What’s that sound?
*Sound of wedding bells*
Just kidding, I’m not getting married in a church, so there are no bells involved.
But the rest is true: by the time you read this, I’ll be walking down the aisle towards the next chapter of my life, and to be perfectly honest, I can’t bloody wait for it anymore because I’ve planning it for so long now!
There are big changes coming ahead: I’m moving jobs and moving across the country (back to the Big Smoke), but I’m marrying my absolute best friend here in bonnie Scotland first. It’s been a tumultuous year leading up to this point.
And of course it didn’t really happen if you didn’t celebrate it with cake.
Can I tell you a secret? I’m sick to death of this cake. I never want to bake it again. I’ve been through so many trials that I just want it to turn out perfectly on the day so I can finally enjoy it, and then I never want to hear about this cake again.
I went through quite a few trials of this cake, even baking it at a friend’s house to be sure I’d be able to bake it in a different oven, the day before the wedding, and I thought after trialling 7 or 8 I’d nailed it… but something about it still felt a little off. I kept thinking that this was the cake I’d present to my guests, and yes it looked pretty, but the crumb could be better, there were air pockets in places if I wasn’t careful with folding the ingredients together…
And then it hit me.
I was trying to make a chocolate hazelnut layer cake recipe from scratch when I already had one on the blog.
Cue me yelling to myself: WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO REINVENT THE WHEEL, CLEM?!
I dusted off the ol’ recipe and doubled it up to make the layers. I’d forgotten how good this cake tastes – soooo hazelnutty, so damn good. I wanted it to look like a proper layer cake with buttercream icing though so while I kept the recipe for the cake layers the same, the whole thing is a very different to the original.
And yes, while I’m very proud that I did this, if you asked me… no I would never, ever do this again. WHAT A BLOODY STUPID THING TO STRESS YOURSELF OUT LIKE THIS BEFORE YOUR WEDDING.
But the stress is over now. I’ve got my pretty dress on, a glass of bubbly in my hand, and my best friend waiting at the end of that aisle. Cheers to that.
Our Chocolate Hazelnut Wedding Layer Cake
Note: this is based on my recipe for Boozy Hazelnut Chocolate Cake. For the cake layers, you basically want to make the recipe twice. Don’t double it. I’ve tried and honestly if you haven’t got some kind of industrial kitchen mixer there’s just too much batter to handle at once, so it’s easiest and safest to make the recipe ones, put two layers in the oven, and then do it again. Up to you if you want four layers or just three. Three is about all I can fit in my travel cake tin, so that’s what I went for, but you could go bigger.
The cake layers freeze very well. I made the layers at home, froze them, then took them with me to my Airbnb and assembled the cake there before taking it to my wedding.
The cake layers from this recipe, twice
250g vegan margarine (I use Stork)
500g icing (confectioner’s) sugar
50g dark cooking chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp hazelnut milk
Chocolate drip and decoration:
1 tbsp Frangelico
1 tbsp hazelnut milk
Ground hazelnuts, to dust
Chocolate hazelnut paste, to spread between the cake layers
- Pre-heat your oven to 180ºC/gas mark 5/350ºF.
- Start by baking the cake layers. Line and grease 2x 20cm springform or loose bottom tins.
- Prepare the cake batter as per the recipe linked above, then divide the batter equally between the two tins. Bake for about 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the icing. Start by melting the chocolate and hazelnut milk in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir lots to prevent the chocolate from burning. Using an electric whisk, whisk the margarine and the melted chocolate together, then progressively add the icing sugar until totally incorporated. You should now have a smooth icing. Place in the fridge till needed.
- When you have the first two cakes ready, let them cool and then release from the tins. Clean, line and grease your tins again. Time for round two: make the same recipe again, divide between the two tins, bake again.
- When 3-4 cakes have completely cooled, level them if needed (I rarely do). Place the first layer on your prettiest cake stand, spread some hazelnut chocolate paste over it then about 1/5 of the buttercream. Smooth out a thick layer, then place cake layer number 2 on top of this. Repeat the same with the hazelnut chocolate paste and buttercream. And so on. I don’t usually put hazelnut chocolate spread on the top layer but don’t let me stop you. Use the rest of the buttercream to spread over the sides and top of the cake. Using a cake spatula, make the icing as even and smooth as possible (it’s not that different from plastering).
- Place the cake in the fridge while you prepare the chocolate drip. The cake should be very cold by the time you drizzle the melted chocolate over it, so that it can grip onto the buttercream and set quickly (otherwise it will drip too far down). The drip needs to be liquid enough to fall down the sides in elegant drips, but not so thin that it will run to the bottom and leave a thin layer over the cake.
- Melt the chocolate in the Frangelico and hazelnut milk in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir lots to prevent the chocolate from burning. Set aside to cool when there are no more lumps. Keep an eye on it and keep stirring it every so often: it should be running, not gloopy, but it should also hold on to a wooden spoon just a little; if it runs off like water, it’s not set yet, or you’ve added too much liquid. Once it’s the right consistency, slowly drizzle onto the centre of the top of the cake. It should pool in the centre and start spreading to the sides, and eventually drip over. You can also help spreading with a spatula or wooden spoon. Dust with ground hazelnuts.
- Place in the fridge to set, and serve when ready! Eat within 2 days and keep refrigerated.
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Love and cookies,