Sunday, 3 May 2009

Chocolate hazelnut celebration cake

We had two birthdays in the family this week, my sweetie's last Tuesday (although he'll vehemently deny it) and my mother's on Thursday (she'll probably deny it, too.) Tonight, we had a family dinner to celebrate both birthdays, so I spent this week's baking day trying a new recipe for chocolate hazelnut celebration cake.

The recipe was created by Tamara Jane, the cupcake lady, and featured on tv a few weeks ago. I thought I'd give it a try, as it involved making dark and milk chocolate ganache for decorating, something which I'd never done before. Here's the version of Tamara Jane's recipe that I made tonight.

Chocolate hazelnut celebration cake

  • 6 x 59g eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 70g roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • Milk chocolate ganache
  • 275g milk chocolate melts, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • Dark chocolate ganache
  • 200g good-quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup cream
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Grease and line a 24cm (base) springform cake pan.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes, or until pale and thick. Sift flour, cocoa and cornflour over egg mixture.
  4. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold ingredients together until just combined. Fold in milk.
  5. Spoon mixture into prepared cake pan.
  6. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes.
  7. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.
  8. Make ganaches: Place milk chocolate and cream into a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir constantly with a metal spoon until smooth. Remove from heat.
  9. Refrigerate until thick enough to spread. Repeat step 5 with dark chocolate and cream.
  10. Using a serrated knife, slice cake into 3 even rounds.
  11. Place bottom round onto a serving plate. Spread with half of the milk chocolate ganache.
  12. Sprinkle with half of the hazelnuts.
  13. Repeat with the second layer to finish with cake. Spread top and sides of cake with dark chocolate ganache.

And so it looks like any other chocolate cake, but it was quite a learning experience for me. The recipe says it serves six; mine was cut into 8 large pieces and we still struggled to get through it all!

Lessons I learned when baking this cake:
  • Use the right sized cake tin. I only had a 20 cm round tin and needed 24 cm. It makes a difference. The cake was taller than it was meant to be and needed to be cooked for an extra 15 minutes before the centre was firm enough. The outside was already cooked; I ended up covering the top with tin foil to stop it from burning. We got there in the end.

  • Tamara Jane (cake recipe author) advised us on our cupcake course to make ganache the night before and leave it to set on the kitchen bench. Maybe it's due to the cold weather lately, but mine had solidified overnight and the cream and chocolate separated. A quick burst in the microwave fixed it, but the milk chocolate ganache survived the overnight journey better.

  • Chopping hazelnuts is a thankless task. I don't yet have the knack of throwing knives around and rapidly chopping things like chefs do. Chopping up a packet of hazelnuts took was the longest task involved with this recipe!

  • I cut the cake into only three layers; I suspected that four layers (three layers of milk chocolate ganache) would turn a rich cake into a very sickly one. I think I was right. Considering that my cake was taller than intended, I'm glad I'd decided this beforehand as making the cake with the correct tin would have resulted in very thin layers and I imaged they would have disintegrated as I spread the next layer of ganache.

1 comment:

Sab said...

Mmm, looks and sounds tasty! i need to try out a new recipe again soon. Hubby has been bugging me to bake again. Sigh.