Preparation / Directions:
*note: Praline paste is sold in professional baker's supply stores, and you might find it in a well-stocked delicatessen. To make your own, caramelize 1/2 cup sugar with 1/4 cup water. When the caramel is well browned, stir in 1 cup toasted hazelnuts. Pour the mixture out onto a cookie sheet to cool thoroughly. Break the mixture into pieces and grind to a paste in a food processor.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan.
Melt the chocolate, praline paste, cream, and butter together in a double boiler over lightly simmering water. Remove from the heat.
In a large bowl or electric mixer, bet the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and continue to beat to the stiff peak stage. Add the egg yolks and beat for two minutes.
Fold half of the chocolate mixture and half of the nuts into the beaten eggs. Repeat with the remaining chocolate and nuts. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until not quite set in the middle, about 45 minutes. Let cool in the pan.
Remove the cake from the pan and dust with powdered sugar. Serve at room temperatur