Best-Ever Layered Chocolate Cake

This is the most delicious chocolate cake – three layers of light, hazelnut chocolate sponge iced and sandwiched with super-simple, light, eggless, chocolate mousse and finished with some Ferrero Rocher.

Ingredients

200g unsalted, softened butter
250g caster sugar
1 tbsp instant coffee
180ml boiling water
150g plain flour
50g unsweetened cocoa powder
50g ground almonds
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
100g sour cream
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g roasted, hazelnut pieces, chopped
200g dark chocolate
400ml double cream
2 tbsp caster sugar
250g mascarpone cheese
5-6 Ferrero Rochers, crushed

Method

Beat together the butter and caster sugar for a couple of minutes until smooth.
Mix the coffee and water together in a jug.
Mix together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
Add the sour cream to the coffee and mix in.
Add eggs to the butter mixture and blend until well combined.
Scrape down the sides, add the vanilla extract and mix again.
Add half of the dry mix and beat through.
Add half of the liquid and mix through.
When it starts to come together, continue blending and add the remaining dry mix and then slowly add the remaining liquid.
Beat for another couple of minutes.
Add the hazelnuts and mix them through.
Grease and line three 8” cake tins.
Divide the cake batter evenly between the tins.
Bake in an oven preheated to 180°C for 30 minutes.
When cooked, the sides should come away from the tin.
Leave to cool completely.

To make the mousse, melt the chocolate over a pan of boiling water.
Whisk the cream and caster sugar until soft peaks form.
Mix the melted chocolate through the cheese.
Add a small amount of the whipped cream to loosen it and mix through.
Continue adding the cream and mixing until all is blended.
Place a cake on a plate and smooth some mousse over it.
Sandwich the second layer and smooth more mousse over it.
Sandwich the third layer and then use the remaining mousse to ice the cake.
Sprinkle the Ferrero Rocher pieces over the top of the cake to decorate.
Press more hazelnuts into the sides of the cake until it is covered.
If not serving immediately, keep it in the fridge.

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