I originally made this cake to take to the December meeting of Oxford Clandestine Cake Club but unfortunately the organiser cancelled at the last minute. The theme was Christmas cheer so I decided on a Ferrero Rocher cake, as the chocolates seem to be around more than usual in December!
This recipe will make a 3 tier layer cake, using 3x 20cm cake pans.
Ever-so-slightly adapted from loveswah.com
For the cake
75g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
160g light brown sugar
375ml boiling water
190g unsalted butter (room temperature)
225g caster sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large organic free range eggs (room temperature)
240g plain flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
For the filling
4 tablespoons of frosting
For the frosting
225g unsalted butter (room temperature)
170g icing sugar
125g dark chocolate (melted and cooled)
100g Hazelnuts roughly chopped (save 15 for the top of the cake)
1. Grease and line the cake pans. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
2. Whisk the cocoa powder, espresso powder, brown sugar and boiling water in a bowl and set aside.
3. Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, around 10 minutes. Then mix in the vanilla extract.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each is added. Mix in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Then slowly beat in the cocoa, sugar and espresso mixture until combined.
5. Divide the batter equally between the 3 pans and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then remove and place on a cooling rack.
6. Once the cakes are cool, the frosting can be made. Melt the dark chocolate and allow it to cool slightly. Beat the butter and icing sugar for 10 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the chocolate and beat until combined. Finally add the Nutella and beat on a medium speed until the frosting is fluffy.
7. Now it's time to assemble! Place the first layer of cake on a stand and spread with half of the Nutella, and gently spread a little of the frosting on top of the Nutella. Repeat with the second layer. Place the third and final layer on top.
8. Now the frosting can be smoothed onto the top and sides of the cake with a small spatula, make sure to save some to pipe small rosettes around the edge of the cake. Top each of the rosettes with a whole Hazelnut, adding a couple in the middle of the cake. Finally press the chopped Hazelnuts onto the side of the cake until it is evenly covered.