This cake is insane, if I do say so myself! It was created from various recipes I came across when I was researching for inspiration for my ‘little’ sister Lucy’s birthday earlier this year. She’s just as nuts about hazelnuts as I am, so I knew I had to make the ultimate cake! A moist chocolatey chocolate cake, with the layers stacked in between a sticky salted caramel and a rich chocolate hazelnut frosting, covered in more frosting and finished with chopped hazelnuts.
This cake is super tasty and super sickly!!!
It takes a while to construct, but I promise you, it’s worth it!
Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel and Chocolate Hazelnut Frosting
Prep Time: 45 minutes Cooking Time: 45 – 60 minutes Servings: 10-12
The cake comprises of three main elements. It takes some time to come together, but none of it is particularly difficult…if I can do it, it can’t be that hard!
- 210g plain flour (I use Doves Farm)
- 1 teaspoon of xanthum gum (again, I use Dove’s Farm)
- 400g caster sugar
- 100g cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 240ml buttermilk
- 120ml vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoonn vanilla extract
- 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
Salted Caramel Ingredients
- 200g caster sugar
- 85g unsalted butter
- 120ml double cream
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided in two
Chocolate Hazelnut Frosting
- 240g unsalted butter, softened
- 300g icing sugar, sifted
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 200g dark or plain chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 of the smaller jars of Nutella
- 2 tablespoon milk
- pinch of salt
(If you decide not to torte your cake (cut the layers in half) you can use half of this recipe)
For the Cake:
Preheat oven to 180c. Prepare two 8-inch cake pans with butter and parchment paper. (Grease pans with butter. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of each pan)
In a jug stir together the buttermilk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla. Set aside
Sift together the flour, xanthum gum, sugar, cocoa powder, bicarbonate soda , baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Either using a stand mixer, or a hand held mixer, combine the ingredients on a low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients, and mix until evenly combined
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and, with the mixer on low, add the hot coffee. Mix just until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl one more time.
N.B If at this point the mixture seems a little stiff, as it often will do when using gluten free flour and xanthum gum, add a splash of liquid to loosen it up. I often use milk, but any milk substitute would do
Evenly distribute the batter between the two cakes pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean
Remove the cakes from the oven and set on a wire rack. Allow the cake to cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then flip out onto the wire racks
For the Salted Caramel:
- Spread the sugar in a thin layer in a thick bottomed pan over medium heat. Leave undisturbed until the sugar around the edges starts to melt. Give the pan a swirl to redistribute the sugar. Repeat a few times
- When most of the sugar has melted, you can give it a stir with a wooden spoon
- When all of the sugar has melted and it is a dark golden amber colour, remove from the heat
- When the melted sugar is off the heat, add the butter and stir. It will foam up. Stir until melted. Once the butter has melted entirely, pour in the cream and whisk/stir until you have a smooth sauce
- Stir in half the salt then allow to cool completely. Once cool, stir in the other half of the salt
For the Chocolate Hazelnut Frosting:
- In a medium bowl, beat together the butter and sifted icing sugar. Add the vanilla, and beat on low for another 30 seconds
- Add the melted and slightly cooled chocolate and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until smooth
- Add the Nutella, milk, and a pinch of salt, and beat on medium-high speed for another minute.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER!
Start by cutting the two cake layers in half so you end up with 4 cakes
Place one half of one cake on a plate. Drizzle over about 1/3 of the caramel sauce over the entire surface, use a spatula to evenly distribute
Top with a good heaping spoonful of frosting and spread to the edges. Repeat with the next 2 layers
Place the 4th and final cake layer. Frost the top and sides and with the remainder of the cake. Finally, garnish with something like chopped hazelnuts like I did, or even Ferrero Rocher halves, or anything you fancy!!