Caramel and Hazelnut Chocolate Crunch Gateau

Caramel and Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch Gateau | Butter Baking

It was Mr Man’s birthday a couple of weeks ago, and I set out to make him a birthday cake.

I know he loves all things chocolate and caramel, so I spent days dreaming up different ways to combine them into a gateau.

Caramel and Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch Gateau | Butter Baking

And before I knew it, the idea of this cake was born. And it had eight layers!

The components of this cake, from the bottom up, are:
Brownie base
Praline crunch
Caramel mousse
Hazelnut crunch
Caramel creme brûlée
Praline chocolate mousse
Chocolate glaze

Caramel and Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch Gateau | Butter Baking

Yes, there are lots of layers, and yes the recipe is super long, but don’t let that overwhelm you. As long as you are comfortable with making caramel, none of these components are particularly difficult – the cake is just time consuming to make.

I took my time, and as the layers need to be frozen before the next component can be added, I made this over a few days. And then, because I didn’t have time to make a trial beforehand, I crossed my fingers and hoped that all the layers would be balanced and work well together!

Caramel and Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch Gateau | Butter Baking

The result was delicious. I made two gateaux (one for the birthday boy and one for photos) and I could barely steal a slice of the second cake away from my family to save for photos.

The gateau has crunch from the base and the nutty centre layer, the mousses were creamy, the creme brûlée is smooth and the hazelnut worked beautifully with the caramel and chocolate.

However, if I were to make it again, I would double the size of the caramel creme brûlée layer (because it’s so yum!), and reduce the amount of praline chocolate mousse (it was a little rich).

Caramel and Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch Gateau | Butter Baking

Happy birthday Mr Man! Hope you loved the cake. X

Caramel and Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch Gateau | Butter Baking

