Inspiring vegetarian recipes
Try our vibrant veggie dishes, from meat-free lasagne to vegetable curry and vegetarian chilli
Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and line the base of two 20cm sandwich cake tins with baking paper.
Using an electric whisk, beat the sugar and butter with a pinch of salt until pale and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Fold in the flour, sifted cocoa, vanilla and finally the hazelnuts, until just combined. Divide between the tins and smooth over the tops with a spatula. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean, then leave to cool on a wire rack to room temperature.
To make the buttercream, beat together the butter, chocolate spread and icing sugar with a pinch of salt until rich, chocolaty and smooth. Stir in 1-2 tbsp of just-boiled water to loosen if it’s very stiff. Transfer a few spoonfuls of the buttercream into a piping bag with a star nozzle and set aside.
Use a third of the remaining buttercream to sandwich the cooled sponges together. Sprinkle with 2 tbsp of chopped hazelnuts before adding the second sponge. Use the remaining buttercream to smooth over the top and sides of the cake. For a neater look, you may want to use half the buttercream, smooth over and chill, as a crumb coating, before adding the remaining buttercream and smoothing over. Alternatively, for a more rustic look, pile a big dollop of the buttercream on top of the cake, and smooth it down around the sides of the cake with a palette knife.
Press the chopped hazelnuts into the bottom half of the sides of the cake using your palm, letting some fall off, working all the way around the cake. Brush off any loose nuts with a pastry brush.
Use the icing in the piping bag to pipe 12 swirled peaks on top of the cake around the edge. Add a Ferrero Rocher to each icing peak, then cut into slices and serve. Keeps for three days in an airtight container in a cool place.