- Valrhona cocoa (1 cup)
- Strong coffee (3/4 cup)
- Milk (room temp.) (1 cup)
- Cake flour (not self-rising) (2 3/4 cups)
- Baking soda (1 teaspoon)
- Salt (1/2 teaspoon)
- Unsalted butter (1 1/2 cups (3 sticks))
- Sugar (2 1/2 cups)
- Vanilla extract (1 tablespoon)
- Eggs (4 large)
- Sugar (1 1/4 cups)
- Egg whites (5 large)
- Unsalted butter (1 pound (4 sticks))
- Coffee extract (2 teaspoons)
- Heavy cream (1/2 cup)
- Semisweet chocolate (3 ounces finely chopped)
- Maltodextrin (2.8 ounces)
- Nutella powder (4.2 ounces)
- Instant espresso (1 teaspoon)
- Hot water (1 tablespoon)
- Nutella spread (1/4 cup)
- Heavy whipping cream (3/4 cups)
- Chopped, toasted hazelnuts
- Hazelnuts (9)
- Sugar (1 cup)
- Water (1/4 cup)
Our Chocolate Craving slayer! Chef Lesly’s cake is filled with hazelnut mousse, topped with a coffee buttercream and sprinkled with Nutella powder. Though there are many steps to achieving the final product, this symphony of flavors is a labor of love.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-by-2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper. Butter the parchment. Sift cocoa; whisk in boiling coffee and milk. Let cool. Sift together cake flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Using a rubber spatula, mix the butter in a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Pour in the cooled cocoa mixture. Mix until fully incorporated.
- Add the sifted dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture, stirring until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pans (about 4 cups in each pan). Bake for 35 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the center.
- Remove the cakes from the oven, and allow to cool in pans for 15 minutes on a cooling rack. Carefully run a small offset spatula around the edge of the cakes to loosen them from the pan. Remove cakes from pans, and invert onto a wire rack. Let cool completely, about 1 hour.
- Combine sugar and egg whites in mixer bowl, and set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and mixture registers 140 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
- Transfer bowl to mixer; whisk on medium-high speed until whites are fluffy and cooled, about 10 minutes. Continue to whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form.
- Reduce speed to medium-low; add butter by the tablespoon, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in coffee extract. Bring to room temperature before using; beat on lowest speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour over chocolate in a bowl. Let stand 5 minutes. Slowly whisk until smooth. Let cool completely, stirring often with a rubber spatula.
- Whisk manually Nutella and Maltodextrin
- Place mix in a blender and blend for a few seconds, stop the blender and shake it. Blend again, shake and continue repeating this process until you obtain a fluffy Nutella powder.
- In a small bowl, dissolve the espresso in the hot water. Whisk in Nutella.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat heavy cream until it just forms stiff peaks. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the Nutella mixture.
- Transfer to serving dishes, top with hazelnuts and serve immediately.
- Thread each hazelnut onto tip of a long wooden skewer; set aside. Place a cutting board along the edge of a countertop; set a baking sheet on floor next to edge.
- Cook sugar and 1/4 cup water in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Continue to cook, without stirring, until syrup comes to a boil, washing down sides with a wet brush to prevent crystals from forming. Let boil until syrup turns light amber, about 5 minutes; remove from heat. Add 1 Tablespoon red food color.
- Dip 1 skewered hazelnut into syrup, coating completely and letting excess syrup drip back into pan. When dripping syrup becomes a thin string, secure end of skewer under cutting board, letting caramel string drip over edge onto sheet. Repeat with remaining hazelnuts. Let stand until caramel has hardened, about 5 minutes. Break strings to about 4 inches. Carefully remove skewers.
- Once the cakes have cooled, using a serrated knife cut the tops off of the cakes so they are level. Using 1 layer of the cake spread an even amount of ganache using a metal spatula.
- When the ganache is firm, add a layer of hazelnut mousse and put in fridge to chill about 20 minutes.
- Add the remaining layer of cake and spread top with coffee buttercream. To plate dessert place a small amount of ganache on the plate followed by a slice of cake, add some nutella powder and garnish with piped buttercream and candied hazelnuts.
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