Mini Chocolate, Nutella Ganache & Hazelnut Praline Layer Cake

Mini chocolate layer cake with nutella ganache & hazelnut praline - Domestic GothessIt was my fiance’s birthday last week so obviously there had to be cake, we didn’t really do anything to celebrate though so there were just the two of us to eat said cake, and as much as I like making big, fancy cakes it is not a great idea to have a massive cake when there are only two of you to eat it… So I set out to make a more manageable sized one…I came up with this mini chocolate layer cake with nutella ganache, hazelnut praline and decorative hazelnut spikes; impressive, but tiny.

Mini chocolate fudge cake with nutella ganache & hazelnut praline - Domestic GothessI baked the cake in a large (clean, empty) food tin as I don’t have a cake tin that is small enough, it worked perfectly and I’ve kept the tin to use again as it is the perfect size to make mini cakes in. You should be able to find a tin the right size in most supermarkets, it needs to be 10cm/4in in diameter, the one I used originally contained spinach and I found it in the Asian section. You can of course use a proper cake tin if you have one, but it does need to be quite deep.

Chocolate, nutella ganache and hazelnut praline layer cake - Domestic GothessThe cake itself is a perfectly soft, moist chocolate cake which also happens to be ridiculously easy to make, you just mix some cocoa powder with hot water then chuck all of the other ingredients into the same bowl at once and whisk until smooth. I baked the cake in one tin, and then split it into three layers once it was cold; you can bake the cake the day before you want to eat it if you like, but don’t assemble everything until shortly before you want to serve it as the caramel will start to melt after a while. I filled the cake with nutella ganache, which is just a dark chocolate ganache with added nutella, I did this rather than just using plain nutella as I wanted a slightly deeper chocolate flavour, the ganache is also slightly firmer and more stable (and tastes amazing), you can just use plain nutella if you prefer though.

Mini chocolate, nutella ganache & hazelnut praline layer cake - Domestic GothessI also sprinkled some hazelnut praline over each layer, it is very simple to make but really adds to the flavour and adds a nice textural contrast as well. Don’t skip the step of toasting and skinning the hazelnuts as they really do taste better toasted and the skin is somewhat bitter. I decorated the top of the cake with hazelnuts dipped in caramel, they look very impressive but are actually fairly simple to make. The cake will serve two people very greedily, or four people sensibly as it is fairly rich; it also happens to be one of the best tasting cakes I have ever made, so I was almost disappointed that there wasn’t more of it!

Mini chocolate, nutella ganache and hazelnut praline layer cakeIf you haven’t had enough of chocolate and hazelnut this Ultimate Chocolate and Nutella Cake should sort you out, or how about Chocolate and Hazelnut Truffles? Or Nutella Crust Banana Bread? Or Chocolate & Hazelnut Layer Cake?

Mini Chocolate, Nutella Ganache & Hazelnut Praline Layer Cake
Serves 2-4
  • 15g (2 tbsp) cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp boiling water
  • 90g (1/2 cup) light brown soft sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 30g (2 tbsp) softened butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 60g (1/2 cup) self raising flour
  • ⅓ tsp baking powder
Nutella Ganache
  • 120ml (1/2 cup) double cream
  • 50g (1.75 oz) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 75g (1/4 cup) nutella
Hazelnut Praline & Hazelnut Spikes
  • 50g (1.75 oz) hazelnuts
  • 75g (1/4 cup + 2tbsp) caster sugar
  1. Start by making the cake. Grease a 10cm (4in) tin can or deep cake tin and line the base and sides with greaseproof paper. Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.
  2. Mix together the cocoa powder and boiling water until it forms a smooth paste. Add all of the other ingredients and whisk well with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for about 30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin on a wire rack until just warm, then turn the cake out onto the wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  3. To make the ganache, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, heat the cream until almost boiling then pour it over the chocolate, leave for a couple of minutes then add the nutella and stir until smooth. Set the ganache aside until it has thickened but is still spreadable, you can put it in the fridge to speed this up, but do keep an eye on it so that it doesn't set too hard.
  4. To make the hazelnut praline and decorative spikes, heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast in the oven until the skins have blackened and the nuts are golden. Tip them out onto a clean tea towel, wrap them up in it and then give them a rub - the skins should flake off, don't worry if you can't get rid of it all though.
  5. Take about 10 of the hazelnuts and stick a cocktail stick into each one, place a sheet of baking parchment directly under your worksurface to catch any drips of caramel.
  6. Place the sugar in a small, heavy bottomed saucepan and heat until the sugar has melted and caramelised, swirl the pan a little so that the sugar melts evenly, but don't stir it. Remove from the heat and allow the caramel to thicken to the consistency of golden syrup.
  7. Dredge each hazelnut through the thickened caramel, coating it generously. Secure the cocktail stick to the work surface with some sellotape or wedge under a heavy pan, so that the caramel covered hazelnut hangs over the edge. Allow the caramel to drip, like a stalactite, towards the floor and set hard. Repeat with all the hazelnuts and allow the caramel to set. The caramel in the pan sets quickly, so you will probably need to re-melt it over a low heat a couple of times.
  8. When hardened, use scissors to gently trim the fine threads of caramel off the ends of the spikes; return the trimmings to the pan, along with any caramel that has collected on the sheet of greaseproof paper. Re-melt the pan of caramel then stir in the remaining hazelnuts and pour it out onto a tray lined with greaseproof paper and allow to set and cool.
  9. Place the cooled praline into a tough ziplock bag and seal it then bash with a rolling pin to break it up into small pieces.
  10. To assemble the cake, trim the top off the cake to level it, then slice it into three even layers. Place one layer on a serving plate and spread over one third of the thickened ganache, sprinkle over some of the praline and place another cake layer on top. Repeat until you have used all of the cake layers and ganche. Remove the cocktail sticks from the hazelnut spikes and use the best looking ones to decorate the top of the cake along with more praline.
  11. The cake is best served shortly after decorating as the moisture in the ganache will cause the caramel to melt after a while, also for this reason do not refrigerate the cake once it has been assembled.
1. You will need a 10cm (4in) tin can or deep cake tin and some cocktail sticks.