  • ¾ cup caster (superfine) sugar
  • ¾ cup hazelnuts, blanched and toasted
  • ½ tsp veg oil
  • 45g unsalted butter
  • 70g dark chocolate
  • 75g caster (superfine) sugar
  • 55g egg (approx. 1)
  • 2g vanilla
  • 45g plain flour
  • pinch salt
  • 60g milk chocolate
  • 60g dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp praline paste
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup feuilletine
  • 75g caster (superfine) sugar
  • 36g cream
  • 6g glucose
  • 4g honey
  • drop vanilla
  • 45g egg yolk
  • 5g gelatin sheet (2.5 sheets gold strength)
  • 225g semi whipped cream
  • 125g cream
  • ½ vanilla bean
  • 22g caster sugar
  • 30g egg yolk
  • 1.5g gelatin sheet (3/4 of one gold strength sheet)
  • 50g milk chocolate
  • 50g dark chocolate
  • ½ cup blanched and roasted hazelnuts, finely chopped
  • 100g milk chocolate
  • 150 praline paste from earlier
  • 3.5g gelatine sheet (1¾ gold strength leaves)
  • 75g milk
  • 335g semi whipped cream
  • 125g cream
  • 2 tbsp liquide glucose/corn syrup
  • 100g dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  2. Line a tray with baking paper.
  3. Put the sugar in a medium saucepan and add 1½ tbsp water. Stir to combine.
  4. Place on the heat and brush down the sides of the pot with a wet pastry brush.
  5. Cook until a deep amber colour. Do not stir.
  6. Turn off the heat and add the hazelnuts. Swirl the pan to coat them in caramel and pour onto the prepared tray.
  7. Spread into an even layer and allow to cool and harden.
  8. Chop the praline into small chunks and blend with the oil in a food processor to make a smooth paste.
  10. Preheat the oven to 160 C (325 F) and line the base and sides of a 9 inch round springform tin with baking paper.
  11. Melt butter and chocolate together until smooth and combined.
  12. Lightly whisk sugar, eggs and vanilla and stir into the chocolate mixture.
  13. Fold in the flour and salt.
  14. Pour into the prepared pan and spread out into an even layer.
  15. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, until the top is set.
  16. Allow the brownie to cool completely.
  17. Once it is cool, remove the brownie base from the tin.
  18. Place the same springform tin (without it's base) on a flat tray lined with baking paper. Line the sides of the tin with acetate.
  19. Fit the brownie back into the tin and freeze.
  21. Melt both chocolates and praline together over a bain marie until smooth.
  22. Stir in salt and feuilletine.
  23. Spread in a thin layer over the brownie base and freeze until set.
  25. Heat the cream, glucose, honey and vanilla in a small pot until melted and combined. Set aside but keep warm.
  26. Make a dry caramel by putting the sugar in a medium pot and heating until it melts. Cook until it is a dark amber colour.
  27. Turn off the heat and pour the warm cream mixture into the caramel, stirring constantly until smooth.
  28. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a stand mixer until they are thick and pale.
  29. Pour in caramel slowly, while constantly whipping on a high speed.
  30. Soak gelatin in cold water to soften. Squeeze out the excess water and put it in a small metal bowl. Place the small bowl over a larger bowl of hot water, stirring the gelatine until it dissolves into a liquid.
  31. Add it to the caramel mix and stir to combine.
  32. Cool to room temperature.
  33. Fold through the semi whipped cream.
  34. Pour over set praline crunch layer, level smooth and freeze until set.
  36. Line the base of a 7 or 8 inch round springform tin with baking paper and the sides with acetate.
  37. Heat the cream and seeds from the vanilla pod in a small pot until just under the boil. Set aside but keep warm.
  38. Make a dry caramel by putting the sugar in a medium pot and heating until it melts. Cook until it is a dark amber colour.
  39. Turn off the heat and pour the warm cream mixture into the caramel, stirring constantly until smooth.
  40. Whisk the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl. Still whisking, slowly pour in the caramel cream until completely incorporated.
  41. Soften the gelatin in cold water, squeeze out the excess and stir through the brûlée mixture.
  42. Pour into the prepared pan and freeze until set.
  44. Melt both chocolates together over a bain marie until smooth.
  45. Stir in chopped hazelnuts.
  46. Spread in thin layer over the creme brûlée and freeze.
  47. Once set, remove the creme brûlée/hazelnut crunch layers from their tin and place on top of the set caramel mousse, hazelnut crunch down. Freeze.
  49. Melt the milk chocolate with the praline over a bain marie until smooth and combined.
  50. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water until soft.
  51. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until just under the boil. Remove from the heat.
  52. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatin sheet and stir into the milk until dissolved.
  53. Mix the milk into the chocolate praline mixture. Cool to room temperature.
  54. Fold in the semi whipped cream.
  55. Pour over the caramel creme brûlée layer and level flat.
  56. Freeze until set.
  58. Remove the cake from the baking tray (but leave it in the springform ring) and place on your serving plate.
  59. Bring the cream and glucose to the boil in a small saucepan.
  60. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Allow to stand for 2 - 3 minutes.
  61. Stir the mixture until all the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
  62. Stir in the oil.
  63. Pour over the praline mousse to form a smooth, even layer of glaze.
  64. Refrigerate until set (the cake will defrost by then too).
  65. Remove the springform ring and acetate from the cake and enjoy!
  66. Serves 10 - 12. Keep refrigerated.

Adapted from Ramon Perez, bon appetit and William Angliss.

45 Thoughts on “Caramel and Hazelnut Chocolate Crunch Gateau

  1. Natasha–that cake is INCREDIBLE! I hope Mr. Man loved it!!!

  2. Phyllis on April 29, 2014 at 2:43 pm said:

    That looks fabulous, I’ll try to make it for my mother in law she will loce it for mother’s day.
    P.s where did you get those fantastic green plates frommmmmm….

  3. Debbie Ware on April 29, 2014 at 4:40 pm said:

    Looks a stunning Cake/ Rich dessert. However, please arise what feuilletine is. I live in Zambia and have never heard of feuilletine. Please advise is there a substitute for it? Thanking you

    • Feuilletine is a french pastry staple, and is tiny, crunchy crepe crumbs. It is expensive and hard to find, but it adds the necessary crunch to the cake. You could try subbing with corn flakes or rice bubbles, but they will go soft overnight and make the base chewy (feuilletine will not). You could also sub in chopped nuts.

