Friday, November 10, 2017


No-bake cakes, along with ice cream cakes, are among my favourite things to make. They are always a good idea after a hearty meal. Or just with a cup of coffee, for that matter. This four-layer beauty is so easy and quick to make; you will love it. Layer upon layer of chocolate, nougat, and cream. I used Viennese nougat, a gorgeous chocolate and hazelnut confection. You can make a more lavish decoration, if you like, or you can keep it minimalistic, like I did - with just a drizzle of melted dark chocolate.

For the hazelnut base
150 grams hazelnut wafers
120 grams butter, softened
50 grams icing sugar, sifted
50 grams finely ground hazelnuts
For the whipped cream
100 ml double cream
2 tablespoons icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the nougat layer
150 grams soft nougat
250 ml double cream, divided
1 teaspoon unflavoured gelatine
50 grams dark chocolate
For the decoration
100 ml double cream
20 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanila

Start by lining a round cake ring (15 cm) with acetate, for an easier cake removal. Make sure the acetate strip is tall enough for you to pour in the fillings. Once you have prepared the pan, crush the wafers in a food processor, but not too finely, leave a variety of crumb sizes, it will make the texture better. Pour the crumbs into a large bowl, and add in the softened butter. Start mixing with a wooden spoon or a sturdy spatula, until the mixture starts to come together. At that point, sift in the icing sugar, and add the ground hazelnuts, then mix everything together until a soft but pliable base forms. Do not worry if the base seems to be a tad soft, it will firm up in the refrigerator. Once done, place the cake ring on the serving platter, and press the base in. Set it aside and start making the fillings.
Take a large bowl, and pour in the double cream, along with the icing sugar, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on high until stiff peaks form, then slowly spread it onto the cake base. You can level the whipped cream layer, or you can leave the top with a texture, the choice is yours. Place the platter in the refrigerator, and proceed to make the nougat layer.
Cut the nougat into small pieces, and place it into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Pour 50 ml of double cream over it, then place the saucepan over medium heat, so the nougat can slowly melt. Make sure to stir frequently while it melts, to prevent burning. Once melted, remove it from the heat, and let it stand for up to 30 minutes, so it can cool down, but still be pourable. In the meantime, pour 2 tablespoons of cold water over the gelatine, and let it bloom.
When the nougat mixture has cooled sufficiently, whip up the rest of the cream until soft peaks form, then add in the melted nougat, and fold it thorough. Melt the chocolate over low heat, and let it cool down slightly. Dissolve the bloomed gelatine over low heat (or in the microwave), but be careful not to let it boil. Take a little bit of the nougat and cream mixture, stir it in the dissolved gelatine and then pour it back in, and fold it through, incorporate.
Pour half of that mixture over the whipped cream layer, and return it to the refrigerator. Take the melted and cooled chocolate, and pour it into the reserved mixture. Fold it through gently with a spatula, then spread it very carefully over the nougat layer. You can leave it like that, or take a skewer and mix two layers, giving them a marble effect. Place everything into the refrigerator overnight.
To decorate the cake, whip the double cream with the cocoa powder, icing sugar, and vanilla. Take the cake out of the refrigerator, remove the cake ring and the acetate strip, then spread some of the whipped cream around it, and use the rest of it to decorate the top of the cake. Serve chilled. Yields 8 servings.