If I have trouble concentrating the rest of the day, it’s all thanks to the picture above and the recipe below – both used courtesy of A Bull’s Eye View. Sigh, I love Target. Maybe that’s why I’m there everyday, huh? This beautiful cake would make a deliciously unexpected dessert for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Or, better yet, both! I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t have any complaints.
Hazelnut Crunch Cake with Mascarpone and Chocolate
Makes eight servings
1 box chocolate cake mix
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
2 (8-oz.) containers mascarpone cheese
1 cup cream
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest
Step 1 – Prepare cake mix according to package directions for two 9-inch spring foam cake pans. Let cool on a wire rack.
Step 2 – Toast hazelnuts: Place hazelnuts in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Heat until fragrant and golden brown, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Let cool. Tip: Place hazelnuts in a towel and rub together – this will make the skins come off easier.
Step 3 – Place toasted nuts close together in a single layer on parchment-lined baking sheet.
For the crunch:
Step 4 – Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until dissolved. Bring to a boil and let cook until sugar is light brown, about 8 minutes. Let bubbles subside then pour the caramelized sugar over nuts.
Step 5– Place baking sheet in refrigerator and let cool until hard, about 30 minutes. When cooled, top with another piece of parchment paper and pound into small pieces, or place on a cutting board and cut into small pieces. Set aside.
For the filling / icing:
Step 6 – Using an electric mixture (on a low setting), beat mascarpone cheese, cream, powdered sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Fold the crunch mixture into the whipped cream.
For the topping:
Step 7 – Finely grind chocolate chips, sugar and zest in a food processor.
Step 8 – Put 1 cake on a serving plate. Top with 1-inch of the whipped cream crunch mixture. Top with the second layer of cake and continue frosting with the remaining whipped cream crunch mixture. Sprinkle top and sides of cake with ground chocolate and zest.
I looked around their website and bookmarked quite a few recipes – great stuff! One I loved uses a great Monster Trail Mix from Target. The recipe is for Monster Trail Mix Bars and I’m having even more trouble concentrating on my work! Click the link and check them out. You’ll also want to see the Parmesan Egg & Garlic Crostini with Baby Romaine Salad and Bacon Vinaigrette. I’m grabbing the ingredients for this beauty TODAY…. you know, when I also get the ones I’ll need for the Hazelnut Crunch Cake and Monster Trail Mix Bars.
It’s a good thing I have a treadmill.