The Chocolate Cake


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.

Chococlate Cake

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Coffee Buttercream

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Chocolate Ganache

  1. 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.

Nutella Powder

  1. Whisk manually Nutella and Maltodextrin
  2. 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.

Hazelnut Mousse

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the espresso in the hot water. Whisk in Nutella.
  2. 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.
  3. Transfer to serving dishes, top with hazelnuts and serve immediately.

Candied Hazelnut

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


  1. 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.
  2. When the ganache is firm, add a layer of hazelnut mousse and put in fridge to chill about 20 minutes.
  3. 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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