This Hazelnut Chocolate Cake quite simply the best chocolate dessert I have ever had.
This one is a slightly simplified version of it. The only technique that you really need to know for this is chocolate tempering. Simply put, the chocolate you buy is already in temper. But if you want to melt it to coat truffles, or in this cake, make chocolate discs, it needs to be in temper first.
This means that you have to raise the temperature of milk chocolate to 40-50C, bring it down to 25C and then gently bring it back up to 30C, which is the working temperature for milk chocolate. By doing this the fat crystals realign themselves and the resulting set chocolate will have a lovely shine and crisp snap as opposed to being streaky and pliable.
What makes this cake so special for me is the layer that’s spread on the dacquoise – it’s a mix of milk chocolate, butter, hazelnut paste, toasted hazelnuts, praline and feuilletine. While you can make your own hazelnut paste and praline, feuilletine is the wildcard.
I admit, making this cake is a bit of an effort, and something that warrants an occasion, but if you’re a fan of hazlenuts + milk chocolate like me, you are going to love this.
Heavenly Hazelnut Chocolate Cake
- 90g ground hazelnuts
- 100g icing sugar
- 100g egg whites
- 35g caster sugar
- A handful of chopped hazelnuts
- Whisk together the ground hazelnuts and icing sugar.
- In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and add the sugar slowly into the bowl. Whisk until stiff peaks form.
- Fold the hazelnut and icing sugar mixture into the whites and then transfer to a piping bag with a plain tip nozzle number 10.
- To make a large cake, use a 16cm ring size, to make smaller cakes use 7.5cm ring.
- Pipe the cake batter inside the ring, starting from outside inwards. Bake at 180C for 10-15 minutes depending on the size.
- The cake will rise quite a bit while baking and deflate on cooling. This is normal.
- Once cooled, you can proceed with assembling the cake.
- 35g milk chocolate
- 15g butter
- 60g hazelnut praline
- 60g hazelnut paste (pate de noisette)
- 60g feuilletine
- 25g toasted hazelnuts, chopped finely
- Melt the milk chocolate and butter together. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir till it forms a consistent paste.
- 200g milk chocolate
- 300g heavy cream
- Bring the cream to a boil and then pour it over the chocolate in a bowl. Whisk together. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. You can do this the previous night.
- 400g milk chocolate
- Temper the chocolate (instructions above)
- Spread the chocolate on acetate sheets (plastic transparencies) in a thin layer with an offset spatula.
- When it has set slightly, use the cake ring to carve the disc shapes. Refrigerate until completely set.
- Then peel off the acetate sheet to use the discs. Use the shiny side up.
Assembling the Cake
- Spread a layer of the hazelnut paste on the dacquoise, followed by a disc of chocolate.
- Next, pipe the ganache over with a star shaped nozzle.
- Place another disc on top.