Today we will be making a 5 layer hazelnut chocolate cake (with Nutella frosting).
Before we begin, I would like to apologize beforehand for the lack of pictures . I didn’t think it would be so hard to remember to take a picture of every step! Will definitely be making improvements on that in future posts 🙂
It was my sisters birthday this past weekend, and I really wanted to do something special for her. I tried not to go chocolate overload on this cake, but what can I say? This girl loves chocolate.
I absolutely fell in love with how the hazelnut dacquoise layer that extra by of texture. The dacquoise itself is crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, just like a french macaron.
I made two (3in) cakes and one (6inch) cake from this recipe. You can make a bigger cake by doubling this recipe.
1c AP flour (125g)
1tsp baking powder (4g)
1tsp baking soda (8g)
1/2tsp salt (4g)
1c sugar (200)
1/3c dark chocolate (56g)
3tbsp unsalted butter (42g)
1/2tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2c hazelnut flour (182g)
1 1/2c powdered sugar (202g)
7 large egg whites (202g)
1/3c granulated sugar (67g)
1tsp cream of tartar
2 (8oz) tubs of mascarpone (500g)
1 3/4c Nutella (500g)
1 1/3c chocolate (226g)
1c heavy whipping cream (238g)
Start by preheating your oven to 350°, and lining your round cake pan and half sheet pan with parchment. It helps to first spray the pan with oil to keep the paper in place. If you’re not using a springform cake pan, I would also line the sides with parchment as well. If you don’t have any parchment paper, you can also spray the pans and dust with flour. Make sure you shake out any excess flour.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt for the chocolate cake.
In a small saucepan, dissolve the 1c sugar for the chocolate cake in 1c of water. Take it off the heat and add the chocolate and butter, stir until dissolved. Transfer into a mixing bowl, and whisk in the egg until it’s fully incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. I would use a mixer for this, just remember to start off slow, so that your dry ingredients don’t fly everywhere.
Bake in the round cake pan for about 25 min, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
While the chocolate cake is cooling, we will make the hazelnut dacquoise.
You can find the hazelnut flour at an organic food store such as Whole Foods or Sprouts. Red Bob’s Mill makes them, the same company that sells all the specialty flours and grains. If you can find any hazelnut flour, you can make your own. Recipe here.
Combine the hazelnut flour and powdered sugar and put it in the food processor. This step is not absolutely necessary, but I keeps me from wasting product, and allows you to follow the recipe more closely.
After about 30 seconds, sift the two ingredients into a large bowl.
In a mixing bowl, start whipping the egg whites on medium until foamy. Add the tsp of cream of tartar, and continue whipping until soft peaks. If you’re not sure what to look for when I say soft or stiff peaks, check out this post. I forgot to take pictures of mine, so I hope this helps!
Start slowly adding the sugar. The goal here is to add the sugar slow enough to let it dissolve into the egg whites before it becomes over whipped. You also don’t want to add it so fast that the sugar ends up at the bottom of the bowl.
Once all the sugar is added, let the mixer keep going until you reach stiff peaks. I don’t like to turn my mixer up high at this point because you definitely don’t want to over whip, and you also want to make sure the sugar is nice and dissolved.
Now add half of the meringue (whipped egg whites) into the hazelnut mixture, and fold. Really try not to deflate the egg whites, so be very gentle! Once that’s pretty much incorporated, add the rest of the egg whites and fold again.
Pour the batter onto the half sheet pan and spread as evenly as you can (don’t overwork it!). You can also pipe this mixture into circles as big as your cake, but then you will get more of the crispy edges. I prefer to have the soft center pieces in my layers, but that’s up to you.
Bake at 350° for about 30 min. To check, lightly press the top of the cake and see if the sugar has formed a light crust on the top. The edges should have started to brown. If it’s still really soft (or sticky) and pale, it’s not done yet. Let cool.
While your cakes are cooling, it time to make the Nutella frosting.
