Looking for a show stopping Easter Cake that tastes as good as it looks? You’re in the right place! Scroll down for the recipe!
It doesn’t take an expert to realise that Easter is becoming the new Christmas. Not only are supermarket shelves stocked with rows of Easter eggs but they’re now stocking bunting, balloons and even Easter crackers!
I’m not entirely sure I feel comfortable with the commercialisation of Easter. It’s a serious religious festival after all. But then again I love chocolate and cake so I’m happy jumping on the bandwagon and creating some tasty Easter treats!!! If you can’t beat them, join them.
More Easter treats from Supper in the Suburbs
I don’t know what it is about chocolate eggs – whether they are brightly coloured, filled with white and yellow fondant or speckled – but I love putting them on cakes! Over the yearsI’ve found lots of excuses to put mini eggs on cakes…
This year was no exception…
A lot of my Easter bakes have been chocolate overload, covered with sweets! But I wanted to make a slightly more grown-up cake for my family, especially as I suspect this may be the last year we’re a group of 6 adults… (no I’m not pregnant but I don’t think it will be too long before someone else is!)
It being Easter the cake had to involve chocolate. I thought about adding booze but that didn’t take my fancy. Instead I went for something nutty. Although there are no nuts in the sponge, there are nuts in the chocolate spread used to make the buttercream, nuts for decoration and even nuts in the praline centres of the little eggs on top! I really did go nutty for nuts and so it was decided I would do a praline cake this Easter.
When I started looking in to the history of praline I came across something which I found quite surprising. In America, praline doesn’t involve chocolate!!! When I think of praline I think of a soft, nutty, centre found in chocolates. This cake is very much based on the European interpretation of praline as a nut based, soft centre for chocolates.
In the past I’ve topped my Easter treats with marzipan speckled eggs from Waitrose, Smarties mini-eggs and even Galaxy Golden Eggs on top of these Easter blondies. This year Hotel Chocolat had a range of different mini-eggs including the Elizapeck, Rabbert and Wolliam Speckled Eggs (milk chocolate praline eggs in crispy shells) which you see in the pictures. They are filled with a delicious, melt in the mouth, chocolate and hazelnut filling which inspired this cake.
Although the cake certainly looks over the top from the outside, I still wanted to make sure the flavours were balanced. I could have easily done a sponge cake made with ground nuts but decided a light, fluffy vanilla sponge would be a good starting point on which to build the chocolate and nutty flavours classic in praline.
I then sandwiched the vanilla sponge together with a Nutella buttercream and then smothered the edges of the cake in the same before coating with chopped hazelnuts. The top of the cake was covered with a glossy dark chocolate ganache for added bitterness. I then used the remaining Nutella buttercream to do the decorative piping to create the nest on top before adding the eggs.
I’m really proud with how the cake turned out and I think it’s quite visually stunning without requiring too much effort or any special kit! Of course, it tastes delicious too!
Hopefully my pictures have convinced you this is a recipe really worth trying. The ingredients list might seem long but if you break it down into the component parts it’s really not all that tricky!
- For the sponge cake
- 300g butter
- 300g caster sugar
- 6 eggs
- 1 vanilla pod
- 300g self raising flour
- Pinch of salt
- For the buttercream
- 175g butter
- 175g icing sugar
- 350g Nutella (or other chocolate spread)
- Milk (optional)
- For the ganache
- 75ml cream
- 100g dark chocolate
- To decorate
- Chopped hazelnuts
- Praline Easter eggs
- Begin by lining three 6 inch cake tins with grease proof paper and place to one side.
- In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar for the sponge until pale and creamy.
- Add an egg and continue to beat well.
- Keep adding the eggs one at a time (beat well each time) until the mix has become pale and fluffy.
- Scoop the seeds out of the vanilla pod and beat into the sponge mix.
- Next, sift the flour and salt into the bowl and fold through the wet sponge mix.
- Divide the sponge mix between the three tins.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 25-30 minutes at 180C or gas mark 4.
- Take the cakes out of the oven once golden and springy to the touch or a skewer placed in the centre comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool completely before attempting to decorate.
- To make the buttercream, beat together the butter and icing sugar until pale and creamy.
- Add the Nutella and beat until combined.
- If the buttercream is too stiff to spread and pipe, add a little milk and beat again.
- Stack the three sponge cake layers with a thin layer of the buttercream.
- Cover the cake in a crumb coat before finishing with a smooth layer of buttercream.
- Make sure you save some buttercream for piping the nest.
- Take some chopped nuts in your hand and gently press into the base of the cake.
- Repeat until you have chopped nuts around the whole cake.
- Place the iced cake in the fridge while you make the ganache.
- To make the ganache finely chop the dark chocolate and place to one side.
- Gently heat the cream until not quite bubbling.
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir.
- Keep stirring until all of the chocolate has melted.
- Remove the cake from the fridge and, using a spoon, drizzle the ganache around the top edge of the cake creating the drip effect.
- Cover the top of the cake with the remaining ganache.
- Using the leftover buttercream, pipe a nest on top of the cake.
- Add a little sprinkling of nuts and the praline eggs.
My Praline Easter Cake really went down a treat. It’s delicious with a cup of tea, a mug of coffee or even a glass of wine after lunch!
Pin it for later!
I probably should’ve posted this recipe a little earlier in the season but you live and learn! If you like this recipe and won’t get a chance to make it this Easter, make sure you pin it for next year!