Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Why the Gods Invented Nutella.

My first Nutella experience was years ago. I was still living with my parents. I was still eating meat. I was still going to the Italian deli every Saturday with my mom. The deli had a lot of imports from Italy: Italian greeting cards with saints on them, Italian sodas, and the sweet thick chocolatey goodness that is Nutella. I'm pretty sure my mom bought it on a PMS-induced whim. The container recommends spreading it on bread. We just dipped spoons into it, as I'm sure most Nutella disciples do.
Now, I don't live with my parents, I don't eat meat, and the Italian deli is closed. But I can buy Nutella in the average-Joe grocery store; however, I don't because I cannot live with the guilt that is involved with being the sole consumer.
I never made anything with Nutella until I found this cake recipe. It is delicious. It is loaded with hazelnut happiness. It has more calories and fat than you need in a week. It is definitely a special occasion cake. My sister asked me to make it for her friend's birthday. (Happy Birthday, Cate!)
The recipe is from "The Whimsical Bake House."

Hazelnut Cake with Nutella Mousse & Nutella Butter Cream

1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 c. sour cream
2/3 c. finely chopped toasted hazelnuts

  • Grease 2 8" round pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Beat butter and brown sugar at high speed unti light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs one at a time and beat until combined.
  • Sift dry ingredients together.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar/egg mixture alternately with sour cream.
  • Beat until smooth.
  • Stir hazelnuts in by hand.

Pour 3 cups of batter into one pan and the remaining batter into the other. Bake the less full pan for 20-25 minutes and the fuller pan for 30-35 minutes, or until cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 15-20 minutes before turning the cakes out of the pans.

Nutella Mousse:
2 c heavy cream
4 tbsp. 10x sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. nutella

  • Whip heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla in electric mixer at high speed, until stiff.
  • Soften nutella in microwave for 10-20 seconds
  • Gently fold nutella into the whipped cream.

Nutella Buttercream:
( I am not using the book's buttercream recipe; I'm using my own with the deletion of all but a tsp. of vanilla, and whatever nutella is leftover from the mousse.)

tbsp. melted butter
6 c. 10x sugar
2/3 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
remanding nutella

  • pour melted butter into mixer bowl
  • alternately add 10x sugar and milk
  • add vanilla
  • mix in nutella
(Cut each cake in half horizontally making two layers per cake; 4 layers total.) Please note, in photograph, there are 3 cakes instead of 2.

  • Bottom of cake
  • Mousse
  • Top of cake
  • Buttercream
  • Bottom of cake
  • Mousse
  • Top of Cake
  • Frost with Buttercream.

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