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Chocolate Hazelnut Layer Cake Recipe

Come Party With Me: Christmas Dinner — Dessert

Ever since I made homemade Nutella, I haven't been able to get the delicious combination of chocolate and hazelnuts out of my mind. That's why, when I found this spectacular-sounding cake recipe, I knew it must be served at Christmas dinner.

Both the batter and the frosting have Nutella, and chopped toasted hazelnuts add a lovely texture and crunch to the cake. The best thing about this recipe is that the entire cake can be assembled up to three days in advance — you just have to make room for it in the fridge!

Interested in the decadent recipe? Get it, after the jump.

Chocolate Hazelnut Layer Cake

Chocolate Hazelnut Layer Cake

Chocolate Hazelnut Layer Cake Recipe 2010-12-21 11:19:59

Ingredients

Cake
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup boiling water
1/2 cup Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread; buy two 13-oz jars)
1 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp Frangelico hazelnut liqueur (optional)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
Filling and frosting
3 cups heavy (whipping) cream
2 bars (4 oz each) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups Nutella
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
Garnish: chopped toasted hazelnuts and chocolate curls

Directions

  1. Cake: Heat oven to 350°F. You’ll need two 9 x 2-in. round cake pans, greased and floured.
  2. Whisk cocoa powder and water in a medium bowl, then Nutella and buttermilk, Frangelico and vanilla.
  3. Beat sugar, butter, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl with mixer on medium-high speed 3 minutes or until pale.
  4. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. On low speed beat in flour in 3 additions alternating with cocoa mixture in 2 additions, beating just until blended. Pour into prepared pans.
  5. Bake 30 to 35 minutes until a pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on rack 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of each layer; turn out on rack and cool completely.
  6. Insert several toothpicks halfway up side around both cake layers. Using picks as a guide, cut layers in half with a long serrated knife.
  7. Filling & frosting: Microwave cream in a large bowl on high until steaming. Add chocolate; let stand 5 minutes.
  8. Stir until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Cover surface directly with plastic wrap; refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours.
  9. Beat cold chocolate mixture on medium speed until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted.
  10. Put Nutella into a bowl; stir in 1 1/2 cups chocolate mixture until smooth. Fold into remaining chocolate mixture until combined. Remove 2 1/2 cups to a bowl; stir in hazelnuts for filling. Reserve remainder for frosting.
  11. To assemble: Place 1 cake layer on serving plate; spread with 1/3 the filling (1 scant cup). Top with second layer and 1/2 the remaining filling; repeat with third layer and remaining filling. Top with last cake layer. Spread a thin layer of frosting over top and sides; refrigerate 15 minutes to firm. Spread top and sides with remaining frosting. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish just before serving.

Serves 16.

Make ahead: Wrap cooled cake layers and make frosting (through the chocolate cooling process) up to 2 days ahead. Cover the frosted cake and refrigerate up to 3 days.

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