Tag Archives: Birthdays

Hazelnut Praline Chocolate Cake

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This cake definitely trumps ALLL the cakes I have ever made. If you like Ferrero Rocher or Bueno, you need to make this cake right now. Your life will be a big black hole until you have a slice of this. (Totally not exaggerating.)

All threats aside, the idea for this cake came to me as I was enjoying some Bueno (not surprisingly) a couple months back. I gotta tell you, if there ever is a Bueno eating competition, I will join it and I will win. I can finish an entire bar of Bueno in like 50.36 seconds. My sister thinks it’s disgusting, but I think it’s natural talent ūüėÄ

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The cake consists of 3 layers of my favourite chocolate cake, but changed up a bit with EXTRA coffee (to bring out the chocolate flavour). Between the layers is where the taste explosion happens. I filled and covered this cake with HAZELNUT PRALINE WHIPPED GANACHE. To make this ganache, my trusty 13 cup KitchenAid Architect food processor pulverized the praline into crumbs in a matter of seconds, I kid you not! Then I used my 7 quart KitchenAid bowl lift stand mixer to whip my ganache into the perfect consistency. KitchenAid has made my life so much easier!

praline processor

hazelnut praline ganache

I usually try to avoid superlatives but believe me when I say that this is THE best ganache I have ever had… so far.¬†

Seriously, I liked this cake so much that it was hard for me to not think about it.

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Lucky for me, I pretty much had the entire cake to myself. I live with a bunch of weirdos who were born without the gene that codes for chocolate-lovin’ in their brain centers. Sometimes I question whether or not my sister is telling the truth when she tells me that I joined the family after I was picked up from a garbage can ūüėõ

I ate about 70% of the cake alllll by myself. Again, this is one of those natural talents of mine to be able to consume copious amounts of chocolate without dying from an overdose. My brother had one slice about 2 days after I made this cake. Yenno what he said to me?! I’ll tell you what he said to me:

“Hey, this is actually pretty good.”

Um what? *Eyebrow raises* “What do you mean by¬†actually?!”

hazelnut praline cake

Hazelnut Praline Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake recipe here. Make one full recipe for 3 layer 10″ cake.

Hazelnut Praline

100g Hazelnuts
3/4 cup of granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees C. Roast hazelnuts for about 8-10 mins, then place the hazelnuts between 2 towels and rub the hazelnuts to get the skin off.
2. In a saucepan, caramelize the sugar one third at a time. Place 1/3 of sugar into pan at medium heat, stir and let melt until it reaches a caramel colour. Add in second third and last third slowly, making sure to stir.
3. Once all sugar is caramelized, throw in the hazelnuts and coat them all with the melted sugar.
4. Immediately transfer to oil-sprayed cookie sheet. Let the praline cool until hardened.
5. Break up praline into pieces, process in food processor until it reaches a super fine consistency.

Hazelnut Praline Ganache

320mL and 800mL of heavy cream
10 oz. of milk chocolate (I used Ghirardelli)
All of the hazelnut praline

1. Using a a microwave, warm the chocolate in 30s intervals, stir in between intervals. When there are just a few lumps of solid chocolate left, reduce heating time to 10 secs in the microwave to avoid burning the chocolate. Stop when chocolate is one liquidy consistency.
2. Stir the processed praline into the chocolate. The mixture is supposed to be grainy, don’t worry!

2. Bring 320mL of heavy cream to a boil, then pour 1/3 of it into the chocolate mixture. Stir slowly until evenly combined. Drizzle in the rest of the boiled heavy cream in thirds and stir to combine.
3. Pour in the remaining cold 800mL heavy cream, you will have a very liquid mixture, this is normal, don’t panic!
4. Place the entire mixture into a refrigerator for a couple hours to cool. If possible, put the beaters of your standmixer/handmixer into the fridge as well. You want to make sure everything is really cold, but NOT frozen, in order to be able to whip up the cream and create a thicker consistency.
5. When it is cooled, whip the mixture on medium speed until medium peak forms. You don’t want to whip it for too long or on high speed because your whip cream will curdle and turn to butter. No bueno.¬†

Source: Modified from Alena Kogotkova

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Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

triple chocolate mousse cake

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Actually this cake is more like quadruple chocolate mousse cake. There’s a moist chocolate cake base, a dark chocolate mousse layer, then a white chocolate mousse layer and a shiny dark chocolate glaze on the top. But since white “chocolate” doesn’t technically count as chocolate, I decided to forgo it.¬†

Of all the cakes that I have ever made, this is the second one I’m happy with. The first being the strawberries and cream chocolate cake.¬†

