Sky High Cakes - Chocolate-Hazelnut Nutcracker Cake (Cake Slice Bakers)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Chocolate-Hazelnut Nutcracker Cake
Chocolate-Hazelnut Nutcracker Cake

For this month's Cake Slice Bakers selection, we voted for the Chocolate-Hazelnut Nutcracker Cake in the great book, Sky High Cakes: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes by Alisa Huntsman (page 51).

You need to make this cake.

No, really. You need to make this cake.

Okay, you don't believe me? Let me show you why...

Chocolate-Hazelnut Nutcracker Cake
The recipe calls for skinned hazelnuts but I couldn't find any. So, I toasted them and then furiously rubbed them in my hands to skin them! Not everything came off but I figured the extra fiber wouldn't hurt anyone. :)

Chocolate-Hazelnut Nutcracker Cake Chocolate-Hazelnut Nutcracker Cake
Grated unsweetened chocolate was a great addition to the chopped nuts. Hint: freeze or chill the chocolate to make the grating easier (I think this was the hardest part of the arm was tired!). The hazelnuts are ground up...

Chocolate-Hazelnut Nutcracker Cake
...and a graham cracker crumb, hazelnut, chocolate, and sugar mixture is created!

Chocolate-Hazelnut Nutcracker Cake Chocolate-Hazelnut Nutcracker Cake
The yolks are beaten with sugar and some oil, nut mixture, flour, pumpkin pie spice and baking powder are added. The batter is lightened with whipped egg whites.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Nutcracker Cake
I made half the recipe and used a 9 x 13 pan (original recipe is for 3 x 9 inch rounds). As you can see, I didn't level out the batter very nicely and my edges were a bit thin. I just put the smallest layer on top.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Nutcracker Cake
I used a 2 1/2 inch circle and cut 12. And don't think the leftover cake went into the didn't go to "waste" - it went to my "waist."

Chocolate-Hazelnut Nutcracker Cake
A simple syrup mixture with added rum is brushed on each layer. Because I was bringing it into work, I didn't want to use real rum and used a bit of rum extract. After last month's cake, the author wrote to me inquiring about this new baking group, and I took the opportunity to ask her about options. She suggested those coffeehouse non-alcohol syrups used to flavor coffee. I went searching but couldn't find a rum flavored one in my local stores so I went the rum extract route.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Nutcracker Cake
The filling is a heavenly Creme Chantilly: heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Directions say to make this cake about 6 hours before you serve it to allow everything to set up.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Nutcracker Cake
The cake is light and yet rich with texture and flavor. It's not too sweet and I could probably eat five pieces in one sitting. My co-worker said it is one of her favorite items I've ever brought into work.

Three layers of yum! Please, please make this cake! Alisa's book Sky High Cakes would be great under any baker's tree this season.

Check out the other Cake Slice Bakers - I know my fellow bakers were really creative with this cake!
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Pearl said... [Reply to comment]

that is SO pretty! does it remind you of nutella (but in cake form)?

Cristine said... [Reply to comment]

Gorgeous little cakes!

Sweet Treats by Dani said... [Reply to comment]

very cute. love it!!!

Jerri at Simply Sweet Home said... [Reply to comment]

Oh wow! Now that does look good!

Megan said... [Reply to comment]

Wow - you were so creative with this one - and lovely photos to go with it.

Smart and Final carries the non-alcoholic flavored syrups, FYI.

CB said... [Reply to comment]

LOL @ waste vs waist! Beautiful little mini cakes. I bet it tasted fabulous. I have this book on my xmas list b/c of all the cake slice bakers in my GR. Makes me drool everytime. Happy Holidays M!

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

Yum, that looks delicious and I don't even like hazelnuts!

RecipeGirl said... [Reply to comment]

Wow, that's truly impressive. How do you begin to eat something like that?? I think I'd tear it apart layer by layer!

Pamela said... [Reply to comment]

I think it's such a neat idea to cut the cake like that into smaller circles for little cakes! So cute! They all look terrific.

