Chocolate hazelnut mousse cake

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40 min


12 to 16 wedges

* PLUS Refrigeration Time: 120 minutes, Baking Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 cup whole hazelnuts , toasted and skinned
  • 1/2 cup matzo meal
  • 2 tbsp potato starch
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 8 eggs , at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 225 g bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate , coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup coffee
  • 4 eggs eggs , at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp brandy , or Sobra liqueur
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • sliced hazelnuts


  • Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Lightly coat a 10-in. (25-cm) springform pan with oil. Place nuts in a food processor. Pulse just until ground. Place in a medium bowl. Using a fork, stir in matzo meal, potato starch and cinnamon.
  • Separate 8 eggs. Place 4 whites in a medium bowl and 8 yolks in a large bowl. Save remaining 4 whites for another use. Using an electric mixer, beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup (125 mL) sugar until mixture is thick, 2 to 3 min. Clean beaters and dry well. In another bowl, beat whites with salt until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted, 2 to 3 min. Gently stir 1/3 of egg white mixture into yolk mixture. Then gently fold in remaining egg white mixture until no streaks remain. Gradually sprinkle with hazelnut mixture while gently folding until evenly mixed. Scrape into springform pan. Smooth top.
  • Bake in centre of 375F (190C) oven until a cake tester inserted into centre of cake comes out clean, 18 to 20 min. Remove to a rack and cool cake in pan. Cake will deflate slightly. Keep cake in springform pan.
  • Then prepare mousse. Place chocolate and coffee in a large bowl. Microwave on medium until chocolate is melted, 1 to 2 min, stirring halfway through. Let cool. Separate 4 eggs, placing yolks in a small bowl and whites in a medium bowl. Using a wooden spoon, beat yolks into cooled chocolate mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in brandy. Using an electric mixer, beat whites just until soft peaks begin to form when beaters are lifted, 2 to 3 min. Gradually beat in sugar until stiff peaks form when beaters are lifted, 1 min. Stir 1/4 egg white mixture into chocolate mixture. Then, gently fold in remaining mixture until no white streaks remain. Spoon over cooled cake base. Smooth top. Cover and refrigerate until mousse is firm, at least 2 hours or overnight. Just before serving, remove from refrigerator. Remove ring from pan. Using a warm knife, slice into wedges. Garnish with sliced hazelnuts, if you wish.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 218,
  • Protein
  • 6.6 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 22.6 g,
  • Fat
  • 11.3 g,
  • Sodium
  • 46 mg.

Toronto baker Etty Danzig adapted this recipe for Passover from an April 1985 issue of Bon Appetit. An airy hazelnut cake base is topped with rich chocolate mousse. It’s like getting two luscious desserts in one.


If you’re not celebrating Passover, use all-purpose flour instead of matzo meal and brandy or coffee-flavoured liqueur instead of Sabra liquor or Passover brandy.


To skin hazelnuts, roast on a rimmed baking sheet at 350F (180C), stirring occasionally, until skins crack, 8 to 10 min. Place in centre of kitchen towel. Fold towel in half and roughly rub. Most skins should rub off but it’s OK if some nuts still have skins on.