Savor a rich Chocolate Praline Cake, blending smooth chocolate sponge with crunchy homemade praline. Topped with luscious chocolate ganache, this dessert is both impressive and easy to make. Perfect for welcoming the new year or any special occasion!
Hi everyone! It’s the week back to work after the Christmas holidays…
The new year is looming, full of possibility and yet vast and unknown at the same time.
I don’t know about you but to me, the idea of a blank page can be overwhelming.
So let’s ease into January, and 2015 with a slice of cake.
This cake is not only a mixture of flavor but also of texture.
We are mixing it up with real homemade praline (don’t be scared) and slathering on chocolate ganache, you know, for good measure.
This is the kind of cake that looks super impressive, but is actually pretty simple to make – so get your oven gloves out, and let’s make something spectacular!
We begin by making caramel.
Again, this is not a scary thing, you can do it! It’s just a case of watching it closely, not stirring it once the sugar is dissolved, and taking it off the heat as soon as you reach that perfect caramel color.
Then we’re going to smash it into pieces and pick out the most arty-looking little shards for decorating the top. Fancy!
The rest of the praline is going to be blitzed up in a food processor and mixed in with a smooth buttercream for an extra dimension.
Next to the soft chocolate sponge, this caramel crunchiness is a lovely surprise.
Trust me, this cake is anything but boring!
And just because we’re that obnoxious, let’s pour chocolate ganache over the top.
You know, just for fun.
Decorate as you please, and devour. Hi 2015, let’s make it a good one.
Chocolate Praline Cake
- 1 stand mixer
- 1 saucepan
- 1 baking tray
- 3 cake pans round
- 1 piping bag with star-shaped piping tip
- 2 cooling racks
Chocolate Cake Mix
- 3/4 cup butter at room temperature
- 3 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 ⅓ tbsp. baking powder
- 2 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tbsp. water
- 1/3 cup almonds slivered
- 3/4 cup butter at room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp. milk check the consistency after each addition, the buttercream frosting should be easily spreadable but not runny
- 2/3 cup double cream
- 3/4 cup dark chocolate preferably 70% cocoa solid
- Lay the almond slivers on a baking tray lined with parchment paper in a thin layer and put them to one side.
- Add the water and sugar to a saucepan and heat on low to medium heat. Stir gently until the sugar dissolves, then do not stir anymore. Once the sugar is dissolved turn the heat to high. Swirl the saucepan to keep the caramel moving but do not stir it with a spoon. It will start to bubble and will look white at first, keep it bubbling until it starts to turn a golden brown.
- As soon as a medium golden brown color is reached, take the pan off the heat and immediately pour all over the almonds on the tray. Immediately use a knife to spread the caramel out as it will start to set extremely quickly. Put the tray to one side to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 347⁰F (175⁰C). To make the chocolate cake, place the room-temperature butter in a stand mixer with the sugar and beat on high for about a minute. Then add the flour, baking powder, and cocoa powder and incorporate. The mixture will look like fine breadcrumbs.
- Mix the milk, eggs, and vanilla extract in a bowl and add to the dry mixture in two batches while the mixer beats on a low speed. Beat for a further minute then turn off the mixer.
- Grease the cake pans and line them with parchment paper. If you have 3 cake pans you can bake the mixture all at the same time, but if you only have two, you can bake two first, and then the third layer later. Divide the mixture into three even parts and place in the cake pans.
- Bake at for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Place on a cooling rack to fully cool.
- Once the cakes are fully cooled, use a bread knife to slice off any dome that has formed on top of the cake so that you are left with 3 perfectly flat cakes. This makes them much easier to stack.
- Break the praline slab into several pieces. Reserve 8 small shards for decoration and place the rest in a food processor. Blitz on a high speed for approximately 1 minute so you have a fine crumb mixture. Put aside.
- Put the softened (room temperature) butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high speed for 5 minutes. Then add the icing sugar in three parts, incorporating fully between each addition. Once all the icing sugar is incorporated, beat again on a high speed for a further 5 minutes gradually adding the milk until you have a nice spreadable consistency.
- Add the praline crumb mixture from the food processor to the buttercream and incorporate by mixing on a low speed in the stand mixer.
- Place one layer of the cake on a cake stand or a plate and add a dollop of the buttercream mixture on top. Using an offset spatula, spread the buttercream frosting evenly and add the next layer of cake. Do the same until all 3 layers are stacked. Then cover the entire structure with a very thin layer of the buttercream. This is called “crumb coating” and will allow you to more easily cover the rest of the cake with buttercream without tearing the surface of the cake.
- After the initial crumb coat, place the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes, then remove and cover with a second layer of buttercream. This layer will look much smoother and more solid.
- Place the covered cake back into the fridge for 30 minutes. After 20 minutes, make the chocolate ganache. Chop the chocolate into small chunks and place into a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan on medium heat until it is just bubbling around the edges. Do not let the cream boil. Once it reaches this stage pour directly into the bowl containing the chocolate and leave for about 1 minute. Stir until thick and shiny and combined.
- Remove the cake from the fridge and slowly pour the ganache over the top in the middle until it just reaches the edges. Stop at this point and allow it to drip a little down the sides. Place the cake back in the fridge for 10 minutes to allow the ganache to set a little.
- Optional decoration – Pipe some of the remaining buttercream with a star shaped piping tip around the edges, and press the shards of praline you saved earlier into the buttercream.
- Serve and enjoy!