Pine Nut & Hazelnut Cake

Serves 8


  • 125 g/4 oz. / ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 125 g/4 oz. /generous ¾ cup skinned hazelnuts
  • 15 g/ ½ oz. /scant 2 tbsps. pine nuts
  • 125 g/4 oz. /scant 2/3 cup caster/superfine sugar
  • 4 large/extra-large eggs, separated
  • 25 g/1 oz. /generous 1/8 cup sifted plain/all-purpose flour
  • 125 g/4 oz. / ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • grated zest of 1 small orange
  • 4 tbsps. apricot jam/jelly
  • 1 tbsp. orange juice
  • 40 g/1 ½ oz. dark/semisweet dark chocolate, grated


Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6, 15 minutes before baking. Lightly grease and baseline a 25 cm/10 inch shallow cake tin/pan. Place all the nuts on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 6-8 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven, leave to cool, then chop finely.

Place the butter in a mixing bowl and beat in 75 g/3 oz. / generous 1/i cup of the sugar. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the flour. Place the ricotta in a separate bowl and stir until light and creamy. Add the chopped nuts together with the orange zest, then stir into the flour mixture.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then carefully stir into the mixture. Stir lightly until the egg whites are thoroughly incorporated. Spoon the mixture into the tin and tap lightly on the surface to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the top is firm to the touch. Remove and leave to cool before turning out, discarding the lining paper. Place on a wire rack.

Heat the jam/jelly and orange juice, then rub through a sieve and use to brush over the cake. Place the grated chocolate on a piece of baking parchment and use to coat the cake completely in the chocolate. Serve.