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I made this cake for a friend’s 21st birthday. He let me choose what kind of cake to make him which was a a total curse because I am the WORST at making decisions. I finally decided to make a mousse cake the morning of his party because I thought that it would be easy to do. Booooyyyy was I wrong, I’m warning you right now, this cake is SO high maintenance! I didn’t give it enough time to firm up in the freezer, but I’m pretty sure that even if I did, it will not stay solid at room temp. If you decide to make this, I suggest freezing/refrigerating the cake until you need to serve it. I had to take this cake to the party location via public transportation (great arm workout) and by the time I got to the location, this cake was pretty much a mess. BUT, everyone LOVED it so my hard work was not wasted :’) The feeling of satisfaction when my friends get excited all over my cakes will never get old for me! Yes, I’m talking bout you Justin, David, Leanne, and Vanessa!¬†

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Maybe I’m being too hard on myself, but I honestly don’t think that I’m that great of a baker! My friends say that I’m too modest, but I like to see it as giving myself more room to grow ūüôā The moment I think that I’m good enough, is the moment when I will settle. I don’t like to settle because that feeling I get when I exceed myself is too great to give up. Unless it involves a couch, a new episode of 2 Broke Girls, and a family sized bag of cheetos, I’ll be up and at em trying to beat myself in everything possible.¬†

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Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

Chocolate Cake
1/2 recipe for black magic cake, baked in a 10in round cake pan. Cool completely before layering mousse.

For the dark chocolate mousse:
1 teaspoon (3 grams) powdered gelatin 
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup (105 g) whole milk (I used 2 percent)
6 oz (175 g) good quality dark chocolate (or use milk chocolate if you prefer), finely chopped
1 1/4 cup (280 g) heavy cream

1. Bloom gelatin by sprinkling gelatin over water in small bowl for 5 mins. 

2. Heat milk in pan until simmering, TURN OFF HEAT, add bloomed gelatin and stir until gelatin melts milk.

3. Place chocolate into a bowl, pour the hot milk over the chocolate and let sit for about 2 minutes before stirring until smooth. Let this cool completely at room temperature. 

4. Whip cream until soft peak then fold into cooled but not firm chocolate mixture. Pour over chocolate cake and place into freezer while you make the white chocolate mousse.

For the white chocolate mousse:
1/2 cup (105 g) whole milk (I used 2 percent)
6 oz (175 g) good quality white chocolate
1 teaspoon (3 grams) powdered gelatin 
2 tablespoons water
3/4 cup (180 g) heavy cream

1. Bloom gelatin by sprinkling gelatin over water in small bowl for 5 mins. 

2. Heat milk in pan until simmering, TURN OFF HEAT, add bloomed gelatin and stir until gelatin melts milk.

3. Place chocolate into a bowl, pour the hot milk over the chocolate and let sit for about 2 minutes before stirring until smooth. Let this cool completely at room temperature. 

4. Whip cream until soft peak then fold into cooled but not firm chocolate mixture. Pour over dark chocolate mousse and place back into freezer for about 2 hours. 

For the chocolate glaze and sauce:
4 oz (112g) dark chocolate, finely chopped

1/2 cup (80g) heavy cream 
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I omitted)

1. Place cream, corn syrup, and oil into a microwavable bowl. Heat for about 50 secs until boiling. 

2. Pour heated cream mixture over chocolate. Let it sit for about 2 minutes before stirring to combine. Cool until room temperature.

3. Evenly pour over white chocolate mousse. Place back into freezer for another hour to set the glaze. 

Source: adapted from Pastry Pal

 

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Ninjago Cake

ninjago cake

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A-, who ordered the rainbow baby shower cake, was so smitten with it that she placed an order months in advance for her son’s birthday! She asked me back in October and her son’s birthday just happened last week. I was counting down the months til January because I was really excited to make this cake. It’s Lego! Who wouldn’t be excited? ūüôā (If you didn’t grow up playing Lego, I feel heartbroken for you.)

A- pretty much appointed me as her go to baker; she already put in her order for her own birthday cake (May) and daughter’s (June).

Can’t wait to share more pictures and recipes with you guys! Thanks for all your encouraging words ūüôā I couldn’t have done it with you (honestly!).

Note: this recipe makes 4 8in cake rounds

Orange Creamsicle Cake

Cake

2 cups unsalted butter, softened
28 tbsp sugar
8 large eggs, room temp
3 cup self-rising flour 
Zest from 3 oranges
4-6 tbsp milk
 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 4- 8 in cake pans.
 
2. Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add in sugar all at once, beat until colour lightens.
 
3. Mix in eggs one at a time, then add in orange zest. 
 
4. Slowly stir in flour until just incorporated. Add 2-3 tbsp of milk to soften consistency of batter. 
 
5. Bake for approx 18-20 mins
 
Orange Creamsicle Icing
 
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
16 oz cream cheese, softened (2 sticks)
4-5 cups of powdered sugar
Zest from one orange
 
1. Beat butter and cream cheese together in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
 
2. Gradually add icing sugar 1 cup at a time then mix in zest when desired sweetness level is reached.
 
Source: me (I mix and matched a bunch of vanilla cakes then decided to add orange zest)
 
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