A tall, decadent gold hazelnut praline ganache cake topped with gold luster dust brushed onto Maltesers, Ferrero Rocher and a handmade chocolate sail.
Well, it’s been a long while since I’ve shown up around these parts of town. Do we need an introduction?
Hi, I’m Connie and I’m a chocoholic. I’m also the baker, writer, and photographer behind this blog. I like to disappear for months at a time but I reassure you that I’m still alive by being scarily active on social media.
To follow up my previous post where I opened up about some personal struggles, I would like to start by first thanking those who took the time to read my story.
Some of you resonated with me and that’s more than I could ever ask for. You get me. And that connection will always be cherished.
Some of you commended me for being courageous when a part of me felt like I was doing the stupidest thing.
…annnnd now back to our regular programming: FOOD
It has been about 3 years since I’ve re-visited my original hazelnut praline chocolate cake recipe. (Pinterest has taken to calling it “Bueno Chocolate Cake” because of all the Bueno pieces that I put on the top of the cake.) Usually, I only make recipes once because my list of new and cool recipes is always growing exponentially! There’s only so much time and I need to eat EVERYTHING.
A really good friend of mine, who I met during my days as a Wellness Peer at UBC, asked me to bake a cake for his girlfriend’s birthday. He picked this one particular so I wasn’t gonna say no! This time, I added gold luster dust details to make it a gold hazelnut praline ganache cake. OOooOOOOooo AAAaaaaaAAHHHhhh.
It just occurred to me how lame “Wellness Peers” sounds. I swear we did cool stuff, like hand out free pancakes and snacks during Stress Less for Exam Success, cover the campus in yellow smiley face stress balls during Thrive Week and sell naughty toys at our “Sex Shop” (that’s what students called it, it was actually called “The Wellness Centre”).
Man did I do a good job of convincing you just how cool being a Wellness Peer was.
Anyway so I baked the gold hazelnut praline ganache cake. I brushed gold luster dust on some Malteser and Ferrero Rocher candies then chopped some up and left some whole for asymmetry and sprinkled it randomly over the top of the cake. One thing I learned though is that exposed interiors of maltesers tend to sort of melt? And you end up with this gross molten mess.
A cake just isn’t a cake these days without a customized topper (darn Pinterest and Instagram for setting high standards). Luckily, a classmate from highschool started a party décor company that includes making cute little cake toppers. I sent her a picture of exactly what I wanted and she cut it out of the prettiest gold glitter paper for me (mini squeals!). It reads: Happy 20 ShireenEats
…and suddenly I’m very aware that I’m 4 years past 20. Gosh I feel old :(
- Hazelnut Praline
- 100g Hazelnuts
- 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
- Chocolate Cake
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 ½ + 2 tbsps cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup + 2 tbsps cocoa
- 3 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 ½ cup strong black coffee OR 3 teaspoons instant coffee in 1 ½ cup boiling water
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Hazelnut Praline Ganache
- 320mL and 800mL of heavy cream
- 10 oz. of milk chocolate
- All of the hazelnut praline
- Gold Decorations
- Dark chocolate
- Ferrero Rocher
- Gold Luster Dust
- Preheat oven to 150 degrees C
- Roast hazelnuts for about 8-10 mins, then place the hazelnuts between 2 towels and rub the hazelnuts to get the skin off
- In a saucepan, caramelize the sugar one third at a time. Place 1/3 of sugar into pan at medium heat, stir and let melt until it reaches a caramel colour. Add in second third and last third slowly, making sure to stir slowly but constantly
- Once all the sugar is caramelized, throw in the hazelnuts and coat them all with the melted sugar
- Immediately transfer to oiled cookie sheet. Let the praline cool until hardened
- Break up praline into pieces, process in food processor until it reaches a super fine consistency
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Grease 9-inch round baking pans
- Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl
- In another bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla
- Add liquids to dry ingredients and beat until mixed together
- Pour batter evenly into prepared pans
- Bake 25-30 minute until the centre of the cake is set
- In a microwave, melt the chocolate in 30s intervals, stir in between intervals
- Stir the processed praline into the chocolate
- Bring 320mL of heavy cream to a boil, then pour 1/3 of it into the chocolate mixture. Stir slowly until evenly combined. Drizzle in the rest of the boiled heavy cream and stir to combine
- Pour in the cold 800mL heavy cream. You will have a very liquid mixture
- Place the entire mixture into a refrigerator for a couple hours or overnight to cool. If possible, put the beaters of your standmixer/handmixer into the fridge as well. You want to make sure everything is really cold, in order to be able to whip up the cream and create a thicker consistency
- When the cream mixture (ganache) is cooled, whip the mixture on medium speed until medium peak forms. You don’t want to whip it for too long or on high speed because your whip cream will curdle and turn to butter
- Frost cake right away or refrigerate to keep from separating into a watery mess
- Brush gold luster dust over Maltesers and Ferrero Rocher
- Melt dark chocolate and spread over parchment paper, wait 1 minute for it to set a little bit, then pick up corners of the paper and clip together to form an asymmetrical sail shape
- Peel back parchment paper carefully and place sail on top of cake along with other decorations.
Hazelnut Praline adapted from: Alena Kogotkova
Chocolate Cake recipe from: Hershey’s