The Food Librarian said... [Reply to comment]

Pearl - No it's not nutella because the mouth feel is so different and it is more nutty than chocolately. But it might be good to put nutella as a layer...thanks for the idea! :)

Megan - Smart and Final to the rescue again. Love that store. Thanks for the tip!!

Mary Ann said... [Reply to comment]

I love your mini cakes. They are so cute!

Deborah said... [Reply to comment]

I LOVE your mini cakes! How beautiful!

flutterbyblue said... [Reply to comment]

these look DELISH!!! I *love* hazelnuts!!!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

ohhh yum! these little mini cakes look sooo cute!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Very very clever. :)

Heather said... [Reply to comment]

ohh, that looks lovely. i adore hazelnut and chocolate together. they are just so, so cute!

TeaLady said... [Reply to comment]

Looks yummy!!! Love minis - especially this time of the year....

The Blonde Duck said... [Reply to comment]

Those are charming! And I love the apple deliciousness below!

Kana said... [Reply to comment]

Pretty cakes!

Andrea said... [Reply to comment]

Well you've convinced me! And I hope all of those scraps were the cook's treat!

SugarPunk said... [Reply to comment]

I actually used the food processor to grind the chocolate for me (my arms just won't take hand-grating), and while the color wasn't as even as yours, the flavor was still there in full - so something to consider!

Beautiful presentation, btw.

Esi said... [Reply to comment]

Gorgeous! I love seeing the cakes you guys do every month.

Gigi said... [Reply to comment]

ooooo, so pretty! I love the little triple layer cakes. I am going to remember your techniques for next time.

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

Oh, how cute they look! Great idea about making them in mini form. Will try that soon.
Do you have a Microplane? I used that to grate my chocolate and it just glided without using any extra force. No tired arms but just be careful with your fingers, though. :)

The Food Librarian said... [Reply to comment]

caroline, of course! I should have tried my microplane instead of the regular grater...thanks for the tip! i'm going to make this again so it is very very helpful!

Jo said... [Reply to comment]

Love your mini cake version. Simple and elegant!

Di said... [Reply to comment]

Yum! Those look delicious. I want to grab my copy of the book off the shelf and start baking. =) I love the idea of cutting small rounds out of a larger rectangular layer.

Ingrid_3Bs said... [Reply to comment]

Love the mini version!

That must have been pretty cool having the author contact you!

steph- whisk/spoon said... [Reply to comment]

oh my goodness--these are so perfect! and how cool that the book's author has written you!!

Princess of Power said... [Reply to comment]

Yummy! :)

Maggie said... [Reply to comment]

Beautiful little cakes! Cake scraps are such sneaky calories. I try and keep the dogs around so I'm not the only one nibbling but they can't have chocolate.

Katie said... [Reply to comment]

Your mini cakes are adorable. What a great idea - I love it!

Coco Cake Land said... [Reply to comment]

GOODNESS GRACIOUS! These are little towers of amazingness! SOOO cute and they look super yummy... !

J.L. Danger said... [Reply to comment]

this looks hard!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

This looks so good! The only problem for me would be grinding the nuts since I don't have a food processor. You're cakes are so pretty! Happy Holidays!

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

Uh, yum! This reminds me of Suzanne Goin's Hazelnut Cake recipe (in Sunday Suppers)...I think you may have inspired a hazelnut cake showdown!

Patricia @ ButterYum said... [Reply to comment]

To easily remove the skins off of hazelnuts, put 1 cup of nuts into 1 1/2 cups boiling water with 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Boil for 3 minutes. The water will turn jet black from the skins. Test a nut to see if you can easily squeeze the skin off. If not, boil a little longer. Rinse nuts well after removing all the skins and dry. Roast if desired for optimum flavor. This is MUCH easier than roasting and rubbing the skins.

Amanda said... [Reply to comment]

Ohhhh some of my favorite flavors, I will have to look for this book :)

These look just like the Carrot Cake Towers I blogged about a while back, except mine were only two layer. yours are just gorgeous!

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