Even though I was still feeling miserable on Saturday NOTHING was going to stop me from spending a little time in the kitchen. After starving all week, I was determined to make and attempt to eat a yummy cake. I did make it and did even manage to eat a piece but boy did I regret it afterwards. My mouth went into shock and I was in agony the rest of the night. The cake was so delicious though and I was really proud of my efforts.
Growing up most households in Australia had a jar of Nutella in the pantry. In primary (elementary) school I had friends who would eat it in their sandwiches on plain white bread. While the thought of that is not appealing to me, when I found this recipe a while ago for a Chocolate Hazelnut Layer Cake that had Nutella in it I just knew I had to try it. Perhaps it was a feeling of nostalgia, I don't know. I had bought the ingredients to make this a while ago and just hadn't gotten around to it. I'm so glad I finally did.
Chocolate Hazelnut Layer Cake
3 C heavy cream,
2 bars (4oz each) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 C Nutella
1 C unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 c boiling water
1/2 c nutella (2 13 oz jars)
1 c buttermilk
2 Tbsp frangelico (I didn't have any of this so left it out)
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 1/2 c sugar
1 stick (1/2 c) butter, softened
1 1/2 t baking soda
3/4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
4 large eggs
1 3/4 c all purpose flour
1. Microwave cream in a large bowl on high until steaming. Add chocolate; let stand 5 minutes. Stir until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Cover surface directly with plastic wrap; refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours. (see note)
2. Cake: Heat oven to 350°F. You’ll need two 9 x 2-in. round cake pans, greased and floured.
3. Whisk cocoa powder and water in a medium bowl, then Nutella and buttermilk, Frangelico and vanilla.
4. Beat sugar, butter, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl with mixer on medium-high speed 3 minutes or until pale. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. On low speed beat in flour in 3 additions alternating with cocoa mixture in 2 additions, beating just until blended. Pour into prepared pans.
5. Bake 30 to 35 minutes until a pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on rack 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of each layer; turn out on rack and cool completely.
6. Insert several toothpicks halfway up side around both cake layers. Using picks as a guide, cut layers in half with a long serrated knife.
7. Filling & frosting: Beat cold chocolate mixture on medium speed until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted. Put Nutella into a bowl; stir in 1 1/2 cups chocolate mixture until smooth. Fold into remaining chocolate mixture until combined. Remove 2 1/2 cups to a bowl; stir in hazelnuts for filling. Reserve remainder for frosting.
8. To assemble: Place 1 cake layer on serving plate; spread with 1/3 the filling (1 scant cup). Top with second layer and 1/2 the remaining filling; repeat with third layer and remaining filling. Top with last cake layer. Spread a thin layer of frosting over top and sides; refrigerate 15 minutes to firm. Spread top and sides with remaining frosting. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish just before serving.
(***NOTE***- You will notice in the pictures of my cake that the frosting has flecks of brown in it. This is not supposed to be the case. I found that trying to get the cream the right temperature using the microwave was a tad tricky. I don't think my cream was quite warm enough because my chocolate didn't melt all the way and after I pulled it out of the fridge a few hours later to finish up the frosting, the chocolate had settled in the bottom of the bowl. Next time I think I'll heat the cream in a saucepan so that I can more closely monitor the melting of the chocolate into the cream. That should ensure the frosting has a smoother texture I think. Regardless it was still delicious, it just didn't look exactly how I wanted it to.