Growing up everyone always told me to relax and find something I truly enjoy doing and do it to my full potential. The whole, if you love what you’re doing you’ll never work a day in your life, sort of thing.
I feel pretty fortunate to have found cooking so early in life, but there are still some things that keep me up at night. Culinary or pastry?Charcuterie or cheese? Chocolate or bread baking? In the subcategories of cooking, trying to decide what you want to really pursue and master is one of those life-long career choices. Sure, like most people I’m sure I’ll stumble upon one and just know that’s what I want to specialize in but until that moment the lingering questions will continue to stay with me.
Of course I can always try to specialize in more than one aspect of culinary, which I would love to do, but the thing is that you could spend your entire life making cakes every day of your life and still not know everything about cake making. You may never be a master. Now that thought haunts me. See, I have this irrational fear of not knowing everything about what I’m passionate about and also wanting to be a master at everything. I suppose there could be worse things to worry about though right?
Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch Cake
(Recipe by Sarah Eats Austin)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
1/2 cup Guinness
1/2 cup hazelnut
2 tbls butter
For the Mousse
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup melted nutella
Preheat oven to 350F.
Finely chop the hazelnuts and mix with the butter. Spread on the bottoms of 2 9″ cake pans. Set aside.
Sift together all the dry ingredients in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix to combine.
Combine the vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
Slowly stir in the coffee and guinness. Mixture will be very runny.
Pour into prepared cake pans and bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
For the mousse:
Whip the heavy cream until medium peaks. Warm the nutella until smooth and runny and slowly whip into the heavy cream. Whip until smooth and chocolatey.
Top with additional chopped hazelnuts as desired.