Indulge into this divine recipe by Julie Le Clerc using Valrhona dark chocolate and Allpress coffee. The decadent cake pairs deliciously with either a coffee syrup or a balsamic, salted caramel sauce – the choice is yours!

Serves 10

100g butter
100g Valrhona dark chocolate fèves    
1 1/4 cups Girolomoni '00 flour    
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp Valrhona cocoa    
1 1/4 cups caster sugar
3/4 cup Hazels roasted hazelnuts, ground
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup strong brew Allpress coffee, cooled
1 litre quality vanilla ice cream

Coffee syrup:
1 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup strong brew Allpress coffee  
1/3 cup Frangelico (hazelnut flavoured liqueur)


Balsamic, salted caramel sauce:
1 cup double cream
1 cup white sugar
3 Tbsp cold water
4 Tbsp Giusti balsamic
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease 10 x 3/4 cup capacity mini cake tins or a muffin pan.

Melt butter and chocolate together in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until smooth and set aside to cool.

Sift flour, baking powder and cocoa into a large bowl. Stir in sugar and ground hazelnuts. Add butter and chocolate mixture, eggs, milk and coffee and whisk gently until just combined.

Spoon into prepared cake tins and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out with just a few clinging crumbs. Cool in tins for 5 minutes before turning cakes out. Trim the tops, if necessary, to flatten so that ice cream balls can sit evenly on top.

Serve cakes drizzled with hot sauce - either the Coffee Syrup or Balsamic, Salted Caramel Sauce. Top with a scoop of ice cream.

Coffee syrup:
Stir sugar and coffee in a small saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and then simmer without stirring for 3-5 minutes or until syrup thickens. Cool for 5 minutes then stir in liqueur.

If making ahead of time, reheat the syrup just before serving. 


Balsamic, salted caramel sauce:
Heat cream in a small saucepan until almost boiling. Reduce heat to low and keep the cream warm.

In a large, heavy-based saucepan, combine the sugar and water and set over medium-high heat. Don't stir the mixture as it cooks but move the pan to swirl the liquid and cook it evenly. Wash down any crystals that form on the side of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water. Heat until the mixture turns a dark golden brown. This may take 7-9 minutes.

Remove pan from the heat and very carefully pour the hot cream onto the caramel in a thin stream. Take care, as the sauce will bubble up vigorously. Whisk the sauce to combine and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in the balsamic and salt. Serve hot.

Recipe by Julie Le Clerc



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