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It’s not very often that I step out of my comfort zone to attempt something people wouldn’t otherwise expect of me. (It’s a different story that more often than not, time doesn’t permit me to do so). However, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, like most other women, I decided to get a little adventurous…in the kitchen!

You heard me! No sitting in the comfort of my air conditioned room with fondant for company. I thought with the season of mush in full bloom, it was the best time to go back to the basics because before specialising in cake decoration, I was an avid baker. In the kitchen once again, it felt good to be back to where I first started.

If you know me, you would know that I like creating desserts that are simple, easy to execute and delicious at the same time, which is why I attempted this luscious Chocolate Hazelnut and Cherry Gateau. And believe me, it’s not as complex to make as it sounds. (All you need to do to get it right is follow the recipe at the end of this post).

Close up

This V-Day creation of mine has a nice dark chocolate sponge with a hazelnut ganache, layered with red-velvet sponge, filled with whipped cream and cherry compote and finished off with the dark chocolate sponge and chocolate curls topped off with berries. Needless to say, it’s not going to be the easiest of tasks saving this cake for your significant other without wanting to dig into it yourself!

The inspiration for this cake stemmed from the classic black forest cake but I played around with flavours and this is probably a lot richer and definitely has all the ingredients in it to make it a Valentine’s Day special.

The entire experience of making this delish dessert was fun, fun and more fun, to say the least. Combining Lavonne’s bestseller and this season’s power fruit, this naked treat (with no crumb coating) is a sure-shot winner. And if you’re wondering what my favourite part was about my baking comeback, it had to be the assembling and decorating bit. I’m still a cake artist after all! That said, I’m going to be trying my hand at a batch of macarons shortly.


For me, Valentine’s Day stands for love! When you’re in love, everything is sweet for you. And the best way to indulge in love is by having your favourite dessert together with your loved ones. Now you really don’t need another legitimate reason to get into the kitchen and attempt making this sinful dessert yourself, do you?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Recipe-Chocolate Hazelnut and Cherry Gateau

Chocolate Sponge

Plain flour                        225gm

Castor sugar                   350gm

Cocoa powder                   85gm

Baking powder                 10gm

Bicarbonate of soda           5gm

Eggs                                 110gm

Milk                                 255ml

Vegetable oil                  125ml

Vanilla extract                10ml

Boiling water                  240ml


For the cake, place all of the cake ingredients, except the boiling water, in a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon, or electric whisk, beat the mixture until smooth and well combined.

Add the boiling water to the mixture, a little at a time, until smooth.

Divide the cake batter between the 8 inch tins and bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes, or until the top is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool completely, still in their tins, before icing.


Red Velvet Sponge

Flour                            125gm

Baking Powder              2gm

Salt                                  2gm

Cocoa powder                 15gm

Butter                            57gm

Sugar                           150gm

Egg                                   1 Nos.

Vanilla essence               3gm

Butter milk                 120ml

Vinegar                            5gm

Baking soda                     3gm

Red color                     as required


Cream the butter and sugar together, till the sugar butter mixture turns pale and sugar is mixed thoroughly.

Add the eggs and continue to cream

Sift the flour, baking powder,salt and cocoa powder together.

Fold with butter milk and vanilla essence.

Add baking powder mixed with the vinegar

Mix red color as required

Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes


Chocolate Hazelnut Cream

Dark Chocolate    200gm

Fresh Cream        225gm

Whipped Cream    80gm

Hazelnut paste      30gm


Heat the cream until it is hot and add chopped chocolate.

Combine until it is smooth and lump free, once cooled down

Fold in the whipped cream and add the hazelnut paste and mix well.


Cherry Compote

Fresh Cherries  250gm

Sugar                  120gm

Lime Juice              5ml

Water                    35ml


Deseed the cherries cutting them into halves .Add water and sugar and cook until the cherries soften and are glossy. Add in the lime juice and take it off heat and allow it to cool.

Final Assembly

Place the moist chocolate sponge first.

Spread the chocolate hazelnut mix on it.

Layer next with the red velvet sponge and spread whipped cream.

Spoon the cherry compote generously and place the next layer of chocolate sponge.

Finish the cake with more Chocolate Hazelnut Cream and cover with the cake with chocolate shavings.

Finally garnish with some berries and cherries on top of the cake and dust with icing sugar.

Serve with love!