This cake has no shame; it’s a sticky, nutty, creamy, unashamedly cakey cake. A combination of mascarpone and hazelnuts keeps it from sliding into sugar-coma territory, but if you have a sweet tooth, this’un’s for you.
You can make dulce de leche yourself, if you’ve the patience, but otherwise just buy it in a tin. Spoon-licking lingerers will no doubt “help” you with the ingredients.
For the cake
- 175g butter, softened
- 175g caster sugar
- 3 free-range eggs
- 150g self-raising flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 50g chopped hazelnuts
For the filling and topping:
- 300g mascarpone
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out or a few drops vanilla essence
- 25g chopped hazelnuts, to decorate
- 1/2 tin or about 5 tablespoons of dulce de leche (caramel)
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Lightly grease and line a 23cm round cake tin.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a tablespoon of flour with each to help the mixture stay smooth.
- Gently fold in the remainder of the flour and baking powder, taking care not to over-mix.
- When just combined, stir in the chopped hazelnuts.
- Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until risen and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Cool in the tin for a few minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
The filling and topping:
- Spoon the mascarpone into a bowl. Add the vanilla and icing sugar (you might want a little more, to taste) and beat together. Set aside.
- Finely chop or give the hazelnuts a quick blitz with a hand blender.
- Tip them into a small, dry frying pan and toast over a medium heat for a few minutes until fragrant – careful, they burn quickly. Set aside to cool.
- Carefully cut your cake in half.
- Spread the bottom half of the cake with a thick layer of the dulce de leche or caramel, followed by half of the mascarpone.
- Sandwich the top on and spread the remaining mascarpone over the top and sides of the cake.
- Swirl the remaining caramel over the surface and add the toasted hazelnuts to finish.