Wednesday 20 December 2023

Orange Chocolate Hazelnut Log Cake

 I have a large unopened bottle of chocolate hazelnut spread, Hazella, from Redman. It's nowhere near expiry but it's not the habit of my family to consume bread with sweet spreads for breakfast and I only use it for bakes. This is the reason why this year's log cakes for my family and friends are orange chocolate hazelnut flavoured. 

Here's a closer look at the larger log cake at the back.

The log cakes consist of:
- Orange chocolate hazelnut chiffon sponge, brushed with orange syrup
- Milk chocolate hazelnut feuilletine crunch
- Orange chocolate hazelnut whipped cream
- Dark chocolate hazelnut ganache
- Candied orange mushroom decorations with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream (SMBC) as the stems

I have to say that I used SMBC because I happened to be making it for another bake. Otherwise I would have made the mushroom stems out of marshmallows when I made the characters but I forgot to do it. It may seem like a complicated bake but it's actually quite simple when you use ready-made chocolate hazelnut spreads, chopped toasted hazelnuts and feuilletine flakes. You may omit the edible decorations and use plastic ones sold at baking supplies stores if you wish to simplify the bake even further. The most common chocolate hazelnut spread is Nutella but you may use any brand you like. My hubby and I tasted both Hazella and Nutella and find that Hazella is a richer version of Nutella. Stronger chocolate and hazelnut flavour.

Since my motive was to use up as much Hazella as I could, I included the chocolate hazelnut spread in every element of the log cake while trying to maintain a good balance of flavours. You may increase or reduce the proportion of the spread in the whipped cream, ganache and feuilettine crunch according to your preference.

Candied Orange Slices
A few small tangerines, thinly sliced
300g sugar
360g water
A dash of lemon juice (optional)
Some granulated sugar

Note: This makes a lot more than you need to use. Keep the rest for snacking!

Reference recipe is taken from here.

1. Place sugar, water and lemon juice (if using) in frying pan. Stir while bringing it to a boil.

2. Once it starts boiling, reduce to a simmer. Add orange slices in a single layer.

I included a few pieces of peel for fun

3. Simmer for about 45-60 min or until translucent.

4. Shake off excess syrup from each slice and place on parchment paper.

5. Dry in 90C oven for 1-2 hours or until no longer wet to touch but still a little tacky, turning the slices every 30 min. I placed half-dried slices on hemispherical silicone molds for the mushroom caps so that the orange slices are cup shaped when dried.

6. Cool completely. Roll the slices in granulated sugar. Store in airtight container until needed.

Remember to reserve the syrup from cooking the tangerine slices! It can be diluted with orange juice and used to brush the sponge.

Orange Chocolate Hazelnut Chiffon Sponge
(makes one 10x12" sheet sponge)
Egg yolk batter
3 egg yolks
45g orange juice with zest (I used 41g juice and 4g zest which is about 1 orange)
90g chocolate hazelnut spread (Nutella, Hazella or other brands)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
48g cake flour
1/4 tsp baking soda

3 egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
60g caster sugar

1. Line baking tray with Teflon sheet/parchment paper. Preheat oven to 170C. You may use a slightly bigger or smaller pan. The sponge will just be a little thinner or thicker.

2. Make egg yolk batter. Whisk egg yolks until pale and thick. Add chocolate hazelnut spread and whisk until smooth. Add juice, zest and vanilla. Whisk until combined. Gradually sift in flour and baking soda. Whisk until no trace of flour is seen.

3. Make meringue. In a clean metal bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until firm or just reach stiff peaks, gradually adding sugar once the egg whites are foamy. Make sure your meringue is stable but not over whipped as the high fat content of this egg yolk batter tends to deflate the meringue more quickly than other batters.

4. Quickly but gently fold meringue into egg yolk batter in 3 additions. Pour into prepared tray.

5. Bake for 15-16 min or until done. Immediately flip the cake out onto fresh sheet of parchment paper. Roll it up to cool completely.

I used a larger tray and upsized the recipe to 4 egg portion for the larger log cake. Simply divide everything by 3 and then multiply by 4 to scale it up.

Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Feuilletine Crunch
25g finely chopped toasted hazelnuts 
25g feuilletine flakes
50g chocolate hazelnut spread
50g milk chocolate

Note: Scale up the portion accordingly if making more log cakes.

1. Whisk together feuilletine flakes and chopped hazelnuts. Set aside.

2. Melt milk chocolate with chocolate hazelnut spread. Stir until smooth.

3. Add feuilletine nut mix and fold until the flakes and nuts are coated completely. Set aside in warm place.

Orange Chocolate Hazelnut Whipped Cream
140g whipping cream of choice* 
50g chocolate hazelnut spread
4g orange zest (about 1 orange)

Note: Scale up the portion accordingly if making more log cakes.

*I used 105g Whip Topping (pre-sweetened non-dairy whipping cream) and 35g heavy cream. If using only dairy cream, you may need to sweeten with some sugar and stabilize with gelatin especially if you are in a hot climate.

1. Whip whipping cream of choice until firm peaks. Be careful not to overwhip if using full dairy cream. 

2. Add orange zest and fold in.

3. Add chocolate hazelnut spread and fold in. You may add more spread if you prefer a richer flavour. I kept the chocolate and hazelnut light here because these elements are heavier in the crunch and ganache layers. You may omit the spread if you wish.

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Ganache
100g dark chocolate
75g heavy cream
25g chocolate hazelnut spread
15g hot water
Pinches of salt

Note: Scale up the recipe if making more log cakes 

1. In a small saucepan, dissolve chocolate hazelnut spread in hot water. Add heavy cream and salt. Stir to mix. Heat until just starts to bubble at the edges.

2. In the meantime, melt dark chocolate.

3. Pour hot cream mix over melted dark chocolate. Let it sit for 1min. 

4. Gently stir in one direction until smooth. 

1. Unroll cooled chiffon sponge. Brush surface with orange syrup. I didn't measure the dilution ratio but it is approximately 1:1 fresh orange juice : reserved tangerine cooking syrup.

2. Spread a thin layer of feuilletine nut crunch.

3. Spread a layer of whipped cream over the crunch layer.

4. Roll up the sponge into as tight a roll as you can. Freeze for 2h or overnight if you wish.

5. Cut the ends of the log cake. You may arrange the branches any way you like as shown in my two log cakes.

6. Apply some ganache on the cake board. Carefully place the main log on the board. Apply some ganache where you want the branches to be and then glue them on.

7. Coat the whole surface with ganache. Let it set briefly in air-conditioned room or in the fridge for about 10 min. 

Halfway through coating the surface with ganache

8. Use a fork to mark out the bark patterns on the ganache.

9. Add any decorations you wish. Dust with sifted snow powder if you wish. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. You may freeze the cake if storing longer than 5 days in the fridge. Defrost in the fridge overnight before serving.

Watch my reel to see how the cake is assembled over here:

Have a blessed Christmas everyone!

with lots of love,
Phay Shing

No comments:

Post a Comment