There's nothing like cake to bring out the kid in all of us. Especially, when it's a special cake, specially made for a special occasion for a special person, or people. This post is all about this cake, and I want to specifically talk about the girls. My tweens.... to be more precise, my triplets.
My girls turned 12 this year. When I say girls, I mean my triplets. Yes. If you're new around here, you will find out that I'm a parent of multiples. Triplet girls! Imagine all the shrieking and the mood swings coming our way. Anyways. Indulge me and let me be a broken record.... where has the time gone?
I used to stare at them when they were sleeping, as babies and then as toddlers. Thinking, ..."where did you girls come from? How in the world was I able to bring 3 babies into this world?" It's a miracle, I say. A blessing. Like any child, brought into this world - children are a blessing.
So what is like raising multiples? It's hard work I tell ya..... and triple the fun. Imagine having to say something three times, because someone was not listening the first time. Or, having to hear some exciting news from school three times with the same intensity and eye-rolling as the first two recap. How about having to bear three bouts of bawling and sadness and more crying after our pet duck passed on. Triple the shrieks - high pitched-intense-highest-decibels-in-the-planet at the height of the 1D phenomenon. As the girls grew up, showing their unique personalities and preferences, it became a nightmare for Christmas and birthday shopping. Gone were the days of 3 bicycles, 3 colouring books, 3 skateboards, 3 scooters, 3 this, 3 that..... they became individuals just like that. In a snap.
How do we cope? Parenting 4 kids?! Being a parent is a 24-hour roller-coaster of emotions. And our style no matter how lenient or tough we are, all contours to the dynamics of the family. Why, if I would listen and believe everything I hear and read about, I'll go out of my mind. Experts say screen time should be limited to this, don't feed your kids that.... There's a lot of hoopla out there geared towards making us all feel insecure. As parents. I don't care what they say. My kids have TV time and use their Ipods everyday with limitations. But we don't push them. To have this much hours of homework time, or reading time, or project time. In our home, there's no structure. But there is discipline. School term is focused on school work. "Of course, you can have Ipod time as long as you have done your homework for the day." And I don't even have to say this. The girls know. Their limits and they know when mum has had it up to here (gesturing up to the top of one's head).
The fighting used to be pulling each others hair and pinching and biting. Then it moved onto to throwing things at each other, then dobbing, tattle telling, then hiding the other persons stuff. When the girls are bickering at each other, I just say..." Sofia is saying that because that's how she shows love for you"... and then they all start laughing.
And now for this cake. This cake has got the grooves. Nutella and dark chocolate ganache for frosting, hazelnut chocolate wafers in between hazelnut cake, whole Ferrero Rochers for garnish. Surprisingly, its not too sweet. It's perfect for that special occasion, or person. Or just make any day of the week and make that day special!
To make this cake, ingredients are:
7 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 cups hazelnut meal (or finely ground hazelnut)
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoon cocoa powder
3 teaspoon baking powder
10-12 pieces crushed wafers
To make the frosting, ingredients are:
300 grams salted butter, softened to room temperature
250 grams 70% minimum dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup Nutella spread
a few Ferrero Rocher chocolates
1 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
How to make the cake, frosting and decorate the cake
Preheat oven to 180*C. Line two 20cm round cake pans - spray with a non stick spray and line with baking paper.
Sift the cocoa, flour and baking powder in a medium sized bowl. Stir in the hazelnut meal.
Using a stand mixer or hand held beater, whip the eggs until frothy.
Slowly add the sugar and beat until pale yellow and the batter has tripled in volume.
Fold the dry ingredients into beaten eggs in 3 additions.
Divide batter into the prepared pans, and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until a test skewer comes out clean. Check the cake every 10 minutes to be sure.
While cake is baking, make the frosting.
Using a pot with simmering water, place the butter, chocolate and Nutella in a heat proof bowl and set over simmering water. Stir until the butter, chocolate and Nutella are melted and incorporated together. Set aside to cool.
Once the cake is baked, place on a cooling rack and cool for 15-20 minutes.
Using a serrate knife, divide the 2 cakes into 2. You will have 4 round cake slabs. Be careful when slicing as this is a very delicate cake.
To assemble the cake. Get ready to get your hands dirty with chocolate!
Reserve 3/4 cup of the frosting for decorating.
Place a small dab of frosting onto a serving platter/cake tray. This is to make sure your cake does not move around while assembling.
Place one layer of cake on top and press slightly with your hands.
Spread about 1 tablespoon or more of the frosting onto the cake.
Layer with the crushed wafers.
Repeat with the other layers of the cake.
Spread some of the remaining frosting on the top and sides of the cake.
Press the coarsely chopped hazelnuts onto the sides of the cake.
Decorate the top of the cake using a small spatula by swirling it back to front
Pipe some stars on the cake and top with Ferrero Rocher chocolates.
Keep in the fridge to chill before serving.
If making a day ahead, make sure to take out of the fridge half and hour to 1 hour before serving.
* Tips and tricks
* You can use crushed wafers on the sides instead of hazelnuts.
* You can complete omit the wafers in between the layers and just use the frosting, and the sides.
* We opted to use only 3 layers of the cake and ate it separately as a taste test.