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Squirrel – Belochka cake is absolutely delicious cake that you can easily make for special occasions. Not that you need to wait for a special occasion … I love all the ingredients in this fabulous cake, especially: Chocolate, Hazelnuts, and Dulche de Leche –Delish.

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Layers of soft cake full of crunchy nuts, moistened with fluffy and sweet cream made with dulche de leche, and all this goodness covered with rich Chocolate Ganache. Enjoy bite after bite…until it’s all gone….

 

Ingredients:

Cake:

8 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 cups hazelnut, roasted

3/4 cup walnuts, roasted

 

Filling

1 can of dulce de leche/ (cooked condensed milk)

1 lb. (445 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

Chocolate Ganache (optional)

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

 

Syrup:

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. Vanilla extract
 
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray with cooking spray two 9” round non-stick baking dishes.  Line the bottoms with a circle of parchment. Set aside.
In separate bowl combine flour and baking powder; sift.

With electric mixer on medium- high speed beat the eggs for 2-3 minutes.

Gradually add sugar and beat for about 4-5 minutes.

Carefully add 1/3 of the flour mixture and with rubber spatula fold in slowly so the batter stays fluffy. Continue until you finish adding the flour and it will get well incorporated. Make sure to NOT over fold it.

Mix 1 cup roasted hazelnuts and ½ cup roasted walnuts. Crush them. (I used food processor).

Add crushed nut mixture into the batter and mix until well combined.

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Split the batter into the 9” baking dishes and bake until it get golden brown for about 25-30 minutes. Check if the cake is ready with a tooth pick, if nothing sticks to it, it is done. Remove cakes from the oven. Run a thin knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake; Place a wire rack on top of the cakes and invert. Slowly lift off the parchment paper. Turn the cake back over onto the rack and let cool.

 

Making the Syrup:

Combine water, sugar and vanilla extract and bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.

Making the filling:

Melt the chocolate and let it cool.

With electric mixer, whip the heavy whipping cream until fluffy with soft peaks. Set aside.

In a separate bowl with electric mixer, whip room temperature unsalted butter until fluffy, for about 3 minutes, scraping down the bottom of the bowl.

While mixer is still running gradually pour in cooled at room temperature cooked condensed milk.

Add the whipped cream and melted cooled chocolate and mix until combined.

Place some of the filling into the pastry bag with a star tip to decorate the top.

Assembling the cake:

Cut each cake in half horizontally. (total you’ll have 4 layers).

Drizzle about 2-3 tablespoons of cooled syrup on each cake layer
Place one cake layer on a flat serving dish and spread about 2-3 tablespoons of the filling evenly.  Place another cake layer on top of the frosting. Repeat this process until you finish the layers.
For rest of the frosting apply to the top and sides of the cake.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

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Making the Chocolate Ganache:  (is completely optional, you can totally skip this step and decorate your cake by piping flowers on top and sprinkling with nuts)

Combine hot (almost boiling) heavy cream and semisweet chocolate, cover it and let it sit for 5 minutes. Mix thoroughly and let it cool.

When Chocolate ganache is cooled pour over the cake and let it go over the sides of the cake too. I covered the entire cake with the ganache.

Fill a piping bag with the frosting we saved earlier and top it with a larger star tip. Pipe rosettes all around the top edge of the cake; as shown.  Top the center of the cake with crushed nuts.
Refrigerate.

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Enjoy!!!