Β Mini chocolate, nutella ganache and hazelnut praline layer cake with candied hazelnuts - Domestic Gothess

I am entering this into the Great Denby Cake Off

I am sharing this with Fabulous Foodie Fridays, Fiesta Friday hosted by Food Daydreaming and Ginger and Bread, Foodie Fridiy, Foodie Friends Friday, Friday Favourites and Friday Features.
Tasty Tuesdays on

Link up your recipe of the week
Casa Costello
Cake Club TamingTwins September 2015


39 Comments on Mini Chocolate, Nutella Ganache & Hazelnut Praline Layer Cake

  1. Laura
    August 31, 2015 at 8:07 pm (1 year ago)

    I saw this on Facebook and headed over immediately. You’ve combined my favourite flavours in one stunning cake πŸ™‚

    • hannahhossack
      September 2, 2015 at 9:37 am (1 year ago)

      Thanks Laura πŸ™‚ it was a seriously delicious cake!

  2. Angela Field (PatisserieMakesPerfect)
    September 1, 2015 at 7:53 am (1 year ago)

    This looks fantastic Hannah! This is the perfect flavour combination and that cake looks so rich and moist. I love the idea of baking a cake in a can as well! Genius!

    • hannahhossack
      September 2, 2015 at 9:36 am (1 year ago)

      Thanks Angela, it was seriously one of the best tasting cakes I have ever made, and the cake was really moist and soft πŸ™‚ I like re-purposing things to bake in! x

  3. Louise | Cygnet Kitchen
    September 1, 2015 at 8:18 pm (1 year ago)

    Lucky fiancΓ©! Wish you could make this for me on my birthday, its on Thursday! So clever of you to make it in a can, 4″ tins are hard to find. Stunning <3 x

    • hannahhossack
      September 2, 2015 at 9:34 am (1 year ago)

      Thanks Louise πŸ™‚ Yep, 4″ tins are difficult to get hold of, it is also infinitely cheaper to just buy a tin of spinach! (the only tins I could find in the right size were spinach or mango) x

  4. thebrickkitchen
    September 2, 2015 at 9:10 am (1 year ago)

    Gorgeous cake!! Those caramel hazelnut spikes and chocolate ganache look incredible. Such a good idea to use a big tin can for a mini cake – had never even thought of it but will definitely give it a try πŸ™‚

    • hannahhossack
      September 2, 2015 at 12:52 pm (1 year ago)

      It works surprisingly well, you just have to make sure than you line it πŸ™‚ the hazelnut spikes are guaranteed to make anything look impressive!

  5. Jesse
    September 2, 2015 at 9:24 am (1 year ago)

    I would obliterate if available in gluten-free! Great photos, great cake design artistry.

    • hannahhossack
      September 2, 2015 at 12:51 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks Jesse πŸ™‚

  6. Charlotte Oates
    September 2, 2015 at 1:45 pm (1 year ago)

    Your fiance is a lucky man, that cake is stunning and full of all my favourite flavours. #TastyTuesdays

  7. Lucy Parissi
    September 3, 2015 at 12:17 pm (1 year ago)

    This cake looks equal parts stunning and edgy! I love it. I keep baking smaller and smaller cakes (in an effort to not eat as much – not working so far). My tin cakes never come out this even and perfect – what is your secret??

