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Chocolate and hazelnut layer cake

Kevin Gilbert's Chocolate and hazelnut layer cake

When you make this be careful, lock it away and give the key to someone you trust because when you start eating this you might find it hard to stop. I make it with joconde sponge but if you have a soft sponge that you would rather use (like one for a swiss roll) then go for it. Just make sure to add the nuts.

You can also change things up a bit by using different nuts - walnuts work well as do almonds – just make sure that whatever nut you use is toasted to really bring out the nutty flavour.

Joconde

  • 250g     Sugar, icing                                        
  • 100g     Almonds, blanched, ground
  • 300g     Eggs (approx. 6)
  • 65g       Flour, bakers                     
  • 50g       Butter, unsalted              
  • 200g     Egg, white, chicken        
  • 35g       Sugar, granulated           
  • 150g     Hazelnuts, ground          
  1. Blend together the icing sugar and almonds if you can blitz it in a blender to make it finer)
  2. Melt butter
  3. Whisk the egg whites until they start to go frothy then slowly add in the sugar. Whisk until soft peaks form.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk the whole eggs until they start to keep their whisk trails
  5. Fold a third of the almond mix into the eggs then add half the flour. Keep alternating them until everything is folded in.
  6. Fold in the melted butter
  7. Fold through the egg whites in thirds 
  8. Spread thinly and evenly onto a tray (you’re aiming for something about 1cm thick)
  9. Bake for around 10minutes at 1800C or until golden brown and just firm to the touch.
  10. Tip it out onto a cooling tray or clean bit of baking paper until it’s completely cold.

Ganache

  • 400ml cream
  • 580g dark chocolate
  • 100g butter (optional)
  1. Melt together the cream and chocolate stirring regularly until they become smooth and silky.
  2. Allow to cool until it becomes thick enough to spread

Putting it together

  1. Start with a layer of sponge then spread evenly over it a layer of ganache. Be careful you don’t make it too thick as this can get too rich really quickly.
  2. Keep layering sponge and ganache until you run out of one or the other but always try to end on a sponge layer.
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