Monday, January 14, 2008

Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake

This was a really tasty cake. Subtle Hazelnut flavors mingled really well with the rum syrup and Nutella filling. It is a bit of an epic cake to make, but well worth it.

Ingredients: Sponge
1/2 cup cake flour
4 large eggs, at room temp. and separated
200g (6.5 oz) roasted, skinned, and ground hazelnuts
210g sugar

Ingredients: Syrup
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
Squeeze of lemon juice
2 Tbs. rum

Ingredients: Filling
Nutella (small container)

Ingredients: Chocolate Glaze
375g (12oz) semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup unsalted butter
2 Tbs. light corn syrup

Method: Sponge
1. Preheat the oven to 350F, butter the bottom and the sides of a 9 inch springform, cut out a piece of parchment paper to fit the base, and then butter that as well. Then lightly flour the inside of the pan.
2. Sift the flour onto a piece of parchment paper and set aside.
3. In a bowl whisk the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of sugar together (the ideal is light, and thick. This will take around 5 min).
4. Whisk in the vanilla extract.
5. Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment set on medium high beat the egg whites until soft peaks are formed (the volume should have tripled by this time as well).
6. Keep whisking and slowly pour in the remaining sugar (1/4 cup). Beat until the whites are stiff and hold their shape (you should be able to turn the bowl upside down without the whites falling out).
7. Using a fork combine the ground hazelnuts and flour.
8. With a rubber spatula quickly fold 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the yolk sugar mixture.
9. Fold in 1/2 the hazelnut/flour mixture, fold in another 1/3 of the whites, then the other 1/2 of the flour mixture and finally the last of the egg whites.
10. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for between 20-30min (check at 20 and see if a toothpick comes out clean).
11. Remove the cake from the oven and promptly run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen, and then take the cake out of the pan (invert onto a wire rack - remove the parchment paper, then invert once more onto another wire rack).
12. Cool cake completely.

Method: Rum Syrup
1. Place a small saucepan on the stove, and set it to high heat. Place the water and sugar together in the saucepan. Stir, and bring to a boil. Take the saucepan off the heat once the sugar has been dissolved.
2. Stir in the lemon juice and rum.
3. Let cool.

Method: Chocolate Glaze
1. Using a double boiler that has slow simmering water in the bottom, place all the ingredients in it (chocolate, butter, corn syrup).
2. Melt together whilst stirring constantly.
3.Let it cool to 92F (33C) before using.

Method: Assembly
1. Cut the sponge horizontally in half.
2. Poke holes all over the sponge (the inside of the sponge where the filling will go. Make sure you do both halves of the sponge) with either a toothpick or a small, sharp knife.
3. Using a pastry brush, brush on the rum syrup.
4. Scrape out the Nutella from the container and place in a microwave proof dish. Microwave for around 15seconds until it is a spreadable consistency.
5. Spread the Nutella on the cake.
6. Place the halves together.
7. Making sure the chocolate glaze is 90F make a crumb coating. This mean that you place a small amount of the glaze in the center of the cake and spread it thinly over the top of the cake. Refrigerate until firm (30 min).
8. Making sure the cake is on a wire rack, and the the glaze is around 90F (you can microwave it at 5 second intervals to ensure it is 90F).
9. Pour half the glaze in the center of the cake and tilt back and forth making sure to cover the cake with the glaze.
10. Smooth the sides with and icing spatula.
11. Place in the refrigerator for 30min to set.
12. Repeat step 9, but do not smooth with an icing spatula, if you want to add whole hazelnuts to decorate, now is the time to di it so that they adhere to the surface.
13. Place in the refrigerator.
14. Serve when the glaze has set, and for a better flavor serve at room temp. Also make sure to cut the cake with a hot knife!
Recipe from Williams-Sonsoma "Essentials of Baking" pp.234-5, pp. 308-9.


Patricia Scarpin said...

The cake looks divine! I love how shiny the icing is.

Anonymous said...

I was lucky enough to taste this, and Rhid, this was your best yet. Amazing cake.

Evelin said...

It looks really great! I've tried making something similar and I do recommend adding compote pers between the layers. just delicious!

rhid said...

Thanks Matt - it's so nice to get feedback from people - it's great to know what people liked and didn't. Always room for improvement!

Helene said...

Superb! Anything with hazelnuts and Nutella is just #1 in my book!