Hazelnut Crunch Cake with Mascarpone and Chocolate

TOTAL TIME: 2 hr
Prep: 1 hr
Inactive Prep: 30 min
Cook: 30 min
 
YIELD: 8 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

CAKE:
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
    CRUNCH:
    • 1 cup (about 4 1/2-ounces) hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
    • 2/3 cup sugar
    • 1/3 cup water
    FILLING:
    TOPPING:
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    Directions

    For the cake:
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    Butter and flour 2 (8-inch) cake pans. Prepare the cake mix according to package instructions. Divide the batter between the 2 cake pans and bake according to package instructions. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.

    For the Crunch:
    Place the toasted nuts close together in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir the sugar mixture until dissolved. Bring to a boil and let cook until the sugar is light brown, about 8 minutes. Let the bubbles subside then pour the caramelized sugar over the nuts. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator and let the sugar nut mixture cool until hard, about 30 minutes. When the sugar nut mixture is hard and cool, top with another piece of parchment paper and pound into small pieces, or place the sugar nut mixture on a cutting board and cut into small pieces. Set aside.

    For the filling:
    Put the mascarpone cheese, cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla into a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer whip the cream mixture to soft peaks. Fold the Crunch mixture into the whipped cream.

    For the topping:
    Place the chocolate, sugar and zest in a food processor. Process the mixture until the chocolate is finely ground.

    To assemble the cake:
    Put 1 cake on a serving plate. Top with 1-inch of the whipped cream crunch mixture. Top with the second layer of cake and continue frosting the entire cake with the remaining whipped cream crunch mixture. Sprinkle the top and sides of the cake with the ground chocolate. Serve.

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    4

    Newest Ratings and Reviews

    Read all 6 reviews

    • on December 24, 2011

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      I've made this cake 3 times and it took me 3 times to figure out how to get the crunch part right. I was able to get everything else to come out perfectly, but like so many other reviewers, I couldn't get my sugar to brown. Well, here's a tip that helped me be successful...DON'T STIR! I just put the water and sugar in the pot and let it go this time...and voila! It worked! What a difference...not only in taste, but also texture and visually! I get rave reviews on anyone who tries it. This will definitely be a cake I go back to for special occasions. Mmmm!!

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    • on August 14, 2011

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      I followed this recipe exactly too. I could not get the sugar to brown. I tried 3 times! Each time, the mixture turned back into crystallized sugar rather than turning into a brown liquid. Also, the mascarpone frosting was horrible. My frosting looked like cottage cheese. It had curds and was watery. I could not get it to beat into peaks. I wound up throwing it out. It was such a waste of ingredients (expensive one too. I cook/bake all of the time. There is something wrong with this recipe - be warned. It sounds so yummy - but I couldn't get it to work.

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    • on July 27, 2011

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      This was so much better with my from-scratch chocolate cake than with the mix. It is absolutely worth making the cake from scratch, because when you do, the difference is at least one star.

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