A dark chocolate, coffee and hazelnut cake from SA Bake Off winner Bianca Breytenbach. Picture by Lisa Skinner.

Chocolate Cake

500 ml Milk

75 ml Lemon Juice 

15 ml Vanilla Essence                            

100 ml Instant Coffee Powder

180 ml Cocoa Powder   

375 ml Hot Water  

1,1 litre Sugar 

470 g Margarine

8 ea. Large Eggs

1,4 litre All Purpose Flour  

12,5 ml Baking Powder  

15 ml Bicarbonate of Soda

7,5 ml Salt

10 ml Coffee Essence  

Cheesecake crust

30 ml White Sugar    

350 ml Chocolate Biscuit    

65 g Unsalted Butter 


460 g Cream Cheese 

190 g Dark Chocolate 70%

10 ml All Purpose Flour 

1 pinch salt 

210 ml White Sugar

10 ml Vanilla Essence

Coffee ganache

230 ml Cream

170 g Dark Chocolate

15 ml Instant Coffee Powder

15 ml White Sugar


342 g Dark Chocolate

375 ml White Sugar

180 ml Water

6 ea. Large Egg Whites

1 pinch salt  

342 g Unsalted Butter (cubed)

15 ml Vanilla Extract

Candied hazelnuts

250 g Whole hazelnuts

250 ml White sugar

60 ml Water

15 each tooth picks

1 each Sheet Baking Paper

500 ml Ice cold water/ ice

Hazelnut truffles    


1 kg Dark Chocolate 70%

180 ml Hazelnut spread

250 ml Cream


375 ml Finely chopped Hazelnuts

100 ml Cocoa Powder

Caramel Graffiti Border

625 ml White Sugar

250 ml Water

250 ml Glucose syrup

2,5 ml Vanilla essence

1 ea. Baking Paper

Chocolate Bomb

250 g Dark Chocolate 

1 ea. Dome mould

1 ea. Baking Paper

1 ea. Soft paintbrush


Chocolate Cake

Preheat oven to 200 C. Combine milk & lemon juice, stand for 20 minutes until curdled.

Mix hot water, cocoa, coffee and coffee essence, allow to cool. In large bowl cream together margarine and sugar until mixed.

Add eggs (one at a time) into creamed butter until light and fluffy. Add cooled chocolate mixture. Sift together flour, salt, bicarbonate, baking powder.

Mix into egg mixture, beat until fully incorporated. Add milk mixture until well combined. Spray 3x 6” and 3x 10” cake tins with Spray and Cook.

Pour into greased tins ¾ full. Bake for 50 -60 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Cheesecake Crust

Preheat oven to 180 C. Mix sugar, butter and biscuit crumbs together. Line 8” spring form pan base and sides with baking paper.

Grease pan with Spray oil. Press crumbs into base, bake 9-12 minutes, until slightly darkened. Let crust cool.


Decrease heat to 150 C. Combine cream cheese, chocolate, flour and salt.    

Beat on medium speed for 5 minutes, scrape sides throughout. Make sure mixture is smooth and fluffy (no lumps).    

Add sugar, blend well , add vanilla, beat for another 30 seconds. Add eggs one at a time, gently mix.    

Do not over beat otherwise top will crack. Pour filling over cooled crust and smooth out.    

Bake for 55-60 minutes, it should still jiggle a little when shaken. Set on rack to cool.      

Coffee ganache

Heat cream, sugar and coffee until sugar is dissolved. Add in chocolate and stir until smooth.    

Pour ganache over cooled cheesecake, set in fridge to cool. 

When ready to assemble, loosen pan and remove baking paper.   


Slowly melt chocolate in microwave until almost fully melted. Remove and continue mixing until smooth, let cool.    

Wipe out mixer bowl to ensure it is clean, whisk attachment. Combine egg whites and salt, keep 30ml sugar aside    

Combine remaining sugar and water in small saucepan.

Place over high heat and close lid,  allow to boil, swirling pan.  

Once sugar mix is boiling remove lid and test with thermometer. When sugar reached 110C start beating egg whites in mixer    

When eggs are foamy, add sugar, continue to whip until stiff (30 sec).    

When sugar is between 115-118 C remove from heat immediately.    

Pour thin stream of syrup into egg whites whilst beating on high. Try not to get any syrup on sides of bowl

Mixture will become meringue like – white, glossy, triple in size.    

Ensure the meringue is room temperature (must not be warm). Add butter one cube at a time, whilst still beating on high.    

Mixture will curdle but continue to beat for another 5 minutes. When smooth, add vanilla and continue whipping for 3 minutes    

When choc is no longer warm but still fluid, fold into meringue. Beat for another 2 minutes until fully combined    

Candied hazelnuts

Pierce sides of hazelnuts each with a tooth stick to prepare. Place baking paper on the floor below work station    

Place cutting board on counter ready to use. Place sugar and water in small pot over medium-high heat    

Stir to combine, wash down sides with pastry brush and water. Continue to cook until caramel turns darker- do not stir    

Put pot in ice cold water to stop cooking. Let caramel stand for 1 min. Dip hazelnuts into caramel to test if thick enough    

If it makes strands it is ready to use, if not let stand longer. Dip each hazelnut in caramel, prop between counter and cutting board.    

Should form long caramel strands, carefully remove tooth pick sticks .       

Set aside on baking paper.    

Hazelnut truffles    


Melt chocolate, cream in microwave until smooth and let it cool. 

Mix hazelnut spread into chocolate mix, cover with Cling Wrap. Place in fridge for 60 mins, shape into balls, freeze for 15 mins.


Roast nuts. When truffle balls are ready, dip in coating mixture, half in nuts, half in cocoa.    

Place truffles on baking sheet lined with baking paper. Place back into fridge for 15 minutes    

Caramel Graffiti Border

Measure circumference and height of bottom tier (tier 3). Mark this on Baking paper (must be higher than cake)    

Have a cup of water with a spoon ready. Melt water, glucose and sugar in medium heavy-based pot.   

Swirl pot rather than stir, when melted bring up heat to boil. Cook sugar for 10-15 minutes.  

Test readiness by inserting spoon into caramel then dipping in water.    

When it turns rock hard it is ready. Remove from heat, let it rest for about 1 minutes.    

With a spoon drizzle long band of squiggles on baking paper. It is wise to make two panels for if one breaks.    

Let the panels rest a bit to cool but must still be pliable to use. Remove panel from baking paper and stick around cake.    

Chocolate Bomb

Over a double boiler melt 2/3 of chocolate. Remove form double boiler and add the remaining 1/3 in.    

Stir until it is smooth and fully melted. Paint chocolate into the cavity of the mould until fully covered    

Neaten edges with flat part of knife, let it set for 10 minutes. Carefully remove spheres from mould.    

Fill one half of sphere with nuts and truffles. Bring a pan to low heat on the stove.    

Apply second ½ of sphere face down to heat it slightly (5-10 seconds). Bring two spheres together to form a chocolate ball

Place aside for later. Have warm caramel syrup on the side to use to pour over bomb.


Even out cake layers, ice with chocolate meringue buttercream. Stack cakes (use dowel to secure) on cake board    

Tier 1 and 3 will be chocolate cake with meringue buttercream. Tier 2 is a chocolate cheesecake    

Place chocolate bomb on top. Cut truffles in half and attach to top tier sides.

Use candied hazelnuts for decoration on top tier and second tier. Attach caramel graffiti border to bottom tier (3)    

Pack whole truffles around the bottom tier to round cake off.