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White Chocolate and Hazelnut Mud Cake with Hazelnut Macaron and White Chocolate Rings

For my lovely Nick…

I wanted to create something quite special for my wedding anniversary. I didn’t get to eat much of the wedding cake on the day, or the day after, and I’m not sure how well it will have kept from a year ago (as we froze the top layer of the cake).

We had a white chocolate hazelnut cake for our wedding and for more than a year I have been wanting to make one. I decided to make some hazelnut macarons and white chocolate rings to add some depth and interest to the cake.
Both the mud cake and macarons tasted fantastic. The mud cake had subtle white chocolate and hazelnut flavours, without being too sweet. It was moist and kept very well. The macaron had a lovely noticeable hazelnut flavour, perfectly chewy on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside.

The macarons were left to form a shell, and I’m not sure whether it had too much moisture or hazelnuts to cause cracking of the top of the macaron or whether the oven played any part in this.

My tempering wasn’t perfect, I heated 2/3 of the (180g block) white chocolate to 43C over a double boiler, added the other 1/3 and cooled to 29C (which took a while) then heated to 31C. The white chocolate still snapped when set, but wasn’t as shiny as I’d hoped.

To make the white chocolate rings, I cut out strips of projector film, coated them in tempered white chocolate, let them set for a bit, then curled them up in a circular cookie cutter. For the flower ring, I punched flowers out of the film using a craft paper puncher.

To another lovely year… and many more to come…

A beautiful bouquet of double delight roses from Nick

White Chocolate and Hazelnut Mud Cake

(Cake recipe by kel11 on HubPages [1])

350g white chocolate pieces
225g butter
600ml water
3 eggs
400g castor sugar
325g self-raising flour
75g hazelnut meal

Grease and line a 23cm/ 9” round cake tin (use a non-spring-tin as it will probably leak a little). Preheat oven to 170ºC, 150ºC fan forced.

In a saucepan over low heat, heat chocolate, butter and water. Stir frequently until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs. Gradually beat cooled chocolate mixture into eggs. Whisk sugar and flour into chocolate mixture, continue until smooth and well blended.

Pour mixture into cake tin. Cook for 1½ to 2 hours (the recipe says 45 minutes, but this was way too short for my oven) or until skewer inserted into centre of cake comes out clean. (Cover with some foil if the cake is browning too much on the edges).

Turn cake onto wire rack to cool. Spread top with chocolate ganache when cooled.

White Chocolate Ganache

180g white chocolate
1/3 cup thickened cream
+ 2-3 tablespoons cold cream extra

Put the white chocolate and cream in a bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute, stirring half way through. Stir until smooth. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Using an electric beater, beat the white chocolate mix for 2-3 minutes. Add extra cream to help cool down the mix and help it thicken easier. Beat on high for 2 minutes at a time, scrapping and observing the texture. Once it is nice and thick cover the cooled cake with the ganache.

Hazelnut Macarons

5 egg whites, aged overnight
50g caster sugar
300g icing sugar
100g almond meal
80g hazelnut meal

Sift the icing sugar with the almond meal and hazelnut meal – discard any large bits.

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the caster sugar while continually beating until a thick glossy meringue mixture is formed. Add the sifted icing sugar and meals and stir and fold into the meringue. The mixture needs to be firm enough so it doesn’t lose all the air and structure, and soft enough that peaks are not evident when piped out.

Pipe out macaron mix into 3-4cm circles on baking paper and let sit at room temperature for 30minutes – 1hour. Preheat oven to 170C.

Cook macarons for 15-20minutes until crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Let the macarons sit on the tray for a few minutes, before carefully removing them and leaving them to finish cooling on a wire rack.

When cooled, fill with white chocolate ganache.