Recipe by Janet Taylor McCracken
Start to Finish: 2 hours
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- Cooking spray
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. instant espresso powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 6 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup plus 6 tbsp. raspberry jam
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1. Line a baking sheet with foil. In a small saucepan, stir the sugar and 2 tbsp. water over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high. Bring to a boil, occasionally swirling the pan and brushing down the sides with a wet pastry brush, until the syrup is deep amber, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the nuts; spread the hazelnut crunch on the foil. Let cool completely, about 45 minutes, then coarsely chop.
2. For the cake, in a small saucepan, stir the butter and chocolate over medium-low heat until melted. Let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 375°. Spray a 10 1/2-by-15-inch pan with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper; spray with cooking spray.
4. In a small bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Gently fold in the dry ingredients. Gradually drizzle in the melted chocolate and fold just until blended.
5. Pour the batter evenly over the prepared pan and gently spread to cover the pan. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 10 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 3 to 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Invert onto the rack. Peel off the paper. Let cool completely. Halve the cake lengthwise, then crosswise to make 4 rectangles for the layers.
6. For the frosting, using an electric mixer, in a medium bowl, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup jam, and the vanilla. Beat in the remaining 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar.
7. Spread 2 tbsp. jam each on 3 cake layers. Dollop 2/3 cup of the frosting on each layer and spread evenly. Chop enough of the crunch into 1/4-inch pieces to measure 9 tbsp. Top each of the 3 layers with 3 tbsp. crunch. On a plate, stack the 3 layers. Top with the remaining cake layer; spread with the remaining frosting. Top with the remaining crunch.