Andrew’s Birthday Cake

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My hubby’s birthday is coming up and I am making him this:

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I took this photo of his birthday cake last year, which is Giada de Laurentiis’ Hazelnut Crunch Cake with Mascarpone & Chocolate.¬†And I am making the cake again because:

1. The cake is heaven in every bite. Light mascarpone frosting, moist chocolate cake, fresh chocolate orange zest and crunch hazelnut candy = perfection.

2. My hubby LOVES Giada.

3. My hubby requested I make it again.

4. Presentation is to die for and makes me feel like I am a cake artist (even though I am far from one).

5. The cake is surprisingly EASY to make.

You are probably thinking, yeah right, how could a cake that looks like that be easy? Well, it is boxed cake. Yes, you heard me right. Giada’s recipe calls for boxed cake, and I am all about the short cuts if it doesn’t take away from flavor. I used Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake and the cake was so moist and delicious with this mix. And the hazelnut crunch, while it looks intimidating, wasn’t hard to make at all. Simply boil sugar and water for 10 minutes then pour the mixture over hazelnuts on parchment paper.

So the next time you want to impress guests or that special someone with an amazing cake that will cause them to crown you king/queen and bow at your feet, try this cake. And enjoy!

Recipe on the Food Network’s Website: Hazelnut Crunch Cake with Mascarpone & Chocolate