Almond sponge, with chopped pecans and walnuts, sandwiched together with chocolate ganache and hazelnut praline cream, topped with blitzed praline.
Last week was my boyfriends birthday which means BIRTHDAY CAKE! I love it when it gets to friends and families birthdays, because it means that I have the perfect excuse to make an especially big and extravagant cake.
Whenever we order cake in cafe’s, he always chooses something with hazelnuts, so I wanted to make him a nutty hazelnut birthday cake.
I’ve seen a lot of pictures recently on pinterest and tumblr for nut cakes with a creamy filling and icing, which looked like just his cup of tea. I wanted to make this cake just a bit extra special through, so I’ve jazzed it up by making a hazenut praline for the creamy filling and added a dark chocolate ganache layer, for an extra decadent finish.
This cake did take a bit more effort than my other recipes, because there are quite a few components, but it was really really tasty, so well worth the effort!
Variations: Any combination of nuts can be used in the sponge or the praline or the chocolate ganache could be replaced with a caramel sauce
- 300g Butter
- 150g Caster Sugar
- 150g Dark Brown Sugar
- 1tsp Vanilla Extract
- 4 Eggs
- 100g Ground Almonds
- 200g Self Raising Flour
- 100g Chopped Pecans
- 50g Chopped Pecans
- 30ml Milk
- 100g Hazelnuts
- 50g Granulated Sugar
- 1tbsp Water
- 50g Double Cream
- 100g Plain Chocolate
- 200ml Double Cream
- 200g Mascarpone
- 1tbsp Icing Sugar
- 75g Praline (Blended)
Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line three 20cm cake tins.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. then add the vanilla essence, and eggs, one at a time.
Fold in the flour, ground almonds and chopped nuts and milk.
Spoon into the prepared cake tins and smooth out evenly.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until cooked through.
Leave to cool on a wire rack before assembling.
The Chocolate Ganache:
Heat the double cream until just below boiling, then break in the dark chocolate, and mix until completely melted and incorporated.
Leave to cool for around 30 minutes before using, until thickened.
Grease a baking tray with vegetable oil.
Heat all the ingredients for the praline in a small pan over a medium heat, until the sugar has caramelised and turned a golden brown colour – this should take around 4-6 minutes.
Tip the praline onto the prepared baking tray and leave to cool.
Once cool, transfer to a small blender, and blitz to a sandy consistency. Reserve around 20 whole hazelnuts to decorate the cake.
The Praline Cream:
Whisk together the double cream, mascarpone and icing sugar in a large bowl until thick. The stir though 3/4 of the ground up praline.
Transfer one sponge to a cake stand and cover with a layer of praline cream.
Add the next sponge and cover with a thick layer of chocolate ganache.
Add the next layer of sponge and cover with praline cream. Spread the rest of the praline cream round the ides of the cake, until completely covered.
Decorate the cake by placing the whole hazelnuts in a circle around the edge of the cake, and scattering the blitzed praline over the middle of the cake, topped with the remaining whole hazelnuts.
Serve in thick slices, delicious!