I think it's worth seeking out the hazelnut paste (also called praline or filbert paste). We got it at Spun Sugar, in Berkeley at about $10 for a pound. When we made the test recipe, I did it with chopped hazelnuts, which I thought made for a rough chewy texture although the overall cake was moister. Below is the final recipe, which I made four times: once for the 8" layer (we cut the final cake in half to make 2 layers), once for the 10" layer (we also cut this layer in half), and two separate times for the 12" layer. It easily fed 60 people, with the top saved for the bride and groom, and a little bit of the bottom tier left over.
Hazelnut-Coriander Cake with Praline Ganache & Chocolate Glaze
One 8", one 10" and one 12" cake pans or springform pans
Cake racks for cooling and for decorating
20 cake dowels or plastic straws
One 8", one 10" and one 12" cake round cut in cardboard and covered with foil
(8" and 10" rounds should have a 1/4" hole poked in the center.)
One 14" cake plate or a foil covered cake platform.
One 1/4" wooden dowel, or a thick wooden skewer
1 cup (2 sticks unsalted butter)
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
8 oz unsweetened hazelnut paste (aka filbert paste or praline paste)
6 large eggs (Separated yolks and whites)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground coriander
Preheat the oven to 325F. Butter your cake pan.* Line the botto
In a s
In a large bowl crea
In a separate VERY clean bowl, with VERY clean beaters, beat the eggs whites until you can form soft peaks, but the whites are not "dry." Fold one third of the whites into the batter until the mixture is combined. Add another third and continue folding, then add the remaining whites, and fold until just mixed.
Pour the batter into the pan and give it a couple of jiggles or taps to s
Transfer to a wire rack and cool co
Whipped Praline Ganache
The followign makes enough to fill a 10" 2 layer cake, with so
NOTE: Be sure to allow the cakes to really, truly, all-the-way cool before you fill the
8 oz bittersweet chocolate (we used 70% cacao El Rey Gran Saman chocolate)
2 cups heavy crea
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup hazelnut paste, or if you'd like more texture, 1 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts
Break the chocolate into pieces and process in a food processor until very fine. If you're using hazelnut paste, add it here and process until co
Heat the crea
After chilling, add the vanilla and beat the
To add the ganache layer: First, carefully level off the tops of all of the cake layers by cutting off the "dome" with a long bread knife. It's easiest and fastest to put the layers on a cake turntable for this process.*
Set down your first layer on a cardboard round* (if you're working on the 8 or 10" round, make sure you've punched a small hole (1/4") in the center first. Put down a thick layer of ganache (about 1 1/2 cups) on the cake and spread evenly, adding more to plug up any gaps. Lower the other layer onto the first and settle them evenly. Fill in gaps on the sides to make the whole cake tier a "solid cylinder."
Makes 2 full cups, enough to glaze a 1-layer 10" cake. We made a little more than double this recipe for the entire wedding cake.
9 oz bittersweet (70% cacao) chocolate
1 liquid cup heavy crea
To prepare cake for glazing:
Brush all cru
To prepare the glaze: Break the chocolate into pieces and process in a food processor until very fine. Re
Heat the crea
Check for consistency: At a tepid te
The glaze should be poured onto the center of the cake, allowing the excess to flow down the sides. S
Allow the cake to set for at least 3 hours at roo
I don't like to travel with the layers already assembled, but i do like to put it all together once to make sure the whole thing looks right. Then I can take apart the layers and box them up for transport.
When you're ready to assemble, take one cake dowel* and insert it into the center of the 12" tier. With a pencil, mark the height of the cake remove the dowel and cut about 8-10 of the cake dowels to this length. Insert the dowels around the center of the 12" tier in a circle about 2" from the center. Do not place a dowel at the center: this is where the wooden dowel or skewer* will go.
Repeat above the process for the 10" tier.
Measure the heights of all three tiers and add them up. Subtract about 2 inches from the sum. Cut the wooden dowel or skewer to this length. Insert it (point side up) into the center of the 12" cake and stake the cake by sliding the 10" cake over the skewer and letting the cardboard support sit on the dowels. Repeat for the 8 " layer.
We used two springform pans (8" and 10") and then a 12" cake pan for this recipe. From past wedding cakes, I've learned that a cake turntable is a great investment. Mine is plastic and not very expensive, but it does the trick and it really simplifies things like glazing and decorating.
You can buy the pans and also to turntable as well as cardboard rounds to put under the cake at Sur la Table or cake supply places like Spun Sugar. This is also the place to look for cake dowels, which look like lollipop sticks. You'll use these to space the layers of the cake. For the long wooden dowel, I recommend checking your local hardware store. You can use a long wooden skewer too, but the dowel is more stable.
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