Friday, June 26, 2020


Chocolate cake will always be the queen of celebration desserts. This seven-layer showstopper is every bit as delicious as it is beautiful. Four layers of supremely soft chocolate and hazelnut cake and full-flavoured fillings make it over-the-top amazing.
White chocolate ganache, whipped into an airy mousse, full of large pieces of white Kinder Bueno, nougat cream filling enriched with ground hazelnuts and Disaronno, and whipped dark chocolate ganache, made with extra dark, extra delicious chocolate. Pure bliss.
As always, the decoration does not have to be lavish, it can be kept quite modest. You can just drizzle melted dark chocolate all over the cake, and sprinkle some roughly chopped roasted hazelnuts. Serve it in small slices, because it is very rich, and enjoy with a glass of your favourite dessert wine or a cup of espresso.

For the chocolate cake
350 grams plain flour
100 grams toasted ground hazelnuts
2 teaspoons baking powder
200 grams granulated sugar
150 millilitres vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
500 millilitres hot water, divided
20 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
For the white chocolate Kinder Bueno filling
150 grams white chocolate
100 ml double cream
3 packs White Kinder Bueno candy
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
For the nougat filling
100 grams soft, Viennese, nougat
150 ml double cream, divided
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
100 grams roasted hazelnuts, finely ground
50 millilitres Disaronno
For the whipped dark chocolate ganache
100 grams dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids or more
150 ml double cream
15 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
For the decoration
100 grams dark chocolate, 50% cocoa solids
200 ml double cream, divided
10 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
assorted candy bars and truffles

To make the white chocolate Kinder Bueno filling, start by heating up the double cream until it almost comes to a boil, and then pouring it over the chopped up white chocolate. Mix until the white ganache is smooth and blended, and let it cool down to room temperature, stirring as it cools. Cover the top of the bowl with cling film, and let it cool completely in the refrigerator, for at least 2 hours.
For the nougat filling, melt the soft nougat with a splash of double cream, either in the microwave or over a double boiler. Once melted, add in the hazelnuts, mix well, and let it cool down to room temperature. When the nougat has cooled down, but still soft, add in Disaronno and mix again. Whip the rest of the double cream with the vanilla, until soft peaks form. Fold a third of it through the melted nougat, to lighten it up, and then add in the rest of the cream, and keep gently folding it through until it firms up. Set the filling aside.
For the whipped dark chocolate ganache, heat up the double cream until it almost starts to boil, then pour it over the dark chocolate and the unsweetened cocoa powder. Mix until it melts completely, and then let it stand for a few hours at room temperature, until firmed up. Once firm, add in the vanilla and whip it until firm peaks form, using an electric mixer on the medium setting.
To make the chocolate cake, start by sifting the cocoa powder into a small bowl and pouring 100 millilitres of boiling water over it. Mix briefly, and let the cocoa bloom. Add the sugar into a large bowl, pour in the rest of the hot water, mix, and set it aside for a few minutes, so that the sugar starts to melt. Add the oil to the sugar, along with the vanilla and the cocoa powder, and mix very well. Tip in the sifted plain flour, ground hazelnuts, and the baking powder, and whisk until well blended.
Take four small baking tins (15 cm), ideally with a removable bottom, and line them with baking parchment. Pour in equal amounts of batter and tap them lightly on the counter to remove any large bubbles. Bake, in a preheated oven, at 200°C, for about 15 minutes. Once a toothpick inserted in the very centre of the cake comes out clean, the cakes are done. Remove them from the oven, and let them cool slightly in the pans, and then take them out and let them cool completely on the wire rack.
By this time, the white chocolate ganache should be ready and firm. Add in the vanilla, and whip it up with an electric mixer on high until soft peaks form, then chop up the Kinder Bueno bars roughly, add them to the ganache, and continue whipping until firm peaks form.
Level the cakes if needed, and place the first cake layer on the serving platter. Close a cake ring around it and, if needed, line it with a tall strip of acetate. Spread the dark chocolate ganache evenly over the cake, and place another layer on top. Add and level the nougat filling on top of it, and place another cake layer. Carefully spread the white chocolate Kinder Bueno ganache, working slowly to level it nicely, and top with the final cake layer. Cover it with cling film, and place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
When the cake is firm and ready, prepare the decorations. In a double boiler or in the microwave, melt together the dark chocolate and half of the double cream. Let it cool down slightly, so it is still pourable, but not piping hot. While it is cooling, whip up the rest of the double cream with the unsweetened cocoa powder. Remove the cake from the refrigerator, remove the cake ring and the acetate strip, if used, and leisurely decorate it with chocolate drips and splatters. Add a few dollops of the chocolate whipped cream, and add the candy bars, if using. Return the cake to the refrigerator until serving time. Yields 16 servings.

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