Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Nutella Cake (don't get overly excited...)

I can't BELIEVE I missed World Nutella Day 2009 back on February 5th. I found out about it on the 7th and hastily moved to correct this heinous oversight. Since my kids all lovvvvvve Nutella, I decided that I needed to make a Nutella Cake for the Big Boys' birthday. Scrounging around the internet I found one from Nigella Lawson's book: How to be a Domestic Goddess.

I actually had all the ingredients on hand. (No way. Way.) I had ground hazelnuts left over from the French Yule Log Cake we made for the December Daring Baker's Challenge and I had a fresh, unscathed jar of Nutella waiting in the wings.

This cake looked so amazing! Too bad it didn't taste amazing. I was so disappointed and the kids were too. They were so jazzed about a NUTELLA BIRTHDAY CAKE!!! (singing: Mom is great, made us Nutella cake!) They were dancing around for joy, but after we sliced into it, it tasted absolutely nothing like Nutella when all was said and done. It just tasted like a so-so chocolate cake, although the ganache was good. Even my DH said "This isn't your best." Now that's saying something.

To make up for the Nutella-less birthday cake, on their actual birthday I joined them at school for lunch....... with a full jar of Nutella and three spoons. Happy boys. Happy girl. Happy Birthday.

I'm including the cake recipe here for posterity. Maybe I did something wrong, so you may want to try, but personally I wouldn't waste the liquid gold Nutella again on this one. Chalk it up to a learning experience, but it all worked out in the end with a little ingenuity and a few spoons.

Stiff egg whites
Batter with egg whites folded in

In the pan - it was very thick batter - it did not pour. I had to spread it in and around.

Skinned, toasted hazelnuts

Le cake

Le cake avec ganache et hazelnuts

Nutella Cake
adapted from Nigella Lawson and her book: How to be a Domestic Goddess.

6 large eggs, separated
pinch salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 13-ounce container Nutellla
1 tablespoon Frangelico (hazelnut flavored liqueur) or rum
1/2 cup finely ground hazelnuts
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Frangelico or rum
4 ounces whole hazelnuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; butter a 9-inch springform pan.
In a large bowl (preferably metal), whisk the egg whites and salt until stiff. In another bowl, cream the butter and Nutella, then add the Frangelico, egg yolks, and ground hazelnuts. Fold in melted chocolate.

Add a blob of beaten egg whites to the chocolate batter, and mix gently until well-combined. Fold in the remaining whites, one-third at a time, very gently but thoroughly. Pour into springform and bake for 40 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting tester, which should come out mostly clean; lightly pressing finger into top to check for a slight bouncing-back; and observing edges beginning to separate from pan. Let cool completely, in pan, on a rack.

Toast the hazelnuts in a dry skillet, shaking them around frequently. Do it for about 5 minutes, or until they are lightly browned, then let cool completely. If hazelnuts came with skins on, put them in a towel after toasting and rub around; this will remove most of the skins.

Chop chocolate, and add to sauce pan with cream and Frangelico over medium-low heat. Once chocolate is melted and components are combined, whisk until mixture reaches desired thickness, then cool. Remove rim of cake pan and pour cooled ganache over, spreading lightly to create a smooth, shiny surface, and apply hazelnuts all over.

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  1. Aww too bad it wasn't "all that". I am a Nutella freak. Out of the jar on crusty bread - the best.

  2. I love how you have a "meh" label. Sorry that this one got the dreaded meh-tag, though. That's always disappointing, especially when you go in with high expectations. The cake looks amazing; I am almost having a hard time imagining that it wasn't wonderful, but I believe you. A jar of nutella and some spooons more than made up for it, I'm sure!

  3. I totally missed the Nutella day = ( In fact, you might laugh at me but I never tried it before, Vegemite on toast is a fav but have not had nutella.. The cake however looks full of sweet goodness!!!

  4. That is surprising as it looks great.

  5. I was all set to run into the kitchen to make this, but after your review, I don't think I want to waste $6 of Nutella for "meh".

    Thanks for being honest!

  6. Don't you hate it when you get excited about something and it doesn't work?

  7. Sorry this wasn't a favorite. It looks outstanding!

  8. I am so sorry it didnt work out for you. Shame because it loooks so beautiful..

  9. Although it looks gorgeous and delicious, after trying the recipe from Nigella's book as well, I was anything but please too. I would rather eat a few spoonfuls of Nutella and call that my dessert!

  10. Bummer! I made homemade chocoalte graham crackers with Nutella and marshmallow creme in between for World Nutella Day Smores. They were GOOD. I had put some Nutella in the crackers, but you can't taste it at all. I think Nutella is best in its natural form. That is a bummer that it took a whole jar for the cake.
    Love your write up here though.

  11. What a bummer it didn't turn out how you wanted :( What a good mom for bring Nutella to school, and with spoons! HEEHEE!

    I'm stopping by everyone on my blogroll to let them know that I've started a new blog event called Thrifty Thursdays if you are interested in blogging along! :)

  12. It really does look rich and good. I really hate putting all the work into a recipe, especially from a cookbook or chef you trust, and having it come out bad or bland. Sad indeed! I have become very wary about recipes that are tried and true, but then, they have to be tried I guess.

    The jar of Nutella with spoons was a great idea!

  13. What a shame. I hate to waste good ingredients and time on a disappointment.

    It's doubly sad your kids were let down. That says a lot when even the children don't like a dessert. Too bad.


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