Hello Everyone! I would like to dedicate today’s post to my partner in crime, my matchy-matchy twin, and all round foodie & gym/boxing buddy, Maria the Mew (also known as Jialing), the happiest of birthdays! Happy Birthday my love, and I hope you had a most fantabulous day today! Hope you also liked my essay-like birthday card and present that I got for you 🙂
Though it wasn’t a particularly sunny day, we celebrated an early birthday on Saturday afternoon at Coogee Beach with lots of cake, dessert, drinks, and food. Oh and BARBECUE! Then ending the night at Beach Burrito Company with some margaritas and tequila. We also celebrated her birthday today by having dinner at Pizza e Birra on Crown Street at Surry Hills and having left over cake and flan for dessert.
So today’s recipe can originally be found on Better Baking Bible, and was actually baked by Jialing while I assisted in preparing the decorations for her cake. I also helped crush the hazelnuts and slap them on to the sides of the cake. On Friday night after work for the both of us, Jialing came over to my place to bake her cake while I made flan for her birthday celebration the next day. We actually started making stuff at around 7pm and seriously did not finish making her cake until about 1am. We honestly had no idea where all the time went – we didn’t even get to bake her quiche as planned originally. Well, we did have an hour and a half or so of a dinner break in between. I mean honestly, this is how I’ve spent two Friday nights in a row – baking until 1am (my birthday cake last week).
I also think time went into having to make another batch of cake batter and waiting for that to cool down as well. The original recipe actually says to split the cake into 2 even layers, however when we took the cakes out of the oven, they looked like an okay size for a single layer and would appear to be too skinny if we had sliced them in half. So Jialing decided to make another batch of batter for just one more layer to make a three layer cake (two is never enough, and honestly probably wouldn’t look as epic). I have adjusted the quantities from the original recipe specifically to Jialing’s cake, as well as adding extra ingredients such as hazelnuts into half of the frosting mixture.
PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 25-30 MINS | SERVES 8-10
For the cake
- 10 large free range eggs
- 3 cups hazelnut meal
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tbsp cocoa powder
- 4 tbsp plain flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
For the frosting
- 300g unsalted butter, softened
- 2 & 1/4 cups dark chocolate, roughly chopped (or chocolate chips)
- 1 & 1/2 cup wafer biscuits, crushed
- 1/2 cup Nutella
- 1/4 cup roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- 1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 8 Ferrero Rocher Chocolates
- 3/4 cups roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped (some whole)
- 1 packet (125g) vanilla wafers, crushed (reserve some whole)
- Preheat oven to 180C. Butter three 8-inch round pans.
- Cake batter: In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and cocoa powder. Mix in the hazelnut meal and set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, whip the eggs and sugar using an electric mixer on high, for about 5 minutes (when it has tripled in size). Slowly mix in the dry ingredients into the egg mixture and then divide the batter evenly between the three pans. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when pierced. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling wire rack to completely cool down before frosting.
- Frosting: Add the chocolate to a microwave safe bowl and melt the microwave, stopping every few seconds to stir and prevent the chocolate from burning. Once melted, remove and allow to slightly cool to room temperature. Transfer the chocolate to a mixing bowl and whip together with the unsalted butter, Nutella, and vanilla extract until well combined. Take half of the frosting mixture and place it into another bowl and stir in the crushed roasted hazelnuts.
- Assembly: Place the wafer biscuits in a ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Place the first layer of the cake onto a round cake board. Spread with half of the hazelnut frosting mixture of the frosting and sprinkle with some of the crushed wafers. Repeat for the remaining layer.
- Decorating: Cover the whole cake and sides with the plain chocolate frosting. Press the roughly chopped hazelnuts onto the sides of the cake and decorate the top of the cake accordingly or however you wish to. Serve!
– Ally xx