Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Chocolate Hazelnut Cake
This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was selected by Katya of Second Dinner. She chose the Chocolate Caramel Chestnut Cake. As you can see from the title of this blog post, I detoured from the original recipe considerably. I had some issues in the process of making the recipe, plus some ingredients were too hard to find. I substituted ingredients I had on hand, with flavors that I knew I would like. I can’t say for certain, but I don’t think I have ever had a chestnut. So I wasn’t sure about this cake.
The cake calls for jarred chestnuts and chestnut puree. I knew that these ingredients would be harder to find but not impossible. My husband and I looked at Whole Foods, Trader Joes, the regular grocery store, but there were no chestnuts to be found. I finally went to another well-stocked market and I found jarred chestnuts, but they were $15. They had one version of chestnut puree, but not exactly what was specified in the recipe. Plus it was another $15 so I decided to pass and go with Plan B, which was using hazelnuts and hazelnut butter.
This recipe starts with you making caramel, which I have made a couple of times, but it just wasn’t happening this time! The first batch dried up totally, and then the second batch looked ok but then when I went to add the cream it was completely hard. I might have been able to salvage it, but I decided to give up for the night. I decided to leave out the caramel and just make a chocolate ganache (with butter) for the filling. I used gianduja (milk chocolate with hazelnut paste) for the milk chocolate, so the filling had a nice hazelnut flavor.
So I made quite a few changes, but I ended up with a wonderful cake. All of the layers are infused with hazelnut flavor, which I love. The cake is a bit crumbly, but it isn’t dry. The filling is to die for; it tastes like the filling of a really great candy bar. I will certainly make this again! I can envision using it for all sorts of cakes. This cake took a lot of work, but it was worth it in the end. I’m not sure if I would have liked it as much with chestnuts, I guess I will never know!
Recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, pages 269-272.