  8. Zamamabakes
    September 3, 2015 at 12:23 pm (1 year ago)

    This cake looks amazing as well as super delicious!!
    I love Nutella!!!! Think I’ve just found my birthday cake request for next year πŸ™‚

  9. Deborah Bailey
    September 4, 2015 at 1:21 am (1 year ago)

    These sweet things look divine! Thank you for sharing!

  10. Lauren @ Create Bake Make
    September 4, 2015 at 2:24 am (1 year ago)

    Your Fiance is a VERY lucky man, what a stunning cake! Thanks for linking up with us for Fabulous Foodie Fridays!

  11. vikalinkafood
    September 4, 2015 at 9:12 am (1 year ago)

    Hannah, what have you created! It looks utterly delicious and beautiful! I so need a slice or two in my life right now!

  12. carolinescookingblog
    September 4, 2015 at 7:38 pm (1 year ago)

    I remember seeing this on facebook or instagram (forgotten now) and thinking how amazing it looked and just my flavors – I love the idea of using a tin to bake it in and that this worked out. Might be a trick I borrow as we also don’t really ever need a big cake!

  13. Natalie Browne
    September 4, 2015 at 7:55 pm (1 year ago)

    This cake looks amazing! Such a neat idea to bake it in a tin.

  14. Ranjana@FlavorfulBakes
    September 5, 2015 at 4:22 pm (1 year ago)

    I always face this problem of ‘too much cake for the two of us’…But this seems perfect! And the husband and I are definitely those ‘two greedy people’ who can finish a cake like this one (or maybe it’s just me) πŸ˜€ It’s my birthday this month, and I keep looking for the perfect cake to make for myself… And this looks like it!! I just hope you don’t make any more gorgeous looking cakes till September comes to an end, cos I might have a hard time choosing! Lol πŸ™‚

  15. I Say Nomato (@ISayNomato)
    September 5, 2015 at 10:31 pm (1 year ago)

    This is so gorgeous! I love looking at your cake pictures. Nutella is my favourite, so I’m up for any cakes where it’s a star! I’ll have to try this one.

  16. dishofdailylife
    September 6, 2015 at 12:04 am (1 year ago)

    I am in awe. That is one incredible cake! Your fiance is very lucky!

  17. Food Daydreaming
    September 6, 2015 at 6:57 am (1 year ago)

    Very impressive, despite it’s small size! I adore your photos, and the hazelnut spikes are brilliant! Thanks for sharing with FF#84

  18. Loretta
    September 6, 2015 at 5:53 pm (1 year ago)

    Just drop dead gorgeous! Wow!

  19. sarahgiebens
    September 6, 2015 at 7:06 pm (1 year ago)

    This is such a beautiful and delicious cake!

  20. Angie
    September 11, 2015 at 11:58 am (1 year ago)

    Some serious cake, Hannah! It’s my pick for FF feature this week! πŸ™‚

  21. wimmonday
    September 11, 2015 at 2:51 pm (1 year ago)

    This looks absolutely amazing!

  22. petra08
    September 11, 2015 at 5:32 pm (1 year ago)

    What a gorgeous cake and it sounds utterly delicious! πŸ™‚

  23. Friday Features Linky Party
    September 11, 2015 at 8:27 pm (1 year ago)

    This is a beautiful creation, almost to perfect to eat!!
    I am featuring your post on my Friday Favorites and would love to have you stop by and share even more links my Friday Feature-Linky-Party

    Have a beautiful week, Karren

  24. Sarah @tamingtwins
    October 1, 2015 at 8:21 pm (1 year ago)

    OH THIS CAKE! Seriously, this is absolutely stunning. The sound of the recipe, the styling, the photos, the decoration, everything. Amazing! Thanks so much for linking with #CakeClub.

  25. H Johnson-Mahone
    December 23, 2015 at 3:55 pm (10 months ago)

    This is fabulous! Thanks! Really struggle during holidays with big cakes, pies that you have to eat or freeze – blessings-

    • hannahhossack
      January 6, 2016 at 1:21 pm (10 months ago)

      Thank you! It is the perfect size for a small number of people so there are no leftovers – something that I often struggle with as well

  26. SweetJ
    March 5, 2016 at 5:49 pm (8 months ago)

    Dear Lord! Look at this thing! It’s like a spiky, delicious jellyfish of doom! Excellent work with the decorating.

    • hannahhossack
      March 8, 2016 at 10:37 am (8 months ago)

      Haha! What a description! Thank you very much πŸ™‚

  27. Soumya
    June 26, 2016 at 4:11 pm (4 months ago)

    This looks amazing. Any idea if we can bake this without egg?

    • hannahhossack
      June 27, 2016 at 11:29 am (4 months ago)

      Thanks Soumya πŸ™‚ I think that the recipe would need entirely reworking in order to omit the egg; you could try replacing it with a ‘flax egg’ though I have never tried this myself so couldn’t tell you how effective it is.


Leave a Reply