Choose Your Own Adventure Gianduia Happy Birthday Dan Cake

Remember those books (OMG!?!) where you choose your own adventure?
Here I am providing some (choose your own) instructions on how to make this delicious chocolate hazelnut cake. You can basically choose to do it right... right away, or you can take the loooooong way, which is what is pictured here. Should you choose the correct way, I suggest making super-sure that you don't follow our instructions. If you do decide to follow our exact instructions, then that's fine, the cake will turn out amazing anyways. You will need a few extra minutes, and a little bit more dishsoap, that's all!

For the Chocolate Chiffon Cake

(1 sheetpan or 2 x 10" springforms)

2/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
8 Egg Yolks
1 Cup Water
1 Tbsp Vanilla
wisk above to combine

11 oz Cake Flour
5 oz Sugar
4 Tsp Baking powder
1 Tsp Salt
3 oz Dark Cocoa Powder
sift dry ingredients into another bowl and mix with wisk add dry to wet, and mix for 1 minute or until well combined. You can either choose to correctly incorporate the cocoa at this point, or you can use our special technique pictured below which involved the advanced process of adding the cocoa last* For more on this technique, click here.

8 Egg Whites
9 oz Sugar
Using a stand mixer, make a stiff meringue. Fold into the flour mixture with a spatula. Don't overmix! Spread the batter in a parchment paper lined sheetpan. Bake at 350F for about 14 minutes. Cool completely.

Gianduia Mousse
285 g Gianduia Chocolate (chocolate with hazelnut paste)
475 ml Whipping Cream
2 Egg Yolks

Melt the Chocolate over a double Boiler. If you choose to get inspired, think about adding Frangelico liqueur to the chocolate. Think TWICE.

If you have annyway, the chocolate mysteriously seizes into a hard ball. If you decide to heat up some cream and add it to melt the chocolate again and fix your problem, click here. If you decide to eat a couple of spoonfuls of it, click here.

If needed, start again. While the chocolate is melting, whip the cream in a stand mixer. Add the yolks and whip well. Fold the cream into the melted and slightly cooled chocolate. Set aside in the fridge.

Candied Hazeltnuts
A bunch of non toasted Hazelnuts with some shells still on
Some Maple Syrup

Coat the hazelnuts with Syrup. Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet at 375F about 15 mins or until solid. Once cool, cut into small pieces.
Assembling the Cake
Prepare an 8 inch springform pan with a cakeboard at the bottom, and acetate paper on the side. Cute 3 x 8 inch rounds from your sheetpan.
Prepare a simple Syrup with equal amounts of sugar and water, and shot of frangelico liqueur. Bring to the boil and b oil for at least 3 minutes. Let it cool slightly.
Place the first layer of cake in the pan. Soak with Syrup.
Place a layer of the Gianduia mousse evenly with a palette knife. If you decide to have a piece of cake, with filling, to try it out and make sure its ok, click here.

Sprinkle with candied hazelnuts. Repeat the layers again, so in total you have 3 layers of cake, and 2 layers of filling in the cake. Leave it to set in the freezer for 1 hour.

Make a Chocolate Ganache


250 ml of whipping cream
2 Tbspp Butter, 1 Tbsp Glucose if you have some.
250 gr Dark Chocolate

Bring the cream, butter and glucose to a boil. Pour over the chocolate off the heat. Allow to stand for a minute, then mix until smooth with a spatula. Pass through a fine sieve. Its important to do this to get a perfect smooth finish.Transfer half to another bown and leave to cool. You will need half of the ganache to be pourable, but cool, and the other half to be cool and spreadable like nutella at room temperature.

Cover the cake with the nutella like ganache, getting it as even as possible.

Set in the fridge until hard.

Put the cake on a wire rack, over a tray to catch the falling ganache. Using a ladle, pour the other half of the ganache evenly over the cake, starting by adding large amounts to the center. Keep pouring until it falls over the sides, then go over the sides until perfectly coated. Puncture any bubbles with a toothpick.

Remove the cake from wire rack, and place on a cakeboard. Voila!!! almost finished. Set in the fridge for a few minutes.

Now for the fun part, use any decor of your type, make it appropriately festive for the one you love. We chose to do some nice designs of 50 beer, and filigree. happy berfday Dan!

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