Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hazelnut Crunch Cake w/ Mascarpone and Chocolate

We had quiche left-over so no need to cook tonight. So I decided to make this fairly labor intensive cake. Hope it is worth the calories and labor. I'll let you know after dinner. Oh, my gosh, this is so worth the calories. This may well become my favorite cake until I try a new one.
Ingredients: Cake
1 box chocolate cake mix
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 (8") cake pans. Prepare the cake mix according to package instructions. Divide the batter between the 2 cake pans and bake according to package instructions. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
For the Crunch:
Place the toasted nuts close together in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir the sugar mixture until dissolved. Bring to a boil and let cook until the sugar is light brown, about 8 min. Let the bubbles subside then pour the caramelized sugar over the nuts. Place the baking sheet in he refrigerator and let the sugar/nut mixture cool until hard, about 30 min. When the sugar nut mixture is hard and cool, top with another piece of parchment paper and pound into small pieces, or place the sugar/nut mixture on a cutting board and cut into small pieces. Set aside.
For the filling:
Put the mascarpone cheese, cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla into a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer whip the cream mixture to soft peaks. Fold the crunch mixture into the whipped cream.
For the topping:
Place the chocolate chips, sugar, and zest in a blender or food processor. Process the mixture until the chocolate is finely ground.
To assemble the cake:
Put first layer on a serving plate. Top with 1 inch of whipped cream/crunch mixture. Top with second layer of cake and continue frosting the entire cake with the remaining whipped cream/crunch mixture. Sprinkle the top and sides of the cake with the ground chocolate.

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