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Last year, I entered my first baking contest at the Orange County Fair.  I won 1st place in my category of Cakes (specialty - sugar free) and then First place in the entire Division of Cakes.  Meaning my cake was judged to be the best cake (sugar free or not) that is quite a compliment for a sugar free baker!.  Here's the winning recipe.  Enjoy!

Hazelnut Fudge Cake
4eggs, separated
1 cup hazelnut meal/flour
1/3 cup erythritol
1/8 tea cream of tarter
2 tea vanilla
I tea butter extract
1/3 cup sugar free (Splenda sweetened)  maple syrup
2tbs + 2 tea agave, I like Madhava''s Amber Agave
1/2 cup Sunspire Grain sweetened chocolate chips
2 tbs evaporated fat free milk
1/3 cup Hazelnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Toast 1/3 cup hazel nuts on cookie sheet or foil lined pan for 10 minutes (set aside to cool). 
  2. Spray a 9” square pan with non stick spray. 
  3. In a medium bowl mix just to combine 1 cup hazelnut flour, 1 tsp ea butter and vanilla extract, 4egg yolks and 1/3 cup sugar free maple syrup. 
  4. In a separate bowl beat egg whites, erythritol, cream of tartar and 1 tsp of the vanilla with electric beater on high until stiff peaks are formed. 
  5. Add about a half to one cup of egg whites to Hazelnut mixture and blend to help "lighten" the mixture.  Once combined add remaining egg whites and gently fold until just combined. 
  6. Pour into sprayed square pan (or lined and sprayed muffin tins)bake 350 for 25 minutes (20 for muffin tins)or until lightly browned and springs back when lightly pressed. 
  7. While cake is cooking combine chocolate chips, milk and agave in small microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 30 seconds. Stir to combine (1-2 minutes) mixture will pull together and thicken as you stir.  Continue stirring until it cools and thickens slightly.  Set aside at room temp. 
  8. Peel husks off of hazelnuts (some may remain, but remove as much as you can).  Chop roughly, in about fourths.  Make sure to not chop too finely. 
  9. Cool cake to almost room temp (it will deflate and flatten to just under the pan edge, this is expected).  Pour chocolate glaze and spread evenly pushing mixture just too edges but not over the sides.  Top evenly with toasted nuts. Refrigerate until completely chilled. Cut into 16 squares.

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