Mini Chocolate, Hazelnut Crunch Cake

AKA… Jacks Birthday Cake!

Okay so Jack’s birthday was over a month ago… i have been meaning to write this post since his birthday but better late than never eh! 😉

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I was feeling adventurous for this cake and took to my favourite website, Pinterest for inspiration! I found a photo of a cake (looked like this one obviously!) ,it was such an impressive cake and would satisfy Jack’s sweet tooth perfectly! I just had to re-create it..

I absolutely adore chocolate and hazelnut as a combination.. basically Nutella! I knew by looking at it, it would have to be an Nutella Ganache.. something me and my family are very fond of :p

So behold! The 3 layered decadent, moist chocolate cake, with crunchy nutella ganache, hazelnut crumb and these cool hazelnut spikes

IT WORKED TOO!!

I must add, I did attempt this in my usual large cake tins, but after much thought it would have needed far more than 3 layers to achieve the look I wanted. Plus…. I burned it by being careless. #oops. Jack suggested making a smaller cake, luckily i had a mini 11cm cake tin hiding in the back of my cupboard so I got rid of my prior cake mix and started fresh:)
It worked out well, considering it’s just me and Jack now and so making a large cake would have been wasteful! (not to mention more unhealthy than this already is, hahaha)

The hazelnut spikes were probably the best/most fun to make. I had to find a good caramel recipe as funnily enough I have never attempted to make caramel before or even tried to make ‘hazelnut spikes’

Good old google eh! with one quick search i found a recipe for them and they were far easier than I thought:) Mine didn’t turn out as long and dramatic as the ones i found online (probably because i’m clumsy and impatient!)

#butterfingers

all the same, i was happy with the turn out of these 🙂

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Like i said, the cake is mini only 11cm across! In my opinion having to make a smaller cake feels so much more manageable, it makes the stacking far easier, lining them up and placing them easier too!

It is made with my foolproof chocolate cake recipe, but i did have only one cake tin so I had to cook 3 cakes separately! Probably worth getting more than one cake tin before you start this 😉

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Overall, this cake came out exactly how the picture looked! It tasted amazing and was super fun to do! If you’re a fan of ferrero roche’ then this is the cake for you ❤

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Please note: The measurements are for a cake of 11cm! Should you be baking a larger, the quantities will need to be changed 🙂

Ingredients:

For the cake-

  • 80g good quality cocoa powder ( I used bourneville!)
  • 8tbsp freshly boiled water
  • 350g unsalted, softened butter
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 350g self raising flour

For the nutella ganache-

  • 180ml of double cream
  • 100g dark chocolate, chopped roughly (real chocolate! not cooking stuff)115g nutella

    For the hazelnut spikes/praline-

  • 200g caster sugar
  • Roughly 20 skinless and lightly toasted hazelnuts.

Method:

  1. For the cake, preheat the oven to 160 degrees fan and in a large mixing bowl add the cocoa powder and freshly boiled water. Give a mix until a smooth paste has formed. Add the butter and sugar and beat (by hand or using a mixer!) until smooth, no lumps and fully incorporated!
  2. Alternate the flour and eggs, mixing well between each one to ensure its mixed properly. Once all mixed, add the baking powder and give one final mix!
    Phew, cake mix done!
  3. Grease and line the cake tins, if you’re using more than one cake tin then divide equally between each one. If just using one (like i did!) then fill the tin accordingly, roughly half way to 3/4.
  4. Bake in the oven for 20/25 minutes, depending on the oven they may need slightly longer! basically until they are springy to the touch and cooked through 🙂
  5. Whilst the cakes are cooking/cooling it would be best to make the ganache. In a small pan, add the double cream and heat until hot (but not boiling or bubbling!) pour over the chocolate and leave for a few minutes. Mix it until the cream and chocolate have swirled together into pure chocolate heaven.
    It is hard to resist by this point…
    Heat the nutella up a little bit in the microwave and mix into the ganache, leave in the fridge to cool and thicken considerably. It will need to be thick but spreadable for the cake.
  6. Before making the hazelnut spikes, lay some baking paper on the floor underneath a large surface to catch the excess caramel, I done mine off the edge of the table was and it worked perfectly. As well as baking paper you will need something to keep the hazelnuts/cocktail sticks attached to the surface so I would suggest sticky tape or even a heavy pan.
  7. To make the hazelnut spikes, heat a pan (relatively large) on a medium heat until hot. Add the sugar and here comes the waiting game.. leave the sugar to dissolve and resist the urge to mix! It will cause it to crystallize, you can swirl the pan occasionally but any more and you will risk ruining it!
    Once it has turned to a bright amber, take off the heat and let thicken until the consistancy of golden syrup.
  8. Take the cocktail sticks and push halfway through each hazelnut. Dredge in the caramel and tape or attach to the edge of the surface, leaving enough room for the caramel to ooze down. Do the same with the rest of the hazelnuts and if the caramel gets too thick, heat gently to loosen again.
  9. With the remaining hazelnuts, chuck them in the pan and coat in the caramel. Pour onto some baking paper and leave to set.
  10. Once set, put into a resealable food bag and bash with a rolling pin until it looks like… praline? but still has a few good chunks in it!
    This is one longggggg recipe!
  11. Now that the hazelnuts are almost done, the ganache should be thick and the cakes should be coooooled 🙂 Its time for the best bit.
  12. Even off the tops of the cakes, place one on the cake board/serving plate. mix some of the praline into the ganache until it is back to spreadable state and spread a thick decent layer over the first cake (you’ll need to visually split the ganache into 3 equal parts!) . Repeat with the other two until you have the cake assembled. (see photo above!)
  13. Once you have the assembled cake, spread the remaining on top of the cake. Take the hazelnut praline and arrange on the top of the cake in a circle leaving the middle free.
    Remove the hazelnuts from the surface (carefully!) and trim the ends, should they need it, to create a neater spike. Using the cocktail sticks push into the centre of the cake.
  14. using the rest of the praline, arrange how you want! Sticking some to the side of the ganache, sprinkling on the board. That bit is completely up to you 🙂

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    WOW. That was a long recipe! Its amazing some of the stuff you find on pinterest, this was just one of those things!
    I hope you have been inspired to create this or something similar!

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    If you haven’t already please do follow and check out my other recipes 🙂 Have a good rest of the week!

    Lizzie X

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