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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Chocolate Dream Cake

A cloud of chocolate Chantilly cream resting on hazelnut dacquoise and crunch. All coated with rich and creamy ganache. A chocolate dream come true.
Hazelnut Dacquoise adapted from foodilicOus
Hazelnut Crunch improvised
Cream Chantilly from "Chocolate: More Than 50 Decadent Recipes" by Dominique and Cindy Duby
Chocolate Ganache from Martha Stewart

Taste: 5 (out of 5)
Difficulty: 4 (out of 5)

Hazelnut Dacquoise
- 40g ground hazelnuts
- 7g flour
- 50g egg whites
- 50g granulated sugar
Hazelnut crunch
- 1/4 cup ground hazelnuts
- 1/4 cup puffed rice cereal
- 40 g dark chocolate
Cream Chantilly
- 50 g dark chocolate
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp Irish cream
- 1/4 tsp orange zest
Chocolate Ganache
- 50 g dark chocolate
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- pinch of salt
Total: one 6 inch cake, 6 servings

Hazelnut Dacquoise
1. Preheat oven at 350F and line a 6'' spring form pan with parchment paper.
2. Beat the eggs whites, gradually adding the granulated sugar until stiff.
3. Sift the flour into the ground hazelnuts. Pour the hazelnut meal mixture into the egg whites and blend delicately with a spatula.
4. Use a little (about a teaspoon) of the batter to glue the parchment to the side of your pan. Then pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly.
5. Bake at 350°C for 15-20 minutes (depends on your oven), until golden. Then turn the oven on and leave the dacquoise in the warm oven for another 30 minutes. In the meantime prepare the crunch.
Hazelnut Crunch
6. Crush the puffed rice in a food processor, but don't bring it to the powder consistency - you want to keep that crunch.
7. Mix the rice with the hazelnut meal.
8. When the dacqouise is ready to be taken out of the oven, chop the chocolate and melt it in microwave for about 30 seconds, then stir and melt for another 30 seconds. Mix with the spatula until no chunks are left and all the chocolate is melted and uniform.
9. Add the hazelnut / rice mixture to the melted chocolate, mix well and spread over the dacqouise layer. Allow to cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
Cream Chantilly
10. Chop the chocolate, and add the Irish cream and the orange zest.
11. In a small sauce pan heat the cream until it almost boils. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Mix well with a whisk and leave in the refrigerator to cool.
12. When the mixture is cold, whip it with a mixer on high speed until it forms firm peaks. Spread cream Chantilly over the chilled base and refrigerate again for at least 2-3 hours.
13. Before preparing the ganache transfer the cake into freezer. It will make it a little firmer for easier release from the pan.
Chocolate Ganache
14. Coarsely chop chocolate.
15. Bring cream just to a boil over medium-high heat. Pour over chocolate, and add salt. Let stand for 10 minutes (don't stir -- doing so will cool the ganache too quickly, making it grainy).
16. Stir with a whisk until smooth and shiny to break up any pieces and emulsify cream and chocolate.
To finish
17. Remove the cake from the freezer, release the spring form pan and remove the parchment paper from the cake. It should come off cleanly and easily.
18. Place the cake on a serving plate and pour the ganache over it.
19. Refrigerate again until ready to serve.

- This cake is heavenly. The dacquoise layer is a little chewy, then the crunchy chocolatey layer, then the fluffy Chantilly cream and all topped with the rich ganache. So much texture and so much chocolate in all its manifestations :-)
- I think chocolate and hazelnuts were made for each other. I have this theory that the real reason for the discovery of America by Columbus was to unite hazelnuts, native to Europe, with chocolate, native to America. All other traditional reasons that they give you at school, like exploration, trade, imperialism, etc, pale in comparison, when one thinks about the world without Nutella, Ferrero Rocher or cakes like this one. Don't you agree?
- I might try to add a little gelatin to cream Chantilly at some point to make it a little stiffer and mousse-like, but I am not completely convinced it's needed.


Hamsi said...

Awesome cake and am also obsessed. Love the combo of chocolates with hazelnuts.

Medeja- CranberryJam said...

Rally amazing cake! Really looks like a dream.

Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust said...

This cake is gorgeous! It probably is the cake of my dreams... ;)

Gintare @Gourmantine said...

That's a dream cake indeed, wouldn't mind having it whole to myself :)

denise @ singapore shiok said...

Oh my! That is pure temptation on a plate! Chocolate and hazelnuts?? I need no more convincing ;)

Lisa said...

OMG, your chocolate hazelnut entremet is gorgeous and the layers of flavors and texture is perfection! Mad skills, my dear. That said..I just realized I haven't seen you on picnic for a while..then looked in the contributors..and no you. WTH???

mjskit said...

Congratulations! You finally presented a cake I would love! Not being a cake eater I find very few cakes that I would eat, much less make. However, this one is not one of those. I think I would even make this one. It looks absolutely delicious!

Nancy said...

Wow this really does sound like a dream cake. Thanks for being a part of the YBR.

NancyC said...

This cake sounds so yummy!

Syari said...

i love this!

DCAja said...