Hazelnut Chocolate Cake with Thyme- and Port Wine-Cherries

I am sitting here, outside it's pouring down rain. It has been raining for 2 days non-stop now, so I am assuming summer has decided to take a little break after all. In Berlin, whole train stations and tunnels were flooded. Here in the country the plants are mostly welcoming this rainy switch and everything has started to bloom and blossom. I, in turn, actually don't mind too much cozying up inside with a hot chocolate and a slice of cake. 

hazelnut cherry cake - kitchen hoopla

This is just THE cake for gloomy days like this. It is filled all the way with comforting ingredients: hazelnuts, chocolate (!!!), cherries, booze and thyme (and YES, butter too). Egg whites get whipped so the cake get's a super nice and light texture. The thyme goes really well with the dark chocolate and the boozy flavour of the port wine... Just writing about it again, I feel I need to bake another one right now :)


  • 150g ground hazelnuts
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 150g butter
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 150g cherries
  • 1-2 shots of port wine
  • few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 100ml whipping cream
  • icing sugar to dust


1. Pit the cherries and place them in a large bowl. Pick the leafs of the thyme and together with the port wine add to the cherries. Mix well. Let the cherries soak for a minimum of 1 hour, if you can, put them in a glass jar covered over night.

2. Preheat the oven to 170°C top bottom heat. Heat the butter in a small saucepan on low heat until it just melts, don't let it boil. Let it cool down slightly.

3. Separate the egg white from the yolks. Place the yolks in a large bowl together with the sugar and using the electric whisk mix until it's thick and creamy. Then slowly add the melted butter and continue whisking on low speed until all is incorporated. 

4. In small bowl mix up hazelnuts with baking powder. Chop the chocolate into small chunks. Slowly add the hazelnuts to the batter whilst whisking continuously on low speed. Then fold in the chocolate chunks.

5. Lastly whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff and foamy. Very gently fold into the batter until incorporated, but be careful not to over-mix. 

6. Line the bottom of a 18cm cake tin with baking paper. Pour in the batter, then add the infused cherries along with the thyme leafs but not too much of the liquid (a little bit is fine, but too much will make the cake soggy). 

7. Bake the cake on the middle rack of the oven for 20-25min., or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Let the cake cool down slightly before removing from the tin.

8. In the meantime whip the cream until stiff. Serve cake with whipped cream and some drizzles of the leftover port wine infusion liquid.