Winner of the Golden Cloud You Take the Cake competition, Annetjie Emge’s cake, the Babette’s celebration cake, is filled with nutty, chocolatey goodness – definitely one for celebratory eating!
Babette’s celebration cake
- 3 extra-large eggs
- 300g (1½ cups) light brown sugar
- 5ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
- 50g (½ cup) cocoa powder
- 125ml (½ cup) vegetable oil
- 125ml (½ cup) strong, black coffee
- 210g (1¾ cups) Golden Cloud Cake Wheat Flour
- 1ml salt
- 15ml (1 tbsp) baking powder
- 100g hazelnuts
- 125g castor sugar
Hazelnut praline ganache
- 180g good quality milk chocolate,
- 125ml (½ cup) thick cream
- 15ml (1 tbsp) Frangelico liqueur
- cooled hazelnut brittle
- 125ml (½ cup) non-dairy cream
- (vegetable dessert topping/artificial
- cream (“This can be replaced with cream, but I find it very rich,” says Annetjie)
- 15ml (1 tbsp) Frangelico
- 60ml (¼ cup) strong, hot black coffee
- whipped cream, chocolate shavings
- and reserved hazelnut brittle,
- roughly broken
Preheat the oven to 180°C. For the cake batter, beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy then add the vanilla.
Mix the cocoa powder, oil and coffee until the cocoa powder has completely dissolved. Add to the egg mixture and mix well.
Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together and add to the egg mixture. Beat well and spoon into two greased 26cm springform cake tins.
Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in the pans.
For the brittle, toast the hazelnuts in a pan over very low heat until the skins start to crack and can be peeled off. Spread the nuts out on a silicone baking mat.
Place the castor sugar in a small saucepan over very low heat. Do not stir. Swirl the pan until all the sugar has melted and is a deep caramel colour. Immediately pour the warm caramel over the nuts and leave to cool.
For the hazelnut praline ganache, place the chocolate in a heat-resistant bowl. Bring the cream to a boil and pour over the chocolate. Stir until it becomes glossy. Add the Frangelico.
Break the cooled hazelnut brittle into small chunks and chop finely. Reserve a small amount of the brittle before chopping for the topping.
Measure out 125ml (½ cup) of the cooled ganache and mix with 125ml (½ cup) of chopped hazelnut brittle. Refrigerate the remaining ganache for at least 1 hour.
For the whipped ganache, whip the refrigerated ganache together with the non-dairy cream to form stiff peaks, taking care not to over-whip, as it will split. Carefully mix in the remaining hazelnut brittle.
For the syrup, add the Frangelico to the coffee and set aside.
To assemble the cake, cut each layer of cake in half horizontally. Lightly brush the first layer of cake with coffee syrup and spread with half the whipped ganache.
Top with another layer of cake, brush lightly with coffee syrup and spread with hazelnut praline ganache. Repeat this step using the remaining whipped ganache.
Top with the final layer of cake, brush with coffee syrup and spread with whipped cream. Garnish with chocolate shavings, hazelnut brittle or a fruit of your choice.