It’s Christmas time! What better way to celebrate with family than to indulge in the food of the gods – chocolate! This luscious chocolate cake will have you drooling.
I’ve been counting down to Christmas for days now! While Christmas is a traditional celebration for some, those of us who’ve adopted it use the occasion to express our gratitude, exchange greetings, and most of all, spend quality time with our loved ones.
This Christmas, why don’t you try out a non-traditional dessert? Try out this amazing chocolate cake frosted with Nutella biscoff spread and chocolate shards.
I made this cake for someone’s surprise birthday party and it was a huge hit. Everyone, especially the little ones, kept coming back for more. I was constantly fielding questions about the chocolate shards and why they tasted like mint thins. I had to make this cake look like it was a man’s birthday cake, so I did away with dainty decorations. The effort paid off!
For the cake:
|Self-raising flour||2 cups|
|Baking powder||1 tsp|
|Baking soda||2 tsp|
|Plain chocolate||75 gm|
|Unsweetened cocoa powder||½ cup|
|Castor sugar||1-½ cups|
|Hot coffee decoction||1 cup|
|Unsalted butter||1 cup|
|Vanilla essence||1 tsp|
For the ganache*:
|Dark chocolate (70% Cocoa)||150 gm|
|Milk chocolate (40% Cocoa)||150 gm|
|Nutella (hazelnut spread)||400 gm jar|
|Double cream||300 gm|
|Icing sugar (optional)||½ cup|
*Adapted from here. Note: Ideally, biscoff is made from spiced cookies such as Gingerbread.
For the chocolate shards:
|Dark chocolate||150 gm|
|Peppermint essence-oil soluble||2 drops|
|Demerera sugar (brown sugar)||3 tbsp|
- Separate the egg whites and yolks.
- Ensure that butter is at room temperature before you start.
- Prepare hot coffee decoction by mixing 1-½ tsp of any instant coffee powder with 1 cup of water.
- Preheat the fan assisted oven to 180˚C.
- Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl. Whisk until creamy and smooth. Incorporate the yolk and whisk again.
- In a separate mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients – self-raising flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder – together and give it a good stir. Add the hot coffee decoction and milk alternately. Mix after each inclusion.
- Beat the egg whites separately until peaks form.
- Melt chocolate pieces in the microwave and add the melted chocolate to the beaten egg whites., and mix well.
- Add the egg white mixture and the creamed butter and sugar mixture to the flour mixture.
- Whisk this mixture with a hand blender for about two minutes until there are no lumps.
- Grease two 21-inch sandwich cake tins with a little butter and dust it with cocoa powder. Pour the smooth cake batter in the sandwich tins until they fill up ¾ of the tins and place in the preheated oven.
- Let the cake bake for around 45 minutes or until a skewer that’s inserted in the center comes out clean. Let it rest on a wire rack until the cake cools.
- Break the chocolate pieces into small equal pieces and melt them in a double boiler.
- Remove the chocolate from the heat and whisk in Nutella spread. Add the double cream and with the help of an electric mixer, whisk until soft peaks form. If you beat it for too long the frosting will become grainy.
- Adjust the sweetness of the mixture depending on your taste. Add icing sugar until you’re happy with the taste.
- Mix peppermint essence and sugar together.
- Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Cut out a 16-inch sheet of parchment paper and place on your workstation. Pour melted chocolate over the parchment paper. Using an offset spatula, spread the chocolate in a thin and even layer, roughly 1/3 inches off each edge. Place a second sheet of same-sized parchment paper on top and gently press to release the air bubbles. Starting with one short end, roll the parchment paper tightly into an inch-wide tube. Place it seam side down on a rimmed baking tray and chill in the refrigerator until set (this will take two hours).
- Keep a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper ready and remove the tube from the refrigerator. Unroll the tube in one quick motion – this creates the chocolate shards.
- Remove the top sheet of parchment paper, and use an offset spatula to carefully remove the shards and transfer them onto the lined baking sheet.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Use the large shards to decorate the side of the cake and the smaller ones to cover the top of the cake.
# Process of making shards has been adapted from here.
Assembling the cake:
- Use a long, serrated knife to cut out the uneven shapes of the cake and even out the surface. (Keep them aside to eat whenever you feel like!)
- Place one cake carefully on cardboard. Frost the cake by spreading 1/3rd portion of the ganache on top. Place the second cake over the top of the frosted first half and frost the top and sides with the remaining ganache.
- Carefully pull out the frozen shards and use tweezers to arrange them along the sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake until the shards set onto the ganache and serve.
- For my cake, I tried using a heart-shaped cake pan. You could make two separate cakes or bake a bigger cake and slice it into two.
- Chocolate melts easily, especially when being handled by warm hands. So, when placing shards on the cake, use a kitchen tool such as tweezers.
Images courtesy of Sandhya’s Kitchen and reproduced with permission.
Chocoholic? Check out this simple chocolate truffle recipe here: Chocolate Truffle Recipe for the Holidays.