{twd} chocolate caramel hazelnut cake


I went to the very edge of CAKE FAIL, but made it out on the other side with HEAVEN ON A PLATE.

Yes, my cake might not look like much. It doesn’t look like the elegant picture in Dorie Greenspan’s Baking…From My Home to Yours. I overcame a lot of obstacles to make it, but it was worth it–so worth it.

  • This week’s Tuesdays with DorieChocolate Caramel Chestnut Cake–calls for jarred chestnuts. Week after week I would walk down the baking aisle at my local gourmet grocery store and see the jarred chestnuts thinking, “one day I will buy you for a recipe”. Of course, because this is the way things happen, this week the store didn’t have them. I also didn’t have the required sweetened vanilla chestnut spread. I did find and buy unsweetend chestnut puree which I figured I could sweeten myself¬† the next time I make the cake (and there will be a next time).
  • Not having enough time to drive all the way to Whole Foods/Los Angeles, I made the cake with toasted hazelnuts, Nutella, and instead of brandy–I used Frangelico.


  • I made 1/4 of the cake batter recipe, 1/3 of the ganache, 1/8 of the syrup, and 1/8 of the glaze. In retrospect, I should have¬† made more glaze.
  • I baked the cake in my 4″ round pan. I should have used two pans. I knew I should have used it. I was feeling lazy and didn’t feel like prepping the second pan. The cake rose like crazy and overflowed like one of those constantly erupting volcanoes in Hawaii. Luckily, once I scraped away the overflow parts I was able to salvage two 1/2″ layers.


  • I made the ganache a couple days ahead and it was too hard to spread directly on the cake. I had to wait for it soften a bit.
  • My glaze wasn’t smooth. I blame this on not making enough and having to play with it a lot to coat the cake.

In the end, all of that doesn’t matter because this cake was good. Thank you to Katya of Second Dinner for hosting this week. If you would like the recipe, visit her blog or buy the book.

Oh, I almost forgot. I had extra ganache, so I made truffles by rolling balls and dusting with cocoa powder.