ś cup sugar, divided, plus more for coating the pan
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
8 ounces gianduja or milk chocolate
8 ounces unsalted butter
2 ounces espresso or strong coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 eggs, separated
? cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
Whipped cream, for garnish
Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish
Chopped toasted hazelnuts, for garnish, optional


1. Several hours before serving or the night before, spray a 10-inch springform pan with pan release and coat the inside of the pan with sugar.
2. When you are ready to bake the cake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Melt the chocolates with the butter, espresso or coffee and vanilla in the top of a double boiler.
3. While the chocolate is melting, place the egg yolks and half of the sugar in a clean mixing bowl of an electric mixer. Using a whisk attachment, whisk the yolks until they are pale yellow and make ribbons when you lift the whisk, about 3 minutes. Stir in the melted chocolates and the chopped hazelnuts; set aside.
4. Clean the mixing bowl very well. Add the egg whites and whip with the remaining sugar until the mixture forms soft, shiny peaks. Fold the whites into the chocolate mixture. Gently pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a cake tester comes out with some batter attached, 25 to 30 minutes. The cake will puff up a little and slightly crack on top. There should be a slight jiggle in the middle. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool to room temperature. It will fall as it cools. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. 5. Remove from the refrigerator just before serving. Use a hot wet knife to slice it, and serve the slices garnished with whipped cream, confectioners’ sugar and chopped toasted hazelnuts.
Joe Simone notes that this cake, like a souffl», will puff when it bakes and collapse as it cools. Be careful not to overcook it; when it cracks on top, insert a toothpick in the center. If the middle is still slightly runny, the cake is done. Gianduja chocolate is a combination of chocolate and hazelnut paste. If you cannot find it, you may substitute an equal amount of additional bittersweet chocolate and increase the amount of hazelnuts. The cake freezes well; allow it to cool completely, wrap it in two layers of plastic wrap and freeze for up to one month.
Fallen Chocolate Hazelnut
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