Crunchy meringue, silky mousse, moist chocolate cake and decadent ganache give flavour and texture to this ultimate cake, which is well worth the effort to make. You'll find already skinned roasted hazelnuts in some supermarkets. If not, just follow the tip, below.
- Portion size 18 servings
- Credits : Canadian Living Magazine: December 2013
Chocolate Cake: Grease 10-inch (3 L) springform pan; line bottom with parchment paper. Set aside. In bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Whisk in 1 cup water, oil and vanilla; stir in vinegar. Scrape into prepared pan.
Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Run sharp knife around edge. Remove from pan; let cool completely on rack.
Make-ahead: Store in airtight container for up to 24 hours.
Cut cake in half horizontally to make 2 layers.
Hazelnut Meringue: Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Using 10-inch (3 L) springform pan as guide, trace circle onto paper. Turn paper over. In bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar, 2 tbsp at a time, until stiff glossy peaks form. Fold in hazelnuts and vanilla. Spoon onto circle, smoothing top.
Bake on bottom rack in 225°F (110°C) oven until dry and crisp, 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Turn off oven; let cool in oven for 2 hours.
Make-ahead: Store in airtight container in cool dry place for up to 5 days.
Mousse: Meanwhile, in small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 2 tbsp water; set aside. In heatproof bowl over saucepan of hot (not boiling) water, melt hazelnut spread with 3 tbsp water until smooth; stir in butter.
In microwave, warm gelatin on high until dissolved, about 20 seconds; whisk into hazelnut spread mixture. Set aside and keep warm. (Mixture may separate while standing; whisk to combine.) Whip cream; whisk one-third into hazelnut spread mixture. Fold inremaining whipped cream.
Line bottom of 10-inch (3 L) greased springform pan with parchment paper. Place bottom cake layer in pan; pour 1 cup of the mousse over top. Place meringue layer in pan, trimming to fit if necessary; pour 1 cup of the mousse over top. Top with remaining cake layer; top with remaining mousse. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.
Make-ahead: Wrap in plastic wrap and overwrap in foil. Freeze for up to 2 weeks. Thaw overnight in refrigerator; continue with recipe.
Meanwhile, place chocolate in bowl.In small saucepan, bring cream to boil; pour over chocolate and whisk until smooth. Let stand, whisking occasionally, until ganache is thickened slightly, about 20 minutes. Run sharp knife around cake; remove from pan and set on rack over parchment paper.
Pour ganache over top, smoothing top and sides with palette knife. Refrigerate until almost set and ganache is still shiny yet no longer jiggles, about 30 minutes.
Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
Candied Hazelnuts: Meanwhile, in shallow saucepan, dissolve sugar and salt in 3 tbsp water over medium-high heat. Add hazelnuts; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is light golden, about 8 minutes. Spread nut mixture on parchment paper–lined baking sheet.
Let cool. Coarsely chop; sprinkle over top of cake.
Nutritional facts per each of 18 servings: about
- Fibre 3 g
- Sodium 131 mg
- Sugars 37 g
- Protein 6 g
- Calories 487.0
- Total fat 31 g
- Potassium 263 mg
- Cholesterol 43 mg
- Saturated fat 11 g
- Total carbohydrate 49 g
- Iron 14.0
- Folate 11.0
- Calcium 6.0
- Vitamin A 11.0