When I heard about World Nutella Day 2007 from Ms. Adventures in Italy I was beside myself. An ardent fan of the famed chocolate hazelnut spread, my first thought was a big, fat, "Finally!". I am in firm agreement that Nutella does derserve a day when everyone goes and pays it homage. Suffice to say I was definitely planning to participate and do my share of Nutella-worship.
I already had a recipe in mind. Since I got myself Nigella Lawson's How to be a Domestic Goddess many moons ago, her Torta alla Gianduja, or Nutella Cake, was bookmarked to be tried. Many recipes jumped ahead of the queue though, but it remained there, dancing in the back of my head, a sweet temptation. Well, today is the day to yield. Nutella lovers, today is YOUR day!
I followed the original recipe pretty much, except I used rum instead of Frangelico, although Nigella does mention that you can do this. And