Choc-hazel­nut cel­e­bra­tion cake

serves 20 | prep 50 mins (+ cool­ing & chill­ing time) | cook­ing 1 hour 15 mins - - THIS MONTH -

500g (5 cups) hazel­nut meal 500g caster sugar 12 egg whites 2 tbs corn­flour 2 tsp vanilla essence 12 hazel­nuts, skins re­moved 125g white sugar 2 tbs wa­ter


300ml thick dou­ble cream 300g dulce de leche


350g dark choco­late, chopped 350ml dou­ble cream

1 Pre­heat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan forced. Cut 4 sheets of bak­ing pa­per to fit a large bak­ing tray. Draw a 22cm and 18cm cir­cle on each sheet. Place 2 sheets onto 2 large bak­ing trays. 2 Com­bine hazel­nut meal and 200g of the caster sugar in a bowl. Set aside. Use elec­tric beat­ers with a whisk at­tach­ment to whisk 6 egg whites un­til firm peaks form. Whisk in half the re­main­ing caster sugar, half the corn­flour and half the vanilla essence. Fold in half the hazel­nut meal mix­ture un­til com­bined. Di­vide among the 4 cir­cles on 2 bak­ing trays, spread­ing to fill cir­cles. Bake for 30 min­utes, swap­ping trays half­way through cook­ing. Cool on wire racks. 3 Re­peat Steps 1 and 2 with the re­main­ing egg­whites, caster sugar, corn­flour, vanilla and hazel­nut meal mix­ture to make 4 more discs (two 22cm and two 18cm). You will have 8 discs. Cool on wire racks. 4 To make fill­ing, use elec­tric beat­ers to beat the cream in a bowl un­til thick. Grad­u­ally beat in dulce de leche a lit­tle at a time un­til com­bined. Cover and place in the fridge to chill un­til re­quired. 5 To make ganache, stir choco­late and cream in a saucepan over low heat un­til melted and smooth. Trans­fer to a bowl. Cool slightly. Cover with plas­tic wrap. Place in the fridge for 1 hour or un­til thick enough to whisk. Use a bal­loon whisk to whisk un­til spread­able. 6 Mean­while, in­sert a tooth­pick into each hazel­nut. Cook white sugar and wa­ter in a saucepan over medium heat, stir­ring, un­til sugar dis­solves. Sim­mer, with­out stir­ring, for 8 min­utes or un­til golden. Plunge base of pan into cold wa­ter to stop cook­ing process. Dip each hazel­nut into syrup and pull up to make long, thin ‘tails’ of caramel. Cool on bak­ing pa­per un­til set. Re­move tooth­picks. 7 Sand­wich the 22cm cakes to­gether with fill­ing. Sand­wich the 18cm cakes with fill­ing. Place small stack in the cen­tre of the large stack. Spread ganache all over cake. Top with tof­fee hazel­nuts.

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