Hazelnut Crêpe Cake

This cake’s decorative garnish is toasted hazelnuts dipped in caramel and hung to allow the streams of sugar to harden. You can’t go wrong with hazelnut and chocolate.

Hazelnut Crêpe Cake
 
Makes 1 (8-inch) cake
Ingredients
  • 9 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2¼ cups (281 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 7 tablespoons (84 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoons (4.5 grams) kosher salt
  • 9 teaspoons (45 grams) unsalted butter, melted and divided
  • Hazelnut Cream Filling (recipe follows)
  • Caramelized Hazelnuts (recipe follows)
Instructions
  1. In the container of a blender, place eggs, flour, half-and-half, sugar, vanilla, and salt; pulse until combined. Strain mixture, and transfer to a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  2. Heat an 8-inch nonstick pan over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon (5 grams) melted butter to pan, swirling to coat.
  3. Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons batter into pan, and quickly swirl to coat entire surface of bottom of pan. Cook over medium heat until top of crêpe begins to appear dry, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Using an offset spatula, gently turn crêpe, and cook until done, 15 to 30 seconds. Transfer to a wire rack to let cool. Repeat procedure with remaining melted butter and batter. Store crêpes between layers of parchment paper to prevent sticking.
  4. Place one crêpe on a cake stand. Spread about 3 tablespoons Hazelnut Cream Filling over crêpe, filling to within ½ inch of edge. Top with another crêpe. Repeat layers until all Hazelnut Cream Filling and crêpes have been used. Top with Caramelized Hazelnuts. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Hazelnut Cream Filling
 
Makes about 7 cups
Ingredients
  • 3 cups (681 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups (360 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ cup chocolate-hazelnut spread*
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Add chocolate-hazelnut spread, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Beat in vanilla. With mixer running, gradually add cream until desired consistency is reached. Increase mixer speed to medium-high, and beat for 3 minutes. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Notes
*We used Nutella.

Caramelized Hazelnuts
 
Makes 12
Ingredients
  • 12 hazelnuts, toasted and skins removed
  • 12 (12-inch) wooden skewers
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
Instructions
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a heavy cutting board at the edge of countertop; place prepared pan on floor directly below cutting board.
  2. Thread one hazelnut onto the end of each wooden skewer, pressing gently and twisting to secure; set aside.
  3. In a small heavy saucepan, cook sugar and ¼ cup water over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to medium. Continue to cook, without stirring, until mixture is light amber in color and registers 345°F on a candy thermometer, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand until slightly cooled, 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Carefully dip 1 skewered hazelnut into caramel, coating completely and letting excess drip back into pan. When dripping slows and becomes a thin string, secure end of skewer under cutting board, letting any excess caramel drip over edge onto prepared pan. Repeat with remaining hazelnuts and caramel. Let hazelnuts stand until caramel has hardened, about 5 minutes. Using kitchen shears, cut strings to about 4 inches or desired length. Carefully remove skewers from hazelnuts. Store, covered, at room temperature, or freeze for up to 1 week.
Notes
Be careful when working with hot caramel. If desired, wear kitchen gloves while coating hazelnuts. For easier clean up, soak remaining hardened caramel in saucepan in hot water for up to 4 hours or until dissolved.

 

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