  4. This gateau is exquisite! Cant wait to attempt making it!

  5. That looks so good!

  6. Wow. This is the kind of dessert that wins awards. It’s breathtaking!

  7. Oh wow, that looks ridiculously delicious!! I’m not surprised you could barely snag a piece for photos. Wishing I had a piece right now…!

  8. fardous on April 30, 2014 at 10:30 am said:

    this looks beautiful but alot of time work but im sure it worth it , hope try it soon , thank u

  9. It’s everything a caramel and chocolate lover dreamed of and more. It looks stunning Natasha :)

  10. An accomplishment of a cake! Looks like a really really fancy candy bar :)

  11. Looks so delicious Natasha, what a combination of flavours and textures! :-)

  12. Charlotte on May 6, 2014 at 5:39 pm said:

    I just finished making the chocolate glaze, I have made the cake over about 3 days for my (14th) birthday tomorrow and my whole family have heard about it and are really excited! Thanks for the great recipe, I taste tested the layers and they were so good, I know it’ll be delicious! (:
    p.s I think my mum emailed you about the feuilletine, I ended up making my own and it worked perfectly (:

    • Hi Charlotte! So happy to hear that the feuilletine worked out and you made the cake! Hope you have a lovely 14th birthday! :-)

      • Charlotte on May 8, 2014 at 8:05 pm said:

        Thankyou! It was so yummy and everyone loved it :)
        The contrast between the soft layers, the brownie and the crunchy feuilletine was so good!
        Now everyone is just trying to get the last tiny piece that is left in the fridge…
        Thankyou! :)

  13. Natalie on May 16, 2014 at 4:10 pm said:

    Hi Natasha can you omit any layers so it isn’t as time consuming ? If so which ones? I’m sure it tastes better without doing this but I’m after maybe 3 or 4layers…. I should probably make a different cake ha!

    • Hi Natalie. You can omit whatever you want depending on what flavours/textures you want to get rid of. You could take out the insert maybe? But then you’ll lose the nuts, crunch and smooth caramel creme brûlée. Take out a mousse and the cake will be too heavy with rich chocolate crunch. Regardless of what changes you make, know that it won’t be the same cake.

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  15. Natacha on July 31, 2014 at 11:25 am said:

    Hi Natasha,
    Recipe looks amazing I really want to try it out for hubby’s birthday. Over how many days would you suggest making it and at which layers would you stop between days? Also is there a reason for making the Creme brûlée/Nuts insert separately and smaller and not just layering it like the rest?
    Thank you! :-)

    • Hi Natacha,
      You can make it over however many days you like, just take note of the “freeze until firm” points. The layers can stay in the freezer with no issue.
      Yes, the inserts are made separately and smaller to be inserts, so they cannot be seen from the outside, do not affect the outside look of the cake, and add the the beauty of the inside. It’s also so your outer mousse layers keep the cake together, as they are attached on the outside. If they were all just frozen layers of the same size placed on one another, nothing would hold them together.
      Good luck!

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  18. Yum, this sounds amazing…Super delicious i bet. Thanks for sharing.


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  20. Hi if I were to convert gelatine sheets into powder gelatine how much should I use?

    • Hi Raeesah, there’s lots of differing opinions online, depending on the strength of the leaf gelatin. You could have a look on the packet of powder you buy for a guide, or stick to leaf for best results :-)

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  22. Hi Natasha,

    Your entremet looks so impressive and I’m excited to be replicating it for Christmas dinner this year!

    My question is regarding to brand of gelatin you used? I know all brands have a different bloom strength and I want to make sure what I bought is similar to what you used and if not, I can make the correct adjustment.


    • Hi Jenn, I’m not sure where you live as to what brands you have there? I use gold-strength leaves, which should be the same strength wherever you buy them. Silver or titanium leaves are where the differences are. Hope you enjoy this :-) and merry christmas!

  23. when you freeze a creme brulee and thaw it out again would it not weep. Ie. the water crystals crystalize and when thawed become liquidy.

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