Chocolate, Meringue and Hazelnut Pastries

Chocolate, Meringue and Hazelnut Pastries-1-45When a moist and chocolaty cake marries with crunchy meringue and hazelnuts, that is a match that was just meant to be. I absolutely love hazelnuts and always have a stash in my freezer, so it’s a flavor that I like to use in many of my other sweet treats. Fan club members of Nutella know something about that creamy, chocolaty hazelnut spread – it’s absolutely divine. I’m not alone with my love for chocolate and hazelnuts. Caramel, or dulce de leche is another flavor that is just perfect with this whole combination. 

The great thing about this dessert is that you can either serve is as a cake or make it into pastries, like I did. As with most desserts, it can be made in advance. 

Ingredients:

Meringue:

4 egg whites, room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

Chocolate Cake: Recipe from My Baking Addiction 

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cups unsweetened regular cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup strong coffee, cooled

1/2 cup oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

Frosting:

1 (8 0z) package cream cheese, softened

1 stick (8 Tablespoons) butter, softened

1 (14 oz) can dulce de leche (cooked condensed milk)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

Garnishes:

1 1/2 cups toasted chopped hazelnuts

1 – 1 1/2 cups Nutella

melted chocolate, to drizzle on top of the pastries, optional

Instructions:

Meringue:

I usually start with the meringue, since it takes the longest to bake. You can make it a day or two in advance.

Line a half sheet (18 x 13 inches) rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
Whisk the egg whites in a standing mixer with a whisk attachment, starting on medium speed and gradually increasing to medium high, until frothy. Gradually add the sugar. Whisk the egg whites for 15 minutes until stiff peaks form.
Chocolate, Meringue and Hazelnut Pastries-1-35Spread out evenly in the prepared baking sheet. Chocolate, Meringue and Hazelnut Pastries-1-36Bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours.

Chocolate, Meringue and Hazelnut Pastries-1-37When the meringue is completely cool, carefully peel off the parchment paper or aluminum foil and cut the meringue in half.
You can make the meringue a day or two ahead of time. Store the completely cool meringue at room temperature, in an air tight container or tightly sealed.

Chocolate Cake:

Chocolate, Meringue and Hazelnut Pastries-1-24Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line a half sheet rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Grease the parchment or aluminum foil with oil.
Start by brewing a nice, strong cup of coffee and set it aside to cool.
Combine all the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt) in a large bowl and mix to combine. Chocolate, Meringue and Hazelnut Pastries-1-25I like to sift in the cocoa powder, since it tends to be very lumpy. Mix them all together.
Chocolate, Meringue and Hazelnut Pastries-1-26Mix all the liquid ingredients (eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla) in a large measuring cup.
Chocolate, Meringue and Hazelnut Pastries-1-27Pour in the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix to combine. The batter will be quite thin.
Chocolate, Meringue and Hazelnut Pastries-1-28Spread the cake batter evenly in the prepared baking sheet.
Chocolate, Meringue and Hazelnut Pastries-1-29Bake for 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven.
Chocolate, Meringue and Hazelnut Pastries-1-30Cool. When the cake layer is cool, cut it in half.Chocolate, Meringue and Hazelnut Pastries-1-38

Frosting:

Chocolate, Meringue and Hazelnut Pastries-1-31Mix the softened cream cheese and softened butter in a standing mixer with the paddle attachment or using a hand mixer until smooth. Chocolate, Meringue and Hazelnut Pastries-1-32Add the dulce de leche(cooked condensed milk), vanilla and salt and mix again until smooth.

Chocolate, Meringue and Hazelnut Pastries-1-33

Chocolate, Meringue and Hazelnut Pastries-1-34Assembling the Pastries:

Place the first half of the chocolate cake layer on a large tray or serving platter. Since I was going to be serving this dessert as pastries, I assembled it on top of a large cutting board.

Spread half of the frosting over the cake layer and sprinkle with some of the hazelnuts, as much or as little as you like. Chocolate, Meringue and Hazelnut Pastries-1-39Spread 1/4-1/3 cup Nutella on the bottom of one of the meringue layers and place it Nutella side down on top of the nuts. I don’t like desserts to be too sweet, so I used only 1/4 cup, but you can use more, 1/3 or even 1/2 cup. Chocolate, Meringue and Hazelnut Pastries-1-40Spread more Nutella on top of the meringue, 1/3 – 1/2 cup, depending on how sweet you like it. This layer should have a bit more Nutella. Sprinkle with more nuts. Chocolate, Meringue and Hazelnut Pastries-1-41Top with another meringue layer, spread 1/4-1/3 cup Nutella, sprinkle with more nuts, top with other chocolate layer. Chocolate, Meringue and Hazelnut Pastries-1-42Spread remaining frosting on top, sprinkle with more nuts and drizzle with melted chocolate. Chocolate, Meringue and Hazelnut Pastries-1-43Cut into pastries or cover the sides with more frosting and serve as a cake.Chocolate, Meringue and Hazelnut Pastries-1-45

