Hazelnut Cake with Nutella Whipped Cream

Who would have thought Mrs. Davies' Cold Water Nut Cake would be so good and could use such a variety of nuts to change up the flavour.  I should have made this cake years ago instead of letting the recipe languish in the old box.  Some of you might remember I used this recipe in the Walnut Chiffon Cake with Maple Custard Cream Filling and Whipped Cream Frosting that made this past spring.  Well, this is the same cake made with hazelnuts instead of walnuts, with a delicious Nutella Whipped Cream frosting.   

I bought a litre of whipping cream almost two weeks ago with some plans on using it, but never did get around to what I wanted to do with it. (And can't even remember now what that might have been).   The idea of using hazelnuts in the Cold Water Nut Cake had been running around in my mind for about a month and today I thought I'd better make it before I ended up throwing out the cream.  Of course, you don't need cream to make the cake part but I'm using the cream for the frosting.  Don't make this cake if you are the only one to eat it as it could cause major health problems if you find yourself eating the whole cake by yourself.  Do make this cake if you have family and friends with which to share.  Make it when there's a celebration or a crowd coming or take it to a potluck.  Eat a piece and enjoy it and then let everyone else share your cake.  You will be complimented, but you'll feel even better (morally superior??) if you only eat one piece.  Please try to eat only one piece even though it's really, really good.  

Hazelnut Cake with Nutella Whipped Cream
1 recipe Mrs. Davies' Cold Water Nut Cake
Nutella Whipped Cream Frosting
Chopped toasted hazelnuts or hazelnut chocolates (Ferrero Rocher or Hazelnut Clusters, etc.), optional for garnish

Mrs. Davies' Cold Water Nut Cake
4 eggs, room temperature, separated
Bring eggs to room temperature by
placing them in a bowl of hot tap water.
½ cup cold water
1 ¼ cups sugar
⅓ cup vegetable oil (any neutral kind)
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup white flour
¼ cup whole wheat flour (substitute white flour if you do not have whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup toasted, finely chopped hazelnuts (filberts)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare three 9-inch round pans.  Do not grease pans but place a round piece of parchment in the bottom of each pan without greasing.  This facilitates removal or the cake after baking and cooling.

Beat egg whites until they come to a stiff peak.  Lay aside.  If using the same bowl to mix remaining ingredients, remove whites to a smaller bowl and lay aside. 

Mix flours and salt together and lay aside.

In the bowl of your mixer beat egg yolks and water until foamy.  Add sugar gradually and then the oil while continuing the beating.  Add the vanilla. Fold in the flour and the nuts.  Gently fold in the beaten egg whites.

Bake the 9-inch pans for 30-35 minutes or until firm to touch or a cake tester comes out clean.  Do not over bake.  This cake will not pull away from the sides of pan like a butter cake.  Watch carefully when the timer is close to the 30-minute time. 

When baked let cool on rack about 5 minutes then run a knife around the sides and invert on rack.  Peel off parchment paper and let cool thoroughly before decorating.   

Prepare the hazelnuts (filberts) by toasting them in a 300 degree oven for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. I used about 2 75g bags of nuts.  When the nuts are cool rub off the skins.  You can use your hands or an old tea towel.  

Toasting the nuts will bring out the flavour.  Chop the nuts finely for the cake.  
If you use a food processor be careful not to chop them into a powder.

Separate yolks and whites.  Whip whites and set aside.  Whip yolks with water, oil, sugar and vanilla. Both the whites and yolks increase in volume.  The incorporated air in the eggs leavens the cake.

Fold the flour into the egg yolk mixture.  Then fold in the egg whites.  

Do not grease any pan you are using.  If using 9-inch round pans place a round piece of parchment or waxed paper on the bottom.  Bake 30-35 minutes. I can't fit three pans on the same oven rack so I switch them about half way through baking.  Let cool on cake rack before removing from pan.  Run a knife around the sides and the cake should come out easily.

Turn the cake layers out on a cooling rack and peel the parchment paper off each cake.  It is best to do this while the cake is still warm.  Cool completely before filling and decorating.

Nutella Whipped Cream Frosting
3 cups whipping cream
4 tablespoons icing sugar
4 tablespoons chocolate or vanilla dry instant pudding
¾ cup Nutella (or other similar product)
¼ cup Nutella, extra (You will use this for the garnish)

In a chilled bowl of  a mixer, whip cream until soft peaks form. Add the icing sugar and dry instant pudding.  Beat until stiff.  Add the ¾ cup hazelnut chocolate spread and fold in until blended.  
Remove 1 cup of Nutella Whipped Cream and stir in the remaining ¼ cup hazelnut chocolate spread.  Set aside for garnish.  Refrigerate until needed.  

Assembling the Cake
1. Place one cake layer on a serving plate.  Spread about ¾ cup of Hazelnut Chocolate Cream Filling on top of the cake layer and spread almost to the edge.  
2. Top with second cake layer and another ¾ cup of filling.  Spread to almost the edge.  
3. Top with third cake layer. Pile remaining filling on top of cake and spread over top and around the sides.  
4. Fit a pastry bag with a large star tip and fill with the reserved garnish filling.  Decorate the top edge of the cake with a border of rosettes, shells or scrolls, etc.  Garnish with chopped hazelnuts or hazelnut chocolates.

Serve the cake within a day of making it or freeze.  If freezing the cake, let thaw in the refrigerator if the weather is hot.  Remove an hour before serving.

The first time I made this cake it was a warm summer day.  The hazelnut chocolates slid off the cake like cannon balls.  They were too close to the edge.  Don't do this!

The second time I made the cake it was a chilly fall day.  I skipped the large chocolates and made little chocolate hazelnut clusters and put them in the centre of the cake.  This worked out good.

To make chocolate hazelnut clusters, melt a few chocolate chips, add chopped hazelnuts and drop by small spoonfuls on a plastic wrap lined plate.  When set, place on cake.

All ready for a celebration!


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