6 - 8 people
- Hazelnut Sponge Cake:
- 7 medium eggs, separated
- 235 g caster sugar
- 6 tbsp water
- 180 g plain flour, sifted
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 60 g ground hazelnuts
- For the Chocolate Mousse:
- 2 tsp gelatin powder
- 1 tbsp water
- 100 g Lindt EXCELLENCE 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate, finely chopped
- Pinch of salt
- 250 ml double cream
- 1 medium egg yolk
- 50 g sugar
- For the Hazelnut Buttercream:
- 3 medium egg whites
- 140 g sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 125 g butter, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp hazelnut syrup
- For the Dark Chocolate Drip:
- 100 g Lindt EXCELLENCE 85% Cocoa Dark Chocolate, finely chopped
- 125 ml double cream
- To decorate:
- 4 fresh figs, quartered
- 75 g hazelnuts, toasted
- 100 g Lindt EXCELLENCE 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate, cut into diamonds
Hazelnut Sponge Cake: Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 160C/ Gas Mark 4. Grease and flour the bottom and sides of three 6-inch/15cm round cake tins or line with greaseproof paper; set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
Beat together the egg yolks and sugar until thick and lemony coloured. Slowly beat in the water until incorporated. Sift flour the mixture over the top and stir until blended. Fold in the ground hazelnuts and vanilla essence.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whisked egg whites into the yolk mixture. Fold in the remaining whites 1/3 at a time until combined. Divide between the prepared tins; smooth over the tops.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into centre of cake and springs back when lightly touched. Leave to cool in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and leave to cool completely on wire racks.
For the Dark Chocolate Mousse: Sprinkle the gelatin over the water; let stand for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the chocolate and salt in a heatproof bowl; set aside. Heat half the cream in a small saucepan over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until steaming. Stir in the gelatin-water until dissolved. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate; let stand for 1 minute. Whisk until smooth and melted; set aside.
Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolk and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water for 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture is thick. (To test: let the mixture fall back into bowl from the whisk, it’s thick enough when a ribbon forms on the surface and slowly disappears back into mixture.)
Fold the egg yolk mixture into chocolate mixture. Transfer into a large bowl. Place over ice bath, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes or mixture starts to thicken and has cooled to room temperature.
Beat the remaining cream until stiff peaks start to form. Fold one third of into the chocolate mixture. Then fold in the remaining mixture until combined. Transfer mousse to piping bag without a nozzle.
Stack one cake onto a cake plate. Using half the mousse mixture, pipe a border of mousse around edges of cake then pipe more mousse to cover the cake inside the border. Stack with another cake and repeat with mousse mixture. Cap with remaining cake. Chill for 2 to 4 hours in refrigerator or until the mousse has set firm.
For the Hazelnut Buttercream: Combine the egg whites, sugar and salt in heatproof bowl of a stand mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until mixture is warm to the touch and the sugar has dissolved. (The mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingers.) Attach the bowl to an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increase to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture for 8 to 12 minutes or until fluffy, glossy and completely cool. (Test by the touching the bottom of the bowl.)
With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter, a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all the butter has been added, beat in the hazelnut syrup. Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until all the air bubbles are eliminated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to beat until the frosting is completely smooth.
Spread a thin layer of the buttercream frosting over top and sides of cake to create a crumb coat. Then spread the remaining frosting to cover top and sides. Chill cake for 1 to 2 hours to set frosting.
For the Chocolate Drip: Put the chopped chocolate into a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat. Pour the cream into a small saucepan set over a medium heat, stirring until heated through and just simmering. Whisk the hot cream slowly into chocolate until blended. Cool to room temperature. The mixture should be thick but pourable.
To assemble: Transfer the Chocolate Drip mixture into a piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Squeeze the chocolate mixture over the top edges of the cake so that the chocolate drips down sides in pretty uniform fashion. Then squeeze remaining chocolate on top of centre of cake and spread to cover top of cake. Decorate with fresh figs, hazelnuts and chocolate diamonds.