Nutella Cake with Chocolate Hazelnut Ganache for a Fond Farewell

Nutella Cake with Chocolate Hazelnut Ganache for a Fond Farewell

So anyway, It was rather sad last week to say good-bye to my instructor Jeff (who really has great talent and a terrific sense of humor) as well as my classmates. Naturally, I had to show these fellow classmates that I really did know how to cook in addition to being able to take photos of food, so I decided to let my classmates be guinea pigs try a recipe that is adapted from Nigella Lawson for her Nutella Cake. Who wouldn’t be impressed with a dark chocolate and hazelnut cake topped with ganache and more hazelnuts?! I know I was!

I prepared the cake the afternoon before and then refrigerated the cake with only the ganache. I did not want to refrigerate the hazelnuts because they would become soft. The next morning I let the cake come to room temperature and then topped it with the hazelnuts so that the ganache would not crack. After a few final touches, I took a few pics and brought them into class with the cake. I wonder if I got an “A”!

This cake is incredibly dense and rich. It is quite simple to prepare and can be made ahead. What a beautiful dessert to make for something special (such as my last photography class)!

We have really enjoyed the rest of the cake (so much for light and healthy dishes…).

Nutella Cake with Chocolate Hazelnut Ganache

Adapted from Nigella Lawson and Epicurious

Makes one 9-inch cake


6 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
pinch table salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 13-ounce container Nutellla
1 tablespoon Frangelico
1/2 cup finely ground hazelnuts
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled (I used Ghiardelli)

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Frangelico
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (Ghiardelli)
2 ounces whole hazelnuts, toasted and cut in half


For cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees; butter a 9-inch springform pan. In a large bowl (preferably metal), whisk the egg whites and salt until stiff. In another bowl, cream the butter and Nutella, then add the Frangelico, egg yolks, and ground hazelnuts. Fold in melted chocolate.

Add a large tablespoon of beaten egg whites to the chocolate batter, and mix gently until well-combined. Fold in the remaining whites, one-third at a time, very gently but thoroughly. Pour into springform and bake for 35-40 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting tester, which should come out mostly clean; lightly pressing finger into top to check for a slight bouncing-back; and observing edges beginning to separate from pan. (My cake was done in 35 minutes). Let cool completely, in pan, on a rack.

For ganache and hazelnuts:
Toast the hazelnuts in a dry skillet, or toaster oven shaking them around frequently. Do it for about 4 minutes, or until they are lightly browned, then let cool completely. If hazelnuts came with skins on, put them in a towel after toasting and rub around; this will remove most of the skins. Cut in half.

Chop chocolate, and add to sauce pan with heavy cream and Frangelico over medium-low heat. Once chocolate is melted and components are combined, whisk until mixture reaches desired thickness, then cool. Remove rim of cake pan and pour cooled ganache over, spreading lightly to create a smooth, shiny surface, and apply hazelnuts all over.

This cake is at its best when served at room temperature.


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