The components of this spectacular cake may be made in advance and the cake assembled a few hours before serving.
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate finely chopped
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon hazelnut extract
- 1 cup finely ground hazelnuts
- 3 cups milk at room temperature
- 8 large eggs at room temperature
- 8 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- additional melted butter for the skillet
- Candied hazelnuts:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 24 hazelnuts
- Yield: 12 Servings
- Course: Dessert
- Make the ganache: Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring the heavy cream to simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the hazelnut extract, remove from the heat and pour cream over the chocolate. Let stand one minute then stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Chill at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Make the crepes: Whisk together the milk, eggs, butter, sugar, vanilla extract, nutmeg and salt in a bowl. Whisk in the flour until smooth; cover with plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes or overnight.
- While the crepe batter rests make the candied hazelnuts. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to help dissolve the sugar. Boil the mixture until the sugar turns a light amber color, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the hazelnuts; stirring coat. Remove the nuts, one at a time with fork and place on a baking sheet that has been covered with parchment paper. Using a spoon slowly drizzle the caramel remaining in the saucepan over a second baking sheet, covered with parchment, in crisscross patterns; let cool completely.
- Heat the Anolon® Advanced 9.5” Crepe Pan over medium heat and brush lightly with the additional melted butter. Pour 1/3 cup of the batter into the skillet, tilting pan to coat evenly. Cook 2 minutes until the edges of the crepe start to brown, flip the crepe and cook 1 1/2 minutes longer. Transfer to a large plate. Repeat with remaining batter and additional butter, stacking crepes as you go. Allow crepes to cool completely.
- With an electric mixer on high speed, beat the ganache mixture until it holds soft peaks. Add the ground hazelnuts and beat until it holds slightly firmer peaks.
- To assemble cake: layer the crepes with a thin layer of the ganache between each. Spread the top of the cake with a slightly thicker layer of ganache. Break pieces of the now hardened caramel and place on top of the cake. Garnish with the candied hazelnuts.