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Recipe of the week: Rich and indulgent festive chocolate and hazelnut cake

Whip up this decadent showstopper to impress your guests this festive season.

By Natasha Heard  |  December 17, 2021
chocolate cake

Christmas and food are two elements that make for a wonderful relationship, and when it comes to festive baking, there is nothing like creating a showstopper that will impress both you and your guests. This recipe from British baking brand Tala is sure to delight and makes for an indulgent, rich and fudgy dessert that will be loved all round.

Ingredients

Sponge

300g Self Raising Flour
150g cocoa powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
400g golden caster sugar
300ml buttermilk
2tsp vanilla bean paste
3 large eggs
220ml vegetable oil
130ml water mixed with 3tbsp instant coffee

Chocolate hazelnut buttercream

260g unsalted butter
560g icing sugar
250g hazelnut chocolate spread
1-2tsp boiling water

Impress your guests this festive season

Filling and top

150g hazelnut chocolate spread
35g roasted and chopped hazelnuts

Drip

150g double cream
200g milk chocolate drops
35g roasted and chopped hazelnuts

To decorate

Few small fondant stars/sprinkles
Little icing sugar to dust

Method

Sponges

1. Grease and line the base and sides of two 8” tins and preheat oven to 160 fan.

2. Place all the dry ingredients for the sponges in a large bowl and roughly mix. Add buttermilk, vanilla, beaten eggs, vegetable oil and coffee mixture to the bowl, mix well and divide equally between the two tins. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool.

Buttercream

1. Beat the butter until pale in colour, add icing sugar then beat until light and fluffy. Add the chocolate hazelnut spread and keep beating until very smooth. Loosen with a little boiling water if needed if buttercream is too firm.

This rich chocolate and hazelnut cake will be a winner all round

Assemble

1. Slice cooled sponges in half equally and place a little buttercream on a cake board/cake stand to help secure the bottom layer.

2. Place the Nutella in a piping bag and snip off the end. Set to one side.

3. Add two spoonfuls of buttercream to the top of the sponge and smooth with a palette knife. Pipe a rough swirl of the hazelnut spread on top of the buttercream then sprinkle a handful of roasted and chopped nuts on top.

4. Continue with the other sponge layers in the same way with the buttercream and nuts. Cover the whole cake with the remaining buttercream and smooth the top and sides with a large palette knife and pop in the fridge to chill.

Ganache

1. Place chocolate and cream in a microwaveable bowl/jug and heat on 20-second bursts until you have a smooth silky ganache.

2. Add the chopped roasted hazelnuts and mix well. Leave to cool until thick enough to drip. Pour ganache into a piping bag and squeeze enough to drip down the sides all around the edge of the cake. Top with remaining ganache and smooth with a palette knife and leave to set.

Decorate

1. Once the ganache has firmed up a little, place the remaining chocolate hazelnut spread in a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe 8 trees on top and decorate each one with a little star and a dusting of icing sugar.