HAZELNUT CHOCOLATE CAKE
Makes a 3 layered 15cm round cake
250g unsalted butter, softened
225g (1 cup) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
375g (2½ cups) self-raising flour
100g (1 cup) Lucky Hazelnut Meal
250ml (1 cup) milk
45g (⅓ cup) Lucky Natural Hazelnuts, roasted and chopped (to decorate)
120g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
150g unsalted butter, softened
200g (1⅓ cups) icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
75g (⅓ cup) caster sugar
2 tbsp water
45g (⅓ cup) Lucky Natural Hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- Preheat fan-forced oven to 140°C. Grease 3 x 15cm baking pans and line the bases with baking paper.
- Using an electric mixer, mix together butter and sugar until fluffy and combined. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla, flour, hazelnut meal and milk and beat till mixture is smooth.
- Divide uniformly between prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes (or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean). Remove pans from oven. Leave aside for 10 minutes. Gently loosen the sides of the cake with a blunt knife and turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make Chocolate Frosting – Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, but don’t let it harden.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the butter till smooth and creamy (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla essence. Add the chocolate and beat on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until frosting is smooth and glossy.
- To make the Hazelnut Praline – Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Place sugar and water in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and starts boiling.
- Using a pastry brush dipped in water, brush sides of pan to remove any sugar crystals. Increase heat to medium and boil for 5-6 minutes until caramel starts to form. Stir in hazelnuts, remove from heat and pour mixture onto the prepared tray. Take extra care, as the mixture is extremely hot.
- Leave aside until cool and hard. Break into pieces and press down on the top of the cake.
- Assembly – On a cake plate or stand, place a little frosting in the centre and place one layer of the cake (so the cake does not move about while frosting).
- Spread about ¼ cup of chocolate frosting. Place the second layer. Repeat. Place the last layer upside down to get a flat top.
- Spread chocolate frosting on the sides and top of the cake.
- Decorate with roasted chopped hazelnuts by pressing them with your palm against the sides (lower half) of the cake. Top with hazelnut praline and chocolate sauce (optional).
Recipe by @sugaretal