Today is this guy's birthday.
Happy 71st Birthday Dad!
Saturday we went to celebrate it with him. Of course, the night before at 8 pm I decided to make him a cake. Yes, I do like to plan ahead for these things. It had to be something yummy, chocolatey, he likes nuts so nutty and he lives for candy so throw in some candy too while you are at it. The perfect cake for him? Giada deLaurentiis' Hazelnut Crunch Cake with Mascarpone and Chocolate.
Since I didn't have everything to make it, I tweaked it a bit. Her original recipe is posted, but the changes I made are in parenthesis.
1 box chocolate cake mix and everything you need to make it.
I didn't have a chocolate cake mix, so I made this one from scratch.
Devil's Food Cake
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup of milk
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg yolk
2 cups cake flour (I used all purpose)
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sifted sugar
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 t vanilla
2 egg whites
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Add milk, brown sugar and 1 egg yolk. When thickened remove from heat. You want a custard like mixture.
Sift flour. Resift with baking soda and salt. Beat butter til soft. Add sugar. Beat til creamy. Add remaining egg yolks one at a time. In a bowl mix milk, water and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three parts to butter mix, alternating with milk mixture. Stir til smooth. Add chocolate mixture and stir.
Beat whites til they form soft peaks. Fold into cake batter. Grease and flour two 9" cake pans. Add cake mix equally to pans. Bake in oven about 25 minutes til done. Let cool completely.
Now back to Giada's recipe.
1 cup hazelnuts (I used cashews)
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
Spread nuts out on parchment paper. In small saucepan combine sugar and water. Stir til sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil. Continue to boil until mixture is light brown. Remove from heat and let bubbles subside. Pour mixture over nuts. Let crunch completely cool. When cool, break up saving a few large pieces for decorations. In a food processor, pulse remaining crunch into small bits. Set aside.
2-8 oz containers mascarpone cheese, room temp. (I used cream cheese)
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 t vanilla
Add all ingredients in mixing bowl. Whip til it forms soft peaks. Fold in chopped crunch.
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 T sugar
1 t grated orange zest.
In food processor add all ingredients. Pulse til a fine crumble.
To assemble cake, Add filling to top of one cake. Place other cake on top and ice with remaining mixture. When completely covered, sprinkle with toppings on top and sides. Add large pieces to top of cake.
This cake is a definite must try. I have made it exactly according to Giada's and both ways are good.
Posted at Foodie Friday