The answer is me. I mean, I like hazelnut. And I assume people who are deathly allergic to nuts probably don’t “like” hazelnuts, but I bet if they could taste it without dying from anaphylaxis, they might like it. I do LOVE nutella. I spoon that stuff straight out of the jar directly into my mouth. If you have a jar of nutella, how could you not? Anyone who denies this practice is a liar and cannot be trusted to be alone with your pet. However, I “like” chocolate. I definitely appreciate it. I have to say though, I don’t LOVE it. Seriously. I don’t. Because I could barely eat this cake.
Mike D came to help with the endeavor. I enlisted him due to his well known chocoholic tendencies. There does not exist a 12-step program to break this man of his chocolate adoration.
I’ve never made anything by Nigella Lawson. She seems like she can’t be trusted for good food. I mean, first off, she’s British. Exactly. Secondly she is a writer. Never had any kind of cooking training whatsoever. Thirdly she’s really really popular. I just don’t trust the judgement of the public. I mean, Reality TV? Justin Beiber? Sarah Palin?? BUT again, I LOVE NUTELLA. And I made this during my cake month, wherein I made 5 cakes in one month, and I wanted to make a chocolate cake.
The making of said chocolate death cake was pretty work intensive but through no fault of the recipe itself. First off, I couldn’t find blanched hazelnuts so I had to use regular hazelnuts and blanch them myself and peel them. This was a horrible idea. Thanks goes out to MikeD for not ending our friendship right there after hand peeling 100 hazelnuts. Secondly, I don’t have a food processor or anything so all the chocolate had to be cut by hand. And there was a lot of chocolate. A lot. Thirdly, aren’t recipes that call for meringue just a tad irritating? I think so. I’m not saying it’s not worth it (i.e. beautifully crisp belgian waffles) but kind of annoying. Fourthly, it was my first time making a ganache (I know, right?) and I thought it was going to be terrible but it turned out AWESOME. I was really psyched about that. It set perfectly and was actually quite delicious. Fifthly (is that ever used?) we had to toast our precious hazelnuts (which smelled wonderful while they were toasting, by the way) and sprinkled them on top. A very pretty/cute cake.
Finally, after all that hazelnut peeling, we tasted the cake. I was totally not into it. Mike D loved it. I made him take the entire cake home since no one would be eating that cake. Least of all me. I enjoy my chocolate soy ice cream, my chocolate chip cookies and hot chocolate milk, but I guess I have to draw the line somewhere and I draw it right before this cake.
If I were to make this again for any chocoholics anonymous meetings I may be attending, I think I would NOT use such dark chocolate (I think I used 65% bars of Valhalla). I think I’d go with a mix of milk chocolate and a little bit of dark. I love dark chocolate, but after this chocolate eye opening experience, I can safely say that I don’t LOVE dark chocolate. I still LOVE nutella though. And Mo’s Dark Bacon Bar. No, seriously. It’s delicious. Salty slightly smokey bacon with dark chocolate. Mmmmmm.
If you absolutely want to shower yourself in chocolate, make and eat this cake. If you only kind of like chocolate, slowly back away. You might hurt yourself.