunchy 
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 9" cake
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Silky Chocolate Frosting (adapted from Ina Garten's recipe)
So silky and unbelievably smooth
Ingredients
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 C salted butter
  • 1/2 extra large egg white (this is approximate so try your best to get half of it)
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 t Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
  • 3/4 C powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 T unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
Instructions
1. In a double boiler, melt semisweet chocolate until smooth.  2. In a freestanding mixer with the whisk attachment, beat butter until fluffy and yellow, about 3 minutes. 3. Add egg white, vanilla, and Frangelico. Beat until fluffy.   4. Add powdered sugar and cocoa powder, beat until incorporated.  5. Add melted chocolate and beat until just combined.  6. Spread on cooled cake immediately. 
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: enough frosting for 9" cake
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Simple Hazelnut Brittle
Easy, sweet, crunchy
Ingredients
  • 1/2 C roughly chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 C granulated sugar
Instructions
1. Place a piece of foil on a cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray.  2. Sprinkle hazelnut on foil somewhat close together.  3. Heat sugar in a heavy bottom pan on medium high heat. Swirl pan to move sugar around. DO NOT touch sugar with a spatula or anything, be patient, and continue to swirl pan. Once the sugar starts to melt, it will brown quickly. Once a caramel color, quickly drizzle over nuts. 4. Let cool. Break into 6 pieces
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 pieces brittle
cake

Assembly: Carefully take cooled cake off the bottom of a springform pan and place it on the desired serving plate. Dump frosting on the cake and frost just the top in a thick layer focusing on the middle, which will likely have sunk slightly. Add hazelnut brittle as garnish. If transporting cake, bring frosting and brittle in separate containers and assemble before serving.