The star of this cake is the crunchy, nutty filling – reminiscent of crushed Ferrero Rochers sandwiched between dark cake layers that aren’t too sweet.
The whole thing is then covered with a luscious water ganache that’s intensely chocolatey. This ganache is made using water instead of cream, and nooo your ganache will not seize up. Instead you’ll get a frosting that isn’t too rich, where the chocolate takes center stage (so get a good chocolate).
Had to give myself a little pat on the shoulder for thinking of sugar cones as a stand-in for feuilletine. Feuilletine is often used in cakes to add some crunch…and basically tastes exactly like sugar cones. Yeah it wasn’t that much of an innovation thinking of a substitute.
I went a little bit too enthusiastic with the decoration, dashing my lofty plans of an elegant cake and instead getting this wild creation.
I got this recipe from David Lebovitz (he of all things chocolate) and just added the hazelnut crunch in the middle.
Ingredients (makes a 2-layered 8″ cake)
- 9 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (66g)
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour (188g)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 4 oz unsalted butter, room temperature (113g)
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (300g)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup strong coffee
- 1/2 cup milk
- 10 oz bittersweet chocolate, I used 70% (283g)
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 unsalted butter (170g)
Hazelnut crunch layer
- 175g hazelnut paste/butter
- 175g feuilletine (I used some crushed sugar cones as a substitute, see notes)
- 75g white chocolate
- Pinch of salt
- Sift the cocoa powder, cake flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together.
- Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time until incorporated.
- Stir the coffee and milk together. Stir half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Mix the milky coffee in. Then stir in the remaining dry ingredients.
- Bake at 180°C for 25 mins (see notes).
- Melt the chocolate with the water over a double boiler. Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the chocolate until smooth.
- Cool for 1h at room temperature until spreadable.
Hazelnut crunch layer
- Melt the white chocolate either over a double boiler or very carefully in the microwave on the lowest setting.
- Mix in the hazelnut butter and salt.
- Stir in the feuilletine.
- Put a little bit of frosting on your plate so your cake is secured to the plate.
- Spread a layer of frosting onto your first layer of cake. Spread a layer of the hazelnut crunch layer on top. Then place your second layer on top of that.
- Cover the whole thing in frosting and decorate. I used cocoa nibs, toasted hazelnuts, Maldon salt, and some leftover feuilletine.
- If you don’t have feuilletine, you can substitute with some ice cream sugar cones like I did, or with crispy rolled crepes (the biscuits that kind of look like this or this).
- The hazelnut butter I used was the one from whole foods, where it’s made from pure ground nuts.
- My cake took closer to 35 mins to bake, though that might be my oven’s problem.
- My ganache did not set at room temperature and I had to refrigerate it to get it to the right consistency. Since I refrigerated it the ganache was no longer shiny and pretty D: Some other people seems to have the problem as well, although many do not have this issue. For me I think it’s because my kitchen’s pretty warm right now. To solve this issue you can either refrigerate it like I did or add icing sugar to desired stiffness.
- This cake tastes best at room temperature, eaten on the day it was made.