Sunday, April 3, 2011

Hazelnut "Entremet"

For the past week I've been pretty much obsessed with Entremets. Entremet literally translates into "between servings" (from old French). They're either small dishes served between courses or dessert. I was first introduced to these small delights when I came across this food blog: Evan's Kitchen Ramblings is now my favorite blog to follow. Her desserts are absolutely gorgeous. Now, I would hardly ever attempt to create her desserts, therefore last night I created my own, simpler version of an Entremet; my hazelnut/Nutella entremet. I served it to my parents and they absolutely loved it. So here's the recipe:

makes approx 8-10 servings

for the chocolate cake (Hershey's Perfectly Perfect Chocolate Cake): 
2 cups sugar 
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
for the hazelnut crunch:
1/4 cup hazelnut spread (I used Nutella)
2 tbsp shortening (Don't use butter)
1-1 1/4 cup crisped rice (I used Rice Krispies) 
for the hazelnut mousse:
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 1/2 tbsp cream cheese; softened
1/2 cup Nutella, softened(You can use more if you prefer a more prominent hazelnut flavor or less if you don't)
1/3 cup heavy cream

1. chocolate cake:
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour the baking sheet tray. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire racks. Cool completely.
* I used most of the batter to make 12 cupcakes. I poured the remaining batter into a baking sheet. Once it was baked and cooled I cut the sheet cake in half vertically. Then I trimmed the cakes into approx 8"x6" pieces.  However you can make them as big or small as you want.* 
2. hazelnut crunch:
In the microwave, melt the hazelnut spread and butter. (the butter will be melted, the hazelnut spread will be softened). Once the butter has melted, stir in the crisped rice. The mixture should be slightly wet/damp. Set this aside. 
3. hazelnut mousse:
Cream the softened butter and cream cheese until pale and fluffy. Then add the hazelnut spread into the mixture and cream. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until it reaches slightly stiff peaks. Fold in 1/4 of the whipped cream into the hazelnut mixture to lighten it. Then slowly fold in the rest of the whipped cream into the hazelnut mixture. The mousse should be nice and fluffy. 
4. assembly:
Line a rectangular mousse ring with parchment paper. In the ring layer one of the halves of chocolate cake on the bottom. Next, spread a generous layer of the hazelnut crunch onto the cake. Refrigerate until set. (approx 10 minutes) Then layer the other half of the cake on top of the crunch. Next, spread the mousse on top the cake. Make sure the mousse is layered nice and smoothly. Refrigerate until set. (approx 30 minutes) Once set, dust the cake with cocoa powder. Remove the cake from the ring and cut the cake into approx 8 3"x2" slices. Garnish and serve. Enjoy! 

Happy Baking!

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