Chocolate, Meringue and Hazelnut Pastries-1-46

Chocolate, Meringue and Hazelnut Pastries
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
Meringue:
  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
Chocolate Cake:
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1¾ cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cups unsweetened regular cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup strong coffee, cooled
  • ½ cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
Frosting:
  • 1 (8 0z) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick (8 Tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 1 (14 oz) can dulce de leche (cooked condensed milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Garnishes:
  • 1½ cups toasted chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 - 1½ cups Nutella
  • melted chocolate, to drizzle on top of the pastries, optional
Instructions
Meringue: I usually start with the meringue, since it takes the longest to bake. You can make it a day or two in advance.
  1. Line a half sheet (18 x 13 inches) rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Whisk the egg whites in a standing mixer with a whisk attachment, starting on medium speed and gradually increasing to medium high, until frothy. Gradually add the sugar. Whisk the egg whites for 15 minutes until stiff peaks form.
  3. Spread out evenly in the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours.
  4. When the meringue is completely cool, carefully peel off the parchment paper or aluminum foil and cut the meringue in half.
  5. You can make the meringue a day or two ahead of time. Store the completely cool meringue at room temperature, in an air tight container or tightly sealed.
Chocolate Cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line a half sheet rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Grease the parchment or aluminum foil with oil.
  3. Start by brewing a nice, strong cup of coffee and set it aside to cool.
  4. Combine all the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt) in a large bowl and mix to combine. I like to sift in the cocoa powder, since it tends to be very lumpy. Mix them all together.
  5. Mix all the liquid ingredients (eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla) in a large measuring cup.
  6. Pour in the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
  7. Spread the cake batter evenly in the prepared baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven.
  9. Cool. When the cake layer is cool, cut it in half.
Frosting:
  1. Mix the softened cream cheese and softened butter in a standing mixer with the paddle attachment or using a hand mixer until smooth.
  2. Add the dulce de leche(cooked condensed milk), vanilla and salt and mix again until smooth.
Assembling the Pastries:
  1. Place the first half of the chocolate cake layer on a large tray or serving platter. Spread half of the frosting over the cake layer and sprinkle with some of the hazelnuts, as much or as little as you like.
  2. Spread ¼-1/3 cup Nutella on the bottom of one of the meringue layers and place it Nutella side down on top of the nuts. I don't like desserts to be too sweet, so I used only ¼ cup, but you can use more, ⅓ or even ½ cup.
  3. Spread more Nutella on top of the meringue, ⅓ - ½ cup, depending on how sweet you like it. This layer should have a bit more Nutella. Sprinkle with more nuts.
  4. Top with another meringue layer, spread ¼-1/3 cup Nutella, sprinkle with more nuts, top with other chocolate layer.
  5. Spread remaining frosting on top, sprinkle with more nuts and drizzle with melted chocolate.
  6. Cut into pastries or cover the sides with more frosting and serve as a cake.

45 Comments

  • Anna

    Wow- what a phenomenal dessert! I cannot wait to try it, which will happen very very soon 🙂 Thank you for this slice of delectable goodness!

    • olgak7

      I actually freeze all nuts, Olga. Nuts have a very high oil content, so they go rancid very quickly. Storing them in the freezer is a great solution. Nuts aren’t cheap, so I save so much money simply because I never have to throw them out and they’re cheaper when bought in bulk. I store them in airtight bags or containers, whole, without the shells, just the way I buy them at the store. You don’t have to thaw them either, before using them in recipes.
      It’s also nice to have a good variety of nuts on hand all the time.

  • jules4v

    great dessert will make for the nurses that delivered my miracle baby boy Julian. I am so excited for you guys and next week when you get to meet your little boy. I too had many of difficulties medically. My husband and i have a baby in heaven waiting for us too. I can’t wait for you and i too hear the first time our child would say mommy. I loved my foster kids but there is something about your own child saying mommy and daddy and finally keeping that child yours how ever long God allows it. May you have a blessed c-section and a blessed delivery. I know you guys will cherish it as much as we did. Recovery is hard but its all worth it when your holding your child even if its three am.

    • olgak7

      How sweet of you, Jules, to make something homemade for the nurses.
      Praise God for blessing you with your baby. Thank you so much for your thoughtful words of encouragement.

  • Olena @ candies & crunches

    Not gonna lie, I’ve always been intimidated by baking. You, however, made this delicious cake recipe sound so easy to make!!! I’ll definitely try it sometime in the near future! Btw, I made your beed goulash yesterdday (had to substitute beef for pork though since that’s what I had in the fridge), it was supper yummy!!! Thank you as always! xoxo

    • olgak7

      To be honest, I don’t enjoy baking:). My trick for something like this is to make it in stages, so I bake the cake layers and the frosting, but assemble it on another day. That way it doesn’t take too much of my time in one day.
      This cake really is very simple. Both the cake layers are really easy to prepare and it’s minimal effort for assembly too.

