January 11, 2014

Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch Cake

This cake is one of my few 'original' creations (original here meaning that I tweak various recipes then smoosh them all together) and boy, is it good.  It's a combination of moist chocolate cake, a crunchy chocolate-hazelnut layer and chocolate mousse to top it all off. 

Ingredients - cake (20 cm (8 inch) cake) (recipe adapted from The Australian Women's Weekly Cakes & Slices Cookbook)
60g dark chocolate
63 butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
166g caster sugar
1 egg
155g self raising flour
95mL milk

Ingredients - crunchy (recipe adapted from Pierrick Boyer)
220g praline paste
115g paillete feuilletine
35g butter
50g dark chocolate

Ingredients - mousse (recipe adapted from Pierrick Boyer via Taste le Tour 2008)
100g dark chocolate
100g butter
2 egg whites
50g caster sugar

Method - cake
1. Butter a 20cm round cake tin and line the bottom with baking paper, preheat the oven to 190C (375F).

2. Melt the chocolate and set aside to cool.

3. Cream the butter and sugar with the vanilla essence until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and beat until combined.

4. Fold half the flour into the batter, then all the milk and the remaining flour.

5. Mix the cooled chocolate in until combined.

6. Spread the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for about 30 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

7. Let cool on a wire rack and get started on the rest of the cake!

Method - crunchy
1. Melt the chocolate and butter.

2. Mix the paillette feuilletine into the butter mixture.

3. Mix the praline paste in until combined.

Method - mousse
1. Melt the chocolate and butter and mix until combined, then set aside to cool.

2. Beat egg whites until firm, then add caster sugar slowly and beat until incorporated.  Be careful not to over-beat!

3. Mix 1/3 of the egg white into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then fold it into the rest of the egg whites gently.  

All the white streaks of egg white should be gone when you're done.

Method - cake assembly
1. Cut the top of the cake so it's level.

2. Spread the crunchy on top of the cake with a metal spatula, making sure to press down so there are minimal air pockets.

3. Place a cake ring (if you have one) or the ring part of a Springform tin around the whole cake.  I have yet to possess a cake ring so I can say for sure that Springform tins work!

Spread the mousse on top of the crunchy layer.  Leave it messy-looking if you prefer...

...or use a spatula to flatten everything out.

4. Gently work the cake ring off the cake.  You may need to heat the outside or work a spatula around the inside to remove it.

5. Chill the cake to firm it up if required, then cut and serve as you like.

The best thing about this cake is definitely the crunchy layer, which tastes like heaven and Nutella, and is pretty much perfect sandwiched between the smooth mousse and the moist, sweet cake.

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