Speculoos and praliné layer cake with chocolate

Speculoos and praliné layer cake with chocolate
Makes: 12 portions
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Joconde almond cake
  • 191 gr ground almonds
  • 217 gr sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 5 egg whites
  • 50 gr butter
  • 42 gr flour
Spéculoos crème
  • 500 gr milk
  • 3 tspn instant coffee
  • 3 tspn spéculoos spices
  • 130 gr sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 60 gr flour
  • 500 gr butter
  • 120 gr icing sugar
  • 50 gr hazelnuts
  • 100 gr white sugar
Chocolate coating
  • 125 gr water
  • 225 gr sugar
  • 130 gr double cream
  • 40 gr cacao powder
  • 9 gr gelatine
Joconde almond cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cream half the sugar with the whole eggs. Whip the egg whites with the remaining sugar to stiff peaks. Melt the butter. Mix the butter, flour and the ground almonds with the beaten eggs and fold in the stiff egg whites.
  2. Spread the batter on a tray lined with baking paper and spread until 1 cm thick. Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 min or until cooked and golden. Remove from the oven, turn upside down on baking paper, peel away the old baking paper and allow to cool. Cut out 3 discs that are the size of the dish in which you will build up the opera later.
Spéculoos crème
  1. Bring to the boil most of the milk, instant coffee, spéculoos spices and half the sugar. Mix the egg yolks with the remaining sugar and flour and the cold milk you kept back.
  2. Pour this in the hold milk and boil whilst stirring until thickened. Pour in a clean container, cover with cling film and allow to cool down to room temperature. Cream the soft butter with the icing sugar.
  3. Add the spéculoos crème when it is at room temperature and beat until combined and smooth. Set aside at room temperature for later.
  1. Cook the sugar with some water to a dark caramel.
  2. Stir in the hazelnuts and pour on baking paper. Allow to cool and set and blitz to coarse crumbs in a food processor.
  1. Line a large dish of roasting tray with baking paper, letting it overhang the sides. This will help to remove the cake later. Place some cardboard at the bottom, place on top the first disc of the almond cake and cover with a third of the spéculoos crème. Sprinkle half of the praliné on top.
  2. Place on top a second disc of the almond cake, a second layer of spéculoos crème and the rest of the praliné. Finish with the remaining cake and spéculoos crème.
  3. Allow to set in the fridge and cover with the remaining opera ganache. Cover with the fourth and last discs of almond cake.
  4. Freeze the speculaas layer cake for a minimum of 2 hours to set.
Chocolate coating
  1. Bring the water and sugar to the boil. Add the double cream and cacao powder, bring back to the boil and simmer for 10 min until thick and syrupy, it should coat the back of a spoon.
  2. Soak the gelatine in ample cold water. Take the pan of the heat, dissolve the gelatine in the warm liquid and allow to cool down to 40 ºC.
  3. Using the excess baking paper, remove the cold spéculoos layer cake from its tin and place on a raised support with a dish underneath. Pour the coating on top of the spéculoos layer cake and allow it to drip of the sides.
  4. Let set for 5 min and chill the spéculoos layer cake in the fridge so the coating can set.
  5. Cut off the sides to expose the layer structure.
Stuff to know
This recipe will make 8 large or 16 smaller portions.
This recipe will fill a tray measuring 30 x 20 cm.
Serve the speculaas layer cake at room temperature.
Spéculoos spice mix: 15 gr cinnamon, 1 gr ground coriander, ½ gr cardamom, 2 gr ground cloves, 2 gr nutmeg, 1 gr ginger powder and 1 gr white pepper. This yields more than you need for the cake.
Alternatively , use some spéculoos spread to flavour the spéculoos crème.
It is recommended to put some cardboard under the first cake layer for additional support.
The layer cake needs to be frozen to make the layers set. Also, the cold spéculoos layer cake will instantly set the warm chocolate coating when it is poured on top.
The excess chocolate coating that drips of the side can be reused.