I’ve been saving this cake for a special occasion, and well, what better an occasion than New Year’s Eve. For me, celebrating the new year means feasting on the finest foods, drinking some delicious champagne and spending the night with Julien and my new puppy, Otto. While I’d love to also spend the night with friends, I don’t think I have the energy this year to battle my way through the crowded streets of Paris – and I will secretly miss my puppy too much.
My hazelnut and Ferrero Rocher Celebration Cake is exactly what it claims to be: a celebration cake. The burnt butter and hazelnut financier is covered in a light coat of milk chocolate and covered with hazelnuts. It’s then garnished with a swirl of cremeux and topped with some irresistible Ferrero Rochers. It’s not too fragile so you can transport it sans problem, and in addition, it’s easy to eat making it a perfect party cake (I should mention that’s it’s also irresistible in the morning accompanied by a hot cup of coffee)!
To make the recipe exactly as I have, you will need this mould. You can, however, make it in a different shape or form, just make sure the mould is relatively small or the cake will be too flat. I also recommend making the chocolate cremeux the night before so it has plenty of time to set in the fridge.
Place the butter in a small saucepan, over medium/high heat. Stir continuously as the butter melts and becomes foamy. Once it starts to darken in colour and dark specks become visible, remove from the heat and pour into a bowl. Add the honey and set aside for later.
Cover a baking tray with baking paper and sprinkle over the ground hazelnuts. Place them in the oven for approximately 10 minutes or until golden and fragrant. Allow to cool.
In a large bowl, sift the icing sugar, flour and baking powder. Add the vanilla, hazelnuts and eggwhites. Whisk until smooth. Finally, add the butter and give it all a final whisk.
Pour into the mould and bake for 20 minutes or until you can insert a knife and it comes out clean. Allow to cool.
The Chocolate Hazelnut Coating
In a bain-marie, gently melt the chocolate. Use a thermometer to ensure that the temperature doesn’t surpass 45°C. Remove from the heat and add the oil and hazelnuts. Mix well until smooth and glossy.
Place the financier on a cooling rack or grill and slowly pour over the chocolate. Allow it to run down the sides of the cake so it’s evenly covered. Carefully transfer the cake onto a plate and place in the fridge to set.
The Milk Chocolate Cremeux (prepare the night before)
Pour the milk, cream and vanilla into a small saucepan and slowly bring to a boil. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and sugar. When the milk starts to boil, pour half over the eggs, whisk well, then pour everything back into the pan. Stir continuously and allow the mixture to heat to 84°C.
Chop up the chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and use a spatula to mix until smooth. Transfer into a container and allow to set in the fridge overnight.
The next day, fill a pipping bag fitted with a star shaped tip, with the cremeux and pipe some rosettes around the cake. Top with Ferrero Rochers and decorate with gold leaf.