Tuesday 2 April 2013

Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge Cake

We have recently moved from Melbourne to Sydney, we're originally from Sydney so not a scary move more a coming home, but it's been a long and protracted process. The drive, a week out of suitcases in a hotel in the city, another ten days in a unit by the bay, three months with our furniture in a rental and then the final (ish) move to our house next month.  Two "haul all your cookies" moves in four months is a lot to ask but it will be worth it.  

The rental house is completely wacky, not a hint of symmetry and really messes with my head! The oven is a bit of an enigma; it has three dials but almost no markings, all worn away with time and use, I've googled manuals, experimented with the settings and bought an oven thermometer but there's not a lot to work with between mildly warm and furnace. Last weekend was my birthday and I wanted cake, a cake that was all about me, a multi layered chocolate and hazelnut cake, so I took on the oven... I was looking for a dense cake with melted chocolate in the sponge, but not so dense that it wouldn't stack, a silky ganache filling and a surprise centre with mascarpone and vanilla. The cake developed a weird almost floating crust that completely lifted off one layer as I removed it from the tin, I'd like to blame the oven, it didn't affect the flavour or texture of the cake on the whole but I'm keen to try it again in a more reliable oven. 

The cake and ganache are adapted from the Black Forest Style Xmas Berry Gateaux on the beyond fabulous What Katie ate, the ganache method is super simple and works every time, no seizing or splitting wasted chocolate! The mascarpone concoction is not original I'm sure, but evolved when I didn't have enough cream to adorn a pavlova...

Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge Cake

6 large eggs
220g caster sugar
200g dark chocolate
75g plain flour
4 tbsp cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
6 tbsp frangelico or any nut liquor
30g chocolate or gianduja, chopped into batons for decoration


175g gianduja or dark chocolate plus a tbsp milk (our local, yes local, fruit shop stocks Callebaut!!)
125ml cream
1 tbsp frangelico

mascarpone filling

125g mascarpone
125ml thickened cream
1 tbsp frangelico
1 tbsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla paste

preheat oven to 200ºC conventional, 180ºC fan forced, then grease and line the bases of three 15cm round cake tins (you could use two 20cm tins but given my nomadic life style I have only unpacked 1 kitchen box and it contained my small tins, no scales either so I'm living on the wild side..!)
melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, stir occasionally then set aside
combine cocoa and flour and sift together
using either a stand or hand held mixer, whisk the eggs on medium speed until pale and creamy  slowly add the caster sugar, continue to whisk until pale and thick  gently fold in the flour/cocoa combo using a large metal spoon, lifting from the bottom to incorporate that annoying pocket of powder that always hides down there  fold in melted chocolate
divide equally between the three tins, bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer/cake tester come out clean  cool in tins for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack  when cool drizzle 2 tablespoons of frangelico over each cake

for the ganache: chop the chocolate into small pieces and put in a heat proof bowl  heat cream in a small pan until just simmering, allow to simmer for a minute then pour over the chocolate  fight every urge you have to stir at this point and leave for 5 minutes  stir cream and chocolate together until smooth and glossy, add the milk if you used dark chocolate and the frangelico, mix until just combined

for the mascarpone filling: put all ingredients in a small bowl and whip until smooth and thick

now the fun bit, assembly: place one of the sponges on the serving plate, keep the best shaped for the top, using a star shaped tip pipe half of the ganache in a wide circle just inside the edge of the cake  fill the centre with the mascarpone filling  carefully place the second sponge on top and repeat with the  ganache and mascarpone, reserving a few tablespoons for decoration  finally top with the remaining sponge layer and dust with cocoa  using a large plain tip pipe a mound of the mascarpone filling in the centre, top with chocolate batons and serve

the cake is very rich and at it's diminutive 15cm diameter served four adults and seven children, there was not a noticeably alcoholic taste, perhaps I should have used more...


Elizabeth -SugarHero! said...

This looks amazing! I'm crazy about anything with hazelnuts, and then when you add chocolate and cream...I'm sold! I also love the chocolate shavings on top!

simmer and boyle said...

thanks so much Elizabeth! I'm crazy about hazelnuts too and pistachios and ...

domestikate said...

This looks fantastic! Hazelnuts are one of my favourite things, and they are a match made in heaven with chocolate!

simmer and boyle said...

Thanks Kate, I love them too :)

plasterer bristol said...

Now this sounds delicious, thanks for posting up this recipe.