Monday, May 30, 2005

Nutella cake

*sniff* I'm slowly recovering from a killer cold that knocked me out for most of last week. (I'm betting I got a nasty virus on the plane home from Paris - air travels seem to do that to me, no wonder with all that bad air. Eww.) However, I managed to have my brother and sister, with significant others, over for a small birthday celebration, since I was away for my actual birthday. I decided to bake something very simple, but I wanted to try something new, too. When my other sister called and said that she and her boyfriend wouldn't be able to make it, I instantly knew what to make. See, her boyfriend is allergic to nuts, all kinds, so I had been calculating on making something nut-free. But, when I have free realm, I much prefer things with nuts. So, a nutty cake it would be. And I knew just which one to choose.

Despite having been a bit upset with Nigella lately, her recipes are generally wonderful. They're tasty and very dependable. I decided to give her another chance, and finally try out the amazing-sounding Nutella cake from How To Be A Domestic Goddess. The results were smashing - we were just six people and we finished off pretty much the whole cake, leaving one tiny sliver. It's not as sweet nor as rich as it sounds, the eggwhites really lighten the whole affair.

A few notes - I used chopped hazelnuts to decorate, simply because you can't find peeled hazelnuts in the stores here. I find it too much of a bother to peel them manually, so I just roasted them and rubbed them in a towel to get rid of some of the skin, and then chopped them up. And I used water instead of Frangelico, even though I had it at home - and it was still great. Oh, and my store was OUT OF UNSALTED BUTTER. So I used regular - and I actually think that improved it. Salt goes so well with chocolate, it really brings out another dimension. But next time, I think I'll add a little less cream to the ganache topping - it didn't thicken quite as much as I would have liked. (But it tasted heavenly.)

Nutella Cake
Serves 8
Nigella Lawson: How to be a Domestic Goddess

for the cake
6 large eggs -- separated
1 pinch salt
115 g soft butter
1 jar of Nutella (400 g) (Yes, an entire jar.)
1 tablespoon Frangelico or water
100 g finely ground hazelnuts
120 g dark chocolate, melted

for the icing
100 hazelnuts
125 ml double cream
1 tablespoon Frangelico or water
125 g dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. (350 F).

Prepare a 9-inch springform pan: grease and line with parchment or wax paper.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs whites and salt until stiff but not dry. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and Nutella together, then add Frangelico (or what you're using), egg yolks, and ground hazelnuts. Fold in the cooled, melted chocolate, then lighten the mixture with a dollop of egg white, which you can beat in as roughly as you want, before gently folding the rest of them in a third at a time. Pour into the prepared pan and cook for 40 minutes or until the cake's beginning to come away at the sides, then let cool on rack.

Toast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan until the aroma wafts upward and the nuts are golden brown in parts: keep shaking the pan so they don't burn on one side and stay too pallid on others. If you use unpeeled nuts, transfer them to a kitchen towel, and rub, rub, rub. Most of the skins should come off. Transfer to a plate and let cool. Leave them whole or chop them up, depending on how much skin you actually managed to get off.

In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, add the cream, liquer or water, and chopped chocolate and heat gently. Once the chocolate's melted, take the pan off the heat and whisk until it reaches the right consistency to ice just the top of the cake. Unmold the cooled cake carefully. Ice the top with the chocolate icing, and decorate with the hazelnuts. Serve with a lightly sweetened whipped cream.


Niki said...

Oooh yeah, that's a great recipe! And even though it uses a whole jar of Nutella, is isn't overly sweet as there's no added sugar.
I actually discovered this exact recipe somewhere else before Domestic Goddess was published, so I'm pretty sure Nigella 'borrowed' it from someone!

Anonymous said...

Me, I'm not too fond of Nigella at all. All that vaseline on the camera lense and tossing of hair and pouting lips and smacking seems like a distraction so that people wont notice that all she really does is eat chocolate, preferrably deep fried. But to be honest I haven't actually tried any of her recipies. Since I like this blog so much better than Nigellas tv show, maybe this is the way for me to discover her food, without the disturbance of her lips.

Anne said...

Frida - I do know what you mean. The early cookbooks are a bit less of that though, and the recipes are great. My fave book is Nigella Bites, but a lot of people seem to prefer Forever Summer... Do give some of her recipes a try though - they're really quite tasty! :)

Niki - Oooh, I bet that's what happened. :) I'll definitely be making this one again, it was surprisingly good. :)

Niki said...

Frida - Nigella actually dislikes chocolace, and makes mention of it in all her books. Her large number of chocolate recipes are to pacify her fans who want more and more. She often comments she has a salty rather than sweet tooth.