Go ahead and put the Nutella and mascarpone into a bowl and start whisking. Make sure you scape the bowl as you go so it’s all one uniform color. It should end up nice and thick like this:
At this point, try not to eat the whole thing with a spoon! I stick this in the microwave for 10 seconds and give it another good mix to make it easier to work it.
When the cakes are cool, we will start assembling the layers.
Go ahead and cut the top rounded part of the cake off with a bread knife, and start cutting the layers. cut my chocolate cake in half (2 layers). If you’re worried about the layers being uneven, you can also use dental floss. Just line it all the way around the cake and pull the two ends together like you’re tightening a shoelace. It should slice right through the cake.
On the hazelnut dacuqoise, I used the ring mold I used to bake this tiny 3in cake in and used it like a cookie cutter to cut out my layers. You can also place the cake pan on top of the dacquoise, and cut along the edge with a knife (what i did for the 6in cake)
Once you’re done cutting all your circles, flip it over to CAREFULLY remove it from the parchment.
The order in which is did the layers is:
You can choose to do this in any order and how every many layers your heart desires 🙂 Just make sure to put a layer of the Nutella frosting in-between each layer to act as a glue.
After all the layers are assembled, go ahead and put a nice coat of the frosting around the whole cake.
Don’t worry about it being a little messy, we will smooth it out later.
Pop these bad boys in the fridge for about 30 min, to harden up the frosting. When you take them out of the fridge, the frosting should be firm enough to touch and not stick to your fingers. At this point i take a piece of parchment paper and place it on a small spot of the cake, and rub it smooth with my fingers. Slowly peel back the parchment and you should have a nice clean surface. This part doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect either, because we will be cover the whole thing in ganache anyways, so pop the whole cake in the freezer. I like to make sure my cake it cold so I leave the cake in overnight, and glaze it with ganache the next day. The glazing doesn’t take very long and is possible to do right before you serve the cake.
*I layered the leftover cake pieces and frosting into a deli cup to enjoy later…when no one’s looking. 😛
I’m sure you’re exhausted by now, but you’re almost done! Trust me, it will be worth it.
We just need to glaze the cake with ganache to give it a nice clean finish.
*If your cake isn’t frozen solid, make sure you have a cake board before you glaze to keep from damaging the cake when moving it to and from the glazing rack.
Go ahead and start heating up the heavy cream in a saucepan. While that’s heating up, measure out your chocolate in a bowl. I like to use good quality chocolate for ganache because it really make a huge difference in flavor, but I understand it’s expensive especially when we need extra to ensure a nice glaze. You can definitely use chocolate chips for this.
Once the cream is almost boiling, pour it over the chocolate and wait 2 min. Grab a whisk and stir until you have a bowl of ganache- yum!
Set up your glazing rack by lining a pan with plastic wrap and setting a glazing rack on top. This way, it’s easy clean up to re use the glaze for another cake.
Now when you glaze a cake, you have to make sure you cover the entire cake all in ONE POUR. This is very important if you want to have a nice clean finish on your cake. You don’t want to do half first and half later because the ganache will start to set on the frozen cake.
It is also important that the cake it cold because the ganache will be warm, and you don’t want it to start melting the frosting off.
Transfer to a serving dish and you’re done!
You should now have a gorgeous ganache covered 5 layer hazelnut cake. This cake is definitely one that will impress all your friends and family. Hope you enjoy, and please let me know if you have any questions.
- 1c AP flour (125g)
- 1tsp baking powder (4g)
- 1tsp baking soda (8g)
- 1/2tsp salt (4g)
- 1c sugar (200)
- 1/3c dark chocolate (56g)
- 3tbsp unsalted butter (42g)
- 1/2tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2c hazelnut flour (182g)
- 1 1/2c powdered sugar (202g)
- 7 large egg whites (202g)
- 1/3c granulated sugar (67g)
- 1tsp cream of tartar
- 2 (8oz) tubs of mascarpone (500g)
- 1 3/4c Nutella (500g)
- 1 1/3c chocolate (226g)
- 1c heavy whipping cream (238g)