Chocolate Hazelnut Layer Cake


3 cups heavy whipping cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup boiling water
1/2 cup nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread, buy two 13-oz jars)
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons Frangelico liqueur (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups nutella
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
toasted hazelnuts, chopped
chocolate curls, chopped


Microwave cream in a large bowl on high until steaming.
Add chocolate; let stand 5 minutes.
Stir until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth.
Cover surface directly with plastic wrap; refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours.
Cake: Heat oven to 350°F.
You’ll need two 9 x 2-in. round cake pans, greased and floured.
Whisk cocoa powder and water in a medium bowl, then Nutella and buttermilk, Frangelico and vanilla.
Beat sugar, butter, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl with mixer on medium-high speed 3 minutes or until pale.
Beat in eggs 1 at a time.
On low speed beat in flour in 3 additions alternating with cocoa mixture in 2 additions, beating just until blended.
Pour into prepared pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes until a pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on rack 10 minutes.
Run a knife around edge of each layer; turn out on rack and cool completely.
Insert several toothpicks halfway up side around both cake layers.
Using picks as a guide, cut layers in half with a long serrated knife.
Filling & frosting: Beat cold chocolate mixture on medium speed until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted.
Put Nutella into a bowl; stir in 1 1/2 cups chocolate mixture until smooth. Fold into remaining chocolate mixture until combined.
Remove 2 1/2 cups to a bowl; stir in hazelnuts for filling.
Reserve remainder for frosting.
To assemble: Place 1 cake layer on serving plate; spread with 1/3 the filling (1 scant cup).
Top with second layer and 1/2 the remaining filling; repeat with third layer and remaining filling.
Top with last cake layer.
Spread a thin layer of frosting over top and sides; refrigerate 15 minutes to firm.
Spread top and sides with remaining frosting.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Garnish just before serving.
Plan ahead: Wrap cooled cake layers and make frosting (through Step 1) up to 2 days ahead.
Cover the frosted cake and refrigerate up to 3 days.