Anonymous said...

Ok you have convinced me :-) I will try a Nigella recipe before I complain again (but it will be one from her books, no more Nigella on TV for me)

Anne said...

Lucia, that sounds great!! Thank you so much for reporting back! :)

As for the cream, I'm not completely sure - we just have whipping cream or "skinny cream" here. What I think double cream is is the same as our whipping cream, with a fat content somewhere around 35% or so. At least that's what I've always gone by.

Nigella's books are good indeed. My favorites are The Domestic Goddess and Nigella Bites, and a lot of people seem to love Forever Summer, too.

Anonymous said...

Ay Lord, that cake is good :D My four-year-old loves Nutella and they had a sale at the store (1€/jar :o), so I figured I'd make something out of Nutella since we
had a slight overabundance of it
and it was his birthday.

My kids were still talking about how good the cake was when they went to bed :D My husband has decided it beats all the brownie
recipes he has forced me to try
and my mom is planning on making it
for Christmas.

A friend recommended a good frosting for this cake: nutella with a bit of butter (rather like buttercream frosting), maybe some
powdered sugar to make it spread easier.

Again, thanks a million for the recipe and the post! :)

Anne said...

Kim, I'm so glad you liked it! And thank you for coming back to report - I love that. :) Your suggestions about frosting sounds really yummy.

cakeART said...

Hey Anne!
Made the nutella cake twice and eveyone loved it. My problem is that the cake actually sank in the middle and the sides too, both times.... I use a fan assited oven at 175 C. any way to correct it? Made do by covering it with LOADS of nuts! HELP

Anne said...

Serena - an oven with fans can definitely be the culprit here. I have a regular oven, and am not sure how to adjust cooking heat and / or time to a fan-oven, but there should be instructions for that somewhere, I'm sure. Mine sank a little bit - but not badly.

Anonymous said...

Hi, on the thing about cream - British double cream is 48%(!) fat - if you can't get hold of it though, any whippable cream should do, which I think means a minimum of about 35% fat.

By the by I made this (again) earlier today, great for someone who can't eat gluten/wheat, and accidentally doubled the quantity of butter; worked fine anyway, even if it is now a heart attack on a plate :)

Anonymous said...

I have Domestic Goddess and I think all of the recipes I've tried have been a success...
Haven't tried this one yet, but I just made a Cinnamon Nutella Cake and is absolutely wonderful, there is nothing better than the smell of cinnamon all over the house when you have something baking in the oven...

Homemade Heaven said...

I made the Nutella Cake for my son's birthday. It broke my heart when I took it out the oven and watched in sink in the middle.
Filled the middle with lots of ganche. It came out fine, but too much effort for not that much joy.

Love your blog, been reading it forever. This my first post however.

Anonymous said...

I made this a few weeks back. It sank in the middle and had cracks in it, but i flipped it upside down before frosting it. Turned out great!

When my sisters saw how dark it looked, they expected it to be far too sweet and rich. However, after trying it they loved it.

I'm making it again today!Hope it turns out just as good. Thanks for posting the recipe. Its easy to make and I've been recommending it to all my friends.

Gareth said...

My favourite Nigella recipe, - it makes good cup cakes too.

Angie said...

What do u mean by Dark chocolate? Is it unsweetened or semi-sweet?

Anne said...

Angie, we don't have that distinction here, but I generally use something that's probably closer to bittersweet.

Anonymous said...

this is the best nutella cake recipe i have ever tried

Anonymous said...

Have made this a few times now - always a winner! Top tip for the ganache (choc/cream topping) When the choc has melted, beat like fury for longer than you expect. When at the point of giving up, put it in the fridge for15 minutes or so - this helps firm up the choc. Beat again, and it soon comes to a lovely spreadable consistancy. Only other tip is plain choc of about 70% cocoa solids - the better the choc, the better the cake.

Anonymous said...

Have made this a few times now - always a winner! Top tip for the ganache (choc/cream topping) When the choc has melted, beat like fury for longer than you expect. When at the point of giving up, put it in the fridge for15 minutes or so - this helps firm up the choc. Beat again, and it soon comes to a lovely spreadable consistancy. Only other tip is plain choc of about 70% cocoa solids - the better the choc, the better the cake.

sublime said...

I used a 4 oz bar of Lindt Chili Piment Rouge in my batch and it added a nice little kick

Anonymous said...

Hi Anne,wrote down the recipe. Will definitely try it soon. I'm sure my boys will devour it!!
Thank you and all the best.