I have been eyeing this dessert since I bought the "Desserts 500 delicious recipes" book. It has all the stuff that I love - its sweet, its frozen, it has nuts and whipped cream with delicious sponge fingers. I finally got a chance to make it last weekend. My dad was visiting us from my brother's in Seattle, on his way back to India. I took it as a chance to try out a new dessert as it was an excellent chance to divide the calories ;-).... Am I evil, well, I dont think so! It was an awesome dessert, perfectly sweetened and light. The whipped cream made fresh at home and the light sweetness imparted by just the right amount of confectioner's sugar is remarkable. I personally love the taste of hazelnuts and this reminded me of the delectable Ferrero Rocher, one of my favorite kind of chocolate. The sponge fingers lend the spongy texture of a cake, and the whipped cream gives the feel of an icecream. The chopped hazelnuts and morsels of chocolate were exceptional, making for a delicious bite among the light and fluffy whipped cream! My favorite part of this dessert was the hazelnut bits and the soaked sponge fingers.
I believe that this will taste just as delicious with almonds or cashews as well. Once the gateau is thawed in the fridge for about 10 minutes, the dessert will be ready to be sliced and served. I served the dessert with a simple decoration of cool whip swirls and a few cherry chocolate chips and hazelnuts. Try these out and I am sure you will love it. It makes for a really simple dessert with which you can impress your guests. Dust with a little cocoa and sugar and it will look stunning. Enjoy!!
Recipe (Serves 6-8) :
Hazelnuts - shelled, 3/4 cup
Sponge fingers - about 32
Cold strong black coffee - 2/3 cup
Brandy - 2 tbsp
Double (heavy) cream - 2 cups
Confectioner's (icing) sugar - 2/3 cup, sifted
Semi-sweet chocolate - 5 oz, chopped into small pieces
Icing sugar and Cocoa powder (for dusting)
Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Spread out the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 5 minutes until golden.
Turn the nuts onto a clean dish towel and rub off the skins while still warm.
Cool, then chop finely.
Line a 5 cup loaf tin with cling wrap and cut the sponge fingers to fit the base and sides.
Reserve remaining fingers.
Mix the coffee with the brandy in a shallow dish.
Dip the sponge fingers briefly into the coffee mixture and return to tin, sugar side down, to fit.
Whip the cream with the icing sugar until it holds soft peaks.
Fold half of the chopped chocolate into the cream with the hazelnuts.
Use gentle figure-of -eight action to distribute the chocolate and nuts evenly.
Melt the remaining chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Cool, then fold into the cream mixture. Spoon into the tin.
Moisten the reamining fingers in the coffee mixture - take care not to soak the fingers, otherwise they will collapse.
Lay the moistened fingers over the filling.
Wrap and freeze until firm.
To serve, remove from the freezer 30 minutes before serving to allow the icecream to soften slightly.
Turn out onto a serving plate and dust with icing sugar and cocoa powder.
Source: Desserts 500 delicious recipes; Edited by Ann Kay.
- I didnt use brandy with coffee. I used a bit of hot cocoa powder along with the coffee powder to make the dipping.
- I used about 4 oz of semi-sweet chocolate.
- I just had 24 sponge fingers (while the sponge fingers were in storage at my home, some in-home thieves stole the rest!), so I didnt top the dessert (when served, it lines the bottom) with moistened sponge fingers.
- The gateau was served decorated with whipped cream, whole hazelnuts and cherry chocolate chips.
- The dessert is very lightly sweetened. So if you are into sugar-high desserts, add more confectioner's sugar to the cream before whipping.
Have a great day!!