Chocolate Hazelnut Layer Cake
 
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Cook time
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Chocolate and hazelnut are a yummy flavor combination and this semi-naked Chocolate Hazelnut Layer Cake will be one of your favorite cakes, perfect for holidays, celebrations, and everyday indulgences. This cake has 6 layers of decadent and moist chocolate cake, flavored with a touch of cinnamon, and filled with a crunchy hazelnut whipped ganache.

Sometimes simple is better, and I decided no buttercream frosting needed. Instead Hazelnut Whipped Ganache doubles as the filling and just a light layer on the outside to finish. The whipped ganache is made with a combination of milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate, a touch of vanilla, and lots of toasted hazelnuts. This recipe makes about 4 cups of whipped ganache. I didn’t have quite enough whipped ganache to completely cover the outside of the cake, but I actually like the rough look; not every cake needs to be fully dressed and decorated.

I garnished the cake with a semi-sweet chocolate ganache topping with Lyle’s Golden Syrup added to provide some extra shine, and of course it drips beautifully down the side of the chilled cake. Add some chopped hazelnuts and lovely Ferrero Rocher chocolates and you’re done. You may also want to have some extra gold foil wrapped Ferrero Rocher chocolates to serve to your guests with their cake slice as an added treat.

Make ahead Tips: The cake layers can be made the day before, wrap in foil or plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. The layers are easier to work with and slice when they’re chilled and it definitely helps with time management.
Recipe type: Dessert | Chocolate Layer Cake | Ferrero Rocher
Serves: 10 to 12 servings
Ingredients
Small amount of vegetable shortening and flour for preparing pan
Cake Batter:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon size pieces
  • 1½ cups water
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
Hazelnut Whipped Ganache:
  • 8 ounces milk chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 2½ cups whipping (heavy) cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and finely chopped. Tip: Toast, skin, and chop enough hazelnuts for both the 1 cup needed for the whipped ganache and 2 tablespoons needed for the garnish
Ganache Topping:
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • ½ cup whipping (heavy) cream
  • 2 tablespoons Lyle’s Golden Syrup or light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Garnish:
  • About 2 tablespoons hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and finely chopped
  • 8 unwrapped Ferroro Rocher chocolates
  • Extra gold foil wrapped Ferroro Rocher chocolates if desired
  • Chocolate Hazelnut Layer Cake
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 3 8-inch pans; lightly grease the pans with shortening and dust with flour.
Cake Batter:
  1. In a large size mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt; whisk together to mix. Set aside.
  2. In a medium size bowl combine buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla; stir to mix. Set aside
  3. In a medium size heavy-bottom pan over low heat combine butter pieces, water, and cocoa. Heat while stirring with a rubber spatula or wooden until butter is melted and ingredients are combined. Increase heat to medium and bring mixture just to a beginning boil. Remove from heat and let sit about 30 seconds to let the bubbling subside.
  4. Pour the hot butter and chocolate mixture over the flour mixture and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until ingredients are combined.
  5. Add the baking soda to the buttermilk mixture, stir to thoroughly combine, and then stir the buttermilk mixture into flour/butter/chocolate mixture.
  6. Bake: Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake 30 minutes or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place pan on a wire cooling rack. Tip: 31 minutes was the perfect bake time for my oven.
Hazelnut Whipped Ganache:
  1. Place the chopped milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate into a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium low heat, heat the cream until it is hot and just beginning to steam and bubble around the edges. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let mixture stand 5 to 10 minutes then gently stir with a rubber spatula or whisk until the chocolate is completely melted, the chocolate and cream is completely combined, and the mixture is smooth. Add vanilla extract, stirring until completely mixed.
  3. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally while it is chilling. The ganache will thicken as it cools but won’t be completely firm.
  4. Whip the ganache using a stand mixer or hand mixer or by hand with a wire whisk until the ganache is soft like whipped cream and holds its shape. When whipped it will be slightly lightened in color. Do not overwhip or the ganache will become grainy.
  5. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently stir in the chopped hazelnuts. The whipped ganache should be used immediately.
Assembly:
  1. Using a long-serrated kitchen knife, split each cake into 2 horizontal layers.
  2. Place one of the bottom halves of the layers on a cake plate. Using an offset spatula spread about ⅔ cup Hazelnut Whipped Ganache over the layer. Repeat with the next four layers, filling each layer with about ⅔ cup Hazelnut Whipped Ganache.
  3. Place the last cake layer on top, upside down so the flat bottom of the cake is facing up to make a nice flat top. Spread about ⅔ cup Hazelnut Whipped Ganache over the top layer, making as level as possible and making the edges as smooth as possible. This top layer of whipped ganache will give the ganache topping a nice flat surface to drip from.
  4. Use any left-over Hazelnut Whipped Ganache to fill in gaps between the layers, almost like a crumb coat, but there may not be enough leftover whipped ganache for a complete crumb coat. Smooth the sides with an offset spatula.
  5. Refrigerate the cake at least one hour to stabilize the whipped ganache before adding the ganache topping. Tip: A chilled cake helps control the ganache drips from going all the way down to the bottom of the cake.
Ganache Topping:
  1. Prepare the ganache topping while the cake is refrigerating.
  2. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium low heat, heat the cream until it is hot and just beginning to steam and bubble around the edges. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let mixture stand 5 to 10 minutes then gently stir with a rubber spatula or whisk until the chocolate is completely melted, the chocolate and cream is completely combined, and the mixture is smooth. Add Lyle’s Golden Syrup and vanilla extract, stirring until completely mixed.
  4. Let the ganache sit and cool about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. The ganache needs to be thick but still fluid to create drips.
  5. Use a kitchen spoon to place small spoonfuls of ganache topping around the top edge of the chilled cake and let the ganache drip down the sides of the cake. Tip: if the ganache isn’t dripping, then briefly warm the ganache so it is more fluid. If the ganache is just dripping off to the bottom of the cake, then the ganache is too warm and needs to be cooled before using.
  6. When the drips are completed, spoon additional ganache topping in the center of the cake to fill-in the top, smooth and spread evenly with a small offset spatula.
Garnish:
  1. Place unwrapped Ferrero Rocher chocolates around the top edge of the cake, setting gently into the still warm ganache topping.
  2. Sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts over the top of the cake.
  3. Refrigerate the cake until the Ganache Topping is set and the whipped ganache is firm, at least one hour. Refrigerate leftovers.
  4. Chocolate Hazelnut Layer Cake
  5. Chocolate Hazelnut Layer Cake
  6. Chocolate Hazelnut Layer Cake
  7. Chocolate Hazelnut Layer Cake
Recipe Notes
Pan: three 8-inch round layer cake pans Pan Prep: Greased and Floured Oven Temp: 350° Storage: Cover and Refrigerate

Help: Cake Hints and Tips | Toasting Nuts and Seeds | Chocolate Types
Recipe by at https://thebakingpan.com/recipes/cakes/chocolate-hazelnut-layer-cake/