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Member recipe

Panama Cake

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Serves 10

A recipe from my Czech grandmother. We called it Panama Cake, when it sits proudly on top of a cake board, it resembles a Panama Hat!. The recipe is unusual as it is more of a souffle recipe than a sponge, with no flour at all. Delicious but rich with the 12 eggs you need to make it!

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  • CAKE
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 90g good quality dark chocolate
  • 150g whole hazelnut kernels
  • 8 large eggs
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 60g good quality dark chocolate
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 4 large egg yolks.
  • 100g chopped blanched almonds or whole, skinned hazelnut kernels.


    1. Grate the chocolate, then the hazelnut kernels. I use a rotary microplane grater. Split the eggs into yolks and egg whites, taking care not to leave any egg yolk in the egg whites. Line two 20cm baking tins with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 160C / fan 140 / gas 3
    2. Beat the egg whites until very stiff. Then beat the yolks and sugar together before gently mixing them together, avoiding breaking down the egg white foam as much as possible using a metal spoon. Add the grated hazelnuts and chocolate with the metal spoon.
    3. Bake for around 1 hour and leave to cool completely.
    4. Put the chopped almonds (or whole hazelnuts) in a small pan with a lid and roast over the hob until nicely browned. Leave to cool.
    5. Melt the chocolate either using a bain-marie, or carefully in a microwave. Beat together the softened butter, sugar and egg yolks and then incorporate the chocolate. The mix is ready when light and fluffy.
    6. Place one cake onto a cake base, then cover with a third of the icing mixture. Place the other on top, and use the rest of the icing to cover the top and sides. Once fully covered, cover the top with the roasted nuts.

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