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nadinebakes:

Recipe: Chocolate and Hazelnut Easter Bunny 

Last week I blogged about the baguettes Ramona and I made at Mannin's place. Now it is time to show my contribution to the baking extravaganza. Initially I had the ambitious plan to create a three dimensional easter egg out of cake. Unfortunately, my 3D cake pans did not arrive on time so I improvised and failed miserably. But as soon as we combined our baking powers, the cake turned into something equally worthy of the Easter table and just as delicious: a funny bunny out made of hazelnut sponge with a praline mousse and ganache coating. For the recipe in Dutch, go to Mannin's blog. Visit Ramona's website for some more revealing pictures of the easter bunny. I'd like to thank my blog buddies again for letting me use their photos!

Hazelnut mousse

3 egg yolks  45 gr sugar  • 45 ml water  • 80 gr milk chocolate  • 50 gr hazelnut paste (nougat)  • 240 g cream, whipped

Melt the chocolate and nougat together in a double boiler. Meanwhile, cook the sugar and water to a syrup of 115 degrees.  Whisk the egg yolks until frothy and add the boiling sugar syrup whilst beating vigorously until you have a pâte a bombe. Keep whisking until the mixture has cooled slightly and pass it through a sieve to filter out any sugar lumps. Mix in the melted chocolate and nougat until you have a tough paste. Carefully fold in the whipped cream until you have a homogenous mixture and put aside in the fridge.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Sponge

3 eggs, separated  • 50 gr sugar  • ½ vanilla pod  • pinch of salt  • 1 Tbs cocoa  • ½ TS baking powder  • 30 gr flour  • 40 gr ground hazelnuts

Grease a 18 cm cake pan and cover with baking paper. Preheat the oven at 190 degrees Celsius. Whisk the yolks with 20 gr sugar and vanilla until frothy. Whisk the egg whites with 30 gr sugar until stiff peaks. Add a third of the egg whites to the yolks and mix well. Then carefully fold in the remaining egg whites. Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder and fold until combined. Quickly mix in the ground hazelnuts and pour in the cake pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 190 degrees. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Small pound cakes (cheeks) 

100 gr soft butter  • 100 gr sugar  • 100 gr egg (2 size M eggs)  • 100 gr plain flour

Grease a cake tin with 6 holes. Cream the butter and sugar until light and airy. Mix in one egg until fully incorporated. Add the next egg and beat the mix another 5 minutes. Sift the flour into the mix and carefully fold through, keeping as much air in as possible. Fill the holes in the cake pan for two-thirds. Bake them for 30 minutes until golden. Leave to cool on a wire rack. After they have cooled, cut off the top so you have a smooth surface to go on the cake.

Assembly

Cut the cake in half. Spread a layer of the praline mousse onto the cake and put on the top half. Stick on the small cakes for the cheeks. Freeze the cake for at least half an hour. Meanwhile, make ganache

75 gr dark chocolate, chopped  • 65 gr cream • 15 gr soft butter

Bring the cream to a boil, take off the heat and mix in the chocolate. Mix in the soft butter. Use the ganache when it reaches 37 degrees. Take the cake out of the freezer and set on a wire rack. Swiftly pour over the ganache. You can use a hairdryer to smoothen out any irregularities. Leave the ganache to set and finish the cake with decorations. Use chocolate buttons for eyes, nose and teeth. Make ears out of tempered chocolate and stick them underneath the cake.

Enjoy!

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