Chocolate-Hazelnut-Caramel Mooncakes

caramel-mooncake

I know, I make a lot of mooncakes here on the blog, but they’re just so adorable that I can’t help it. These aren’t all that different from my chocolate-cherry mooncakes, using the same cake and crust recipes and the same general technique, so I suggest you check out that post for recipes and instructions. Still, I just had to post about these because the gooey caramel center was so neat!

I started with homemade chocolate cake, then crumbled it up fine and stirred in big globs of Nutella.

caramel-nutella

Did that get your attention? Thought so.

Next, instead of using a sour cherry center, I used caramel-filled Hershey kisses (with the tips lopped off to avoid them piercing through the skin during pressing)– they’re the perfect size to get a nice caramel center for these. I also experimented with using Rollo candies, but while they were great when the mooncakes were still warm, the caramel firmed up at room temperature and didn’t have the effect I was looking for. If I could get a cross between the Rollos and the kisses in terms of amount and gooey-ness of caramel, it would be perfect.

caramel-candies

caramel-mooncake-side

I will say that the Nutella flavor didn’t really come through at all– very disappointing. I think next time I might add more, both to heighten the hazelnut flavor and to make the cake a bit moister. My usual “just wet enough to hold together” texture made it difficult to wrap the candies in cake and have things stay in place– unlike the cherries in my earlier version, the candies were too smooth to provide any traction.

One thing to keep in mind when working with non-speherical centers is that you’ll want to keep track of which way the candies are oriented, just for aesthetics’ sake. I dealt with this by shaping my centers as slightly flattened spheres, so I always knew that the kisses or Rollos were at least vertical.

Anyway, these were tasty, but I would’ve appreciated more hazelnut flavor, and perhaps slightly more gooey caramel in the center (for all the trouble it took to get the candies in there). Still working on perfecting them!

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