  • Valya @ Valya' s Taste of Home

    This cake looks mouthwatering Olga! Love every ingredient in this cake. Would love to have some right now! 🙂

    • olgak7

      I really don’t know, Kristina. I’ve never had that happen to me before.
      There are many things that can go wrong with meringue. First of all, is your oven the correct temperature? Use an oven thermometer to check, because it might be off a few degrees from what it says it is. You might need to increase the temperature slightly, or bake the meringue a little bit longer.
      There are many other things that could have happened. It’s hard for me to say, since I wasn’t with you in the kitchen to see.
      Check out this link; it gives some suggestions: http://lowfatcooking.about.com/od/dessert/a/meringuemistake.htm

  • Katrina T

    This looks absolutely amazing, will be making very soon, I already have all the ingredients. My family isn’t big on chocolate cake, I was hoping to make it vanilla with the coffee. Would I substitute the cocoa for the same amount of flour, or what would you recommend?

  • Natalie

    Loved this cake.!!! Made it yesterday. It turned out really YUMMY!!!. My family LOVED IT!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING WOTH US!!!

  • Olga

    Olga, important question. Can i put this cake in the fridge if i made this 2 days ahead? im half way done, and just realized it, the nutella will harden but if i dont put in the fridge im worried about the cream?

  • Luda

    I’m planning on making this and was wondering where you purchased your half sheet rimmed baking sheet? Looks much easier baking it in that than seperating the batter into two pans.
    Thanks!

  • Natasha

    Hello Olga, I wanted to say thank you for sharing this amazing recipe:) I haven’t tried it yet but looking forward to trying on Sunday. As soon as I saw your cake I was looking for an excuse to make it. My bro in law is having a small engagement party this Sunday & when my mother in law asked me to make a cake I knew exactly which one I wanted to make. Anyway thank you again! Also wanted to wish you many blessings on your c-section on Monday. Can’t wait to meet your little man! Praying for you dear, also for a speedy recovery. God Bless your family & thank you for all you do

  • Oksana

    It is now one of my favorite cake. And when you bake meringue it’s best to use foil not parchment paper. Couldn’t take it out in one piece. So how to do it again baking sheet lined with foil. Love it.

  • Oksana

    Made this cake. This was a winner for sure. My cake turned out really high and when I started to cut it, it was falling apart in the middle where the 2 meringue, nuts and nutella met. I will make you again though, might have been the way I assembled it. Will follow directions more carefully next time. Many blessings to you and your son. Thank you for sharing the pictures on Facebook.

  • Inna

    Made this cake for Easter and it was delicious!!! Will make to work next time 🙂 Personally for me the chocolate cake was too rich so I will try to make it with maybe russian chocolate cake (beskvit with coco), but loved the Nutella+meringue+hazelnuts and frosting! thank you sooo much for sharing this wonderful recipe!!!

  • Tiffany

    I just wanted to take the time to comment about this cake. It is by far my favorite cake I’ve ever made or had for that matter! The contrast in textures is so appealing to my tastebuds and the dulce de leche frosting is just amazing. I made it for my baby shower and everyone was so impressed :). Thank you for your recipes and keep the unique desserts coming.

  • Rose

    Hi Olga,

    Hazelnut is one of my favorite flavors and I am so going to try this recipe. Does the meringue stay crispy or it’ll be soft after the cake is assembled?

    Thanks,
    Rose

  • Julie

    So i made your cake and to me im not a fan of dark chocolate and i felt like there was too much cocoa in it that made it too rich for me. Other than that it was a very easy and simple cake to make. Thank you!

  • oksana

    Ok, this cake is soooooo good! Made it twice already and making again right now for a Birthday celebration tomorrow. Absolutely stunning and delicious!! Thank you for sharing!

  • Lilya

    When making the meringue does it have to be hard from the oven? Or is it still soft? I baked mine for 2 hrs and I can still push on it… Does it harden as it cools? Thanks!

  • Valentina

    I usually don’t make something new when I’m expecting guests but this looked so good I had to try it and I’m so glad I did! It was a hit and everyone loved it. I am making it again this weekend. Thanks for the recipe!

  • oksana

    I have a question, i made the meringue last night, and it turned out great. In the morning it was really soft. Did i not bake it enough (even though i baked for a little over 2 hours). I really want to try again, because this cake looks absolutely amazing, but i don’t want to ruin the meringue again. Please help!

  • alina kom

    I am attempting to make this tomorrow for my husbands birthday this weekend. This look like such a great combo!!! I cannot wait to make it!! 🙂

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