Saturday, December 20, 2008

Chocolate Hazelnut Nutcracker Cake and a winner...

First, I want to announce the winner of the Megan Hearts Baking book. I used "random integer" and ta-dah...

Jodie ( Beansy Loves Cake) said... Fun! My daughter is only 2, but loves helping in the kitchen. What a fun book! December 15, 2008 7:30 AM

Jodie when you a get a moment please send your address to gigicakes at gmail dot com (gigicakes@gmail.com) and will mail your book ASAP!

Now, onto the cake. This is the third cake that The Cake Slice Bakers have baked as a group. This month we chose Chocolate Hazelnut Nutcracker Cake with a rum syrup.

The cake had very little flour in it. We had to grind hazelnuts to a "meal" consistency. Then we "shaved" unsweetened chocolate into the "flour" part of the cake. The cake turned out light and fluffy. After the cake cooled we brushed the tops of the cake with a rum simple syrup. (YUM) The cake was iced in a Chantilly Cream ( OMG this is the best stuff on Earth).

Since most of The Cake Slicers said the cake tasted the best the second and third day, I added a little agar-agar to the whipped cream in order to keep it from weeping. I really enjoyed this cake a lot. I called a couple of neighbors over and I served it with espresso. I can't wait to see what next month's cake will be!

Thank you for typing the recipe Katie!

Chocolate Hazelnut Nutcracker Cake

Makes one 9inch triple layer cake
Ingredients – for the cake layers
1 cup skinned hazelnuts (about 4 ounces)
10 whole graham crackers (5½ ounces), broken into pieces
1¼ cups sugar
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely grated
10 eggs, separated
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup all purpose flour
1½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking powder

Dark chocolate curls for decoration

Method – for the cake layers
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of 3 9inch cake tins. Line the base with parchment paper and dust the sides with flour, tap out any excess.
2. Spread the nuts onto a baking tray and toast for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned. Leave to cool completely. Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
3. In a food processor, grind the graham crackers to crumbs. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Add the toasted nuts to the processor (no need to wash) and add ¼ cup of sugar. Pulse until the nuts are finely ground, but do not blitz too much or else it will form a paste. Add the nuts, graham cracker crumbs and grated chocolate together in the bowl and mix.
4. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and ½ cup of sugar using an electric mixer until well blended. Add the oil and vanilla slowly, beating until ribbons begin to form on the surface of the mixture. Then, fold in the chocolate nut crumbs.
5. Place the egg whites in a clean bowl and beat until thick and foamy. Gradually add the remaining ½ cup of sugar, continuing to beat until the whites form stiff peaks. Fold a third of the egg whites into the yolk mixture and mix well to slacken the mix. Sift over the flour, spice and baking powder and fold in. Gently fold in the rest of the egg whites until no streaks remain but do not over mix.
6. Divide the batter between the three pans and bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the layers cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire wrack to cool completely.
7. To assemble the cake, place a layer on a cake stand, flat side up. Sprinkle it with a third of the rum syrup and let it all soak in for 1-2 minutes. Spread ¾ cup of crème Chantilly over the top, right to the edge. Repeat with the remaining layers, letting the syrup soak in before adding the crème.
Use the rest of the crème to cover the sides of the cake. Decorate the top with dark chocolate curls.

Rum Syrup
¼ cup sugar
¼ water
¼ cup dark rum

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Place over a medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the rum. Allow to cool before using.

Crème Chantilly
2 cups heavy cream
3 tbsp confectioners sugar
1½ tsp vanilla extract

Combine the cream, sugar and vanilla in a chilled bowl and whip until the cream is stiff but not too thick or buttery.

30 comments:

Snooky doodle said...

this cake looks great ! I love hazelnuts . yummy

Dani said...

another great cake!!!!

VeggieGirl said...

BEYOND SCRUMPTIOUS CAKE!!

Megan said...

It sounds like the cake was a huge hit - I can't wait to finish mine!

Moogie said...

Your cake looks divine, especially the thick shavings of chocolate.

Passionate About Baking said...

What a gorgeous cake Gigi...it's a winner! I LOVE chantilly creme too...just the very best in icing cakes. Love the chocolate flakes too. Bookmarked this to make one day..Have a great holiday season!

The Food Librarian said...

I loved this cake too! Yours looks fantastic!!! I love your chocolate curls too. Can't wait for the next one.

NikiTheo said...

If I could cover everything in Chantilly Cream I would.... It's sooo yummy. The first time I made it I accidentally jerked while pouring the vanilla and oh boy, could you taste the difference. But now I kinda always "jerk" just a little :)
The cake sounds great too, although I am not a fan of Rum, so I might skip that... But I have to ask, does the simple syrup help moisten the cake that much where I really should put a simple syrup on it, even if it is a plain one?

Katie said...

Your cake looks fantastic! I bet you had some very happy neighbours. Clever idea to stiffen the cream to stop it weeping.

Hannah said...

Oh my, what an impressive, towering cake! I wish I had something even half as exciting planned for my upcoming holiday dinners...

steph- whisk/spoon said...

your cake looks awesome! such fluffy layers, and love those chocolate shavings on top!

Caroline said...

Another great-looking cake! I love how thick your chocolate curls turned out, mine were a little on the wimpy side. Good idea about putting agar-agar in the Creme Chantilly, will do that next time.

Grace said...

your cake turned out so nicely! i so wish i could've made this month's cake...i mean, come on--chocolate and hazelnut makes a splendid combination!

Sherry Trifle - Lovely Cats said...

Gorgeous! I could do with a slice now.

Brilynn said...

That looks awesome! Well done!

Fran Z said...

Your cake looks so yummy- can't wait to make it!

Jo said...

Love your cake decoration and the shaved chocolate on top. Looks absolutely delish!

La Pinche Cocinera said...

Hi!! Gigi.
Great cake, beautiful..

Merry Christmas!!

eatme_delicious said...

Mmm gorgeous cake!! Chocolate shaved into the cake sounds like it would be amazing.

Bunny said...

It's beautiful Gigi!! The time just snuck up on me to fast and I didn't get this one done, I wish I would have though , it looks wonderful!

Megan said...

It's beautiful!!!

Nicole said...

Gigi,
Your cake looks wonderful. Mine is finally baked, we were going to have it for dessert tonight, but we were just too full. Hopefully tomorrow I will get a photo and it will taste half as good as it looks.
-Nicole

eliza said...

that looks devilishly delicious! i won't say no for a bite :)

Not Another Omnivore said...

That is a very imposing and amazing looking cake!

NAOmni

Rico said...

definitly a winner and me a whiner ...as I am whining about not having been offered a little of this glorious cake...your luck is that you shared the recipe otherwise I would have fallen out with you :)

Sophie said...

Your cake came out gorgeous, very pretty!

Sophie said...

beautiful and flawless, it looks so professional :).

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