Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) Acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Narrm, the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present, and to Elders of all First Nations communities that visit MCEC.

Dessert Day with MCEC Executive Pastry Chef Alessandro Bartesaghi

To celebrate Dessert Day on October 14 we’ve asked MCEC Executive Pastry Chef Alessandro Bartesaghi to create one of our most popular desserts from the kitchen, a Warm Dark Chocolate Cake with salted hazelnut and local fresh berries.

Here is the recipe you can follow at home. We can tell you from experience it is delicious, enjoy!

Chocolate and olive oil cake

Make 10 portions


  • Olive oil 147g

  • Cocoa powder 53g

  • Hot water 133g

  • Almond meal 160g

  • Bicarb 2g

  • Salt 2g

  • Caster sugar 192g

  • Large eggs 3

Cooking steps

  1. Mix cocoa powder with hot water to make a paste.

  2. Combine almond meal with the bicarbonate of soda and salt.

  3. Put the sugar, olive oil and eggs into the bowl of a freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment and beat together vigorously for about 3 minutes.

  4. Turn the speed down a little and pour in the cocoa mixture, beating as you go, and when all is scraped in you can slowly tip in the ground almond meal.

  5. Pipe into mould and bake at 170c fan forced for 40 mins.

Soft caramel centre


  • Caster sugar 56g

  • Cream 115g

  • Glucose 39g

  • Salted butter 25g

  • 70% dark chocolate 25g

Cooking steps

  1. Cook sugar dry to 185c

  2. Deglaze with boiling cream, glucose and salt.

  3. Cook again to 107c

  4. Cool to 65c and add the chocolate.

  5. Make an emulsion.

  6. Cool to 40 and add the butter and emulsify.

Salted hazelnut


  • Caster sugar 35g

  • Hazelnut 68g

  • Water 15g

  • Salt 2g

Cooking steps

  1. Boil water and sugar, add roasted hazelnuts.

  2. Cook stirring until the sugar crystalize around the hazelnuts.

  3. Place on a tray to cool down.

  1. Temper some dark chocolate, spread into a thin sheet and cut with a round cutter, slightly bigger than the cake.

  2. Bake the cake and remove the centre using a small melon baller.

  3. Pipe some tender caramel in the middle.

  4. Place the cake in the oven to warm up.

  5. Crush some hazelnut and place them on the cake.

  6. Cover with a dark chocolate disk. The disk will melt on the cake.

  7. Combine strawberry and raspberry and place into the plate.

  8. Place the warm cake on top, and scoop your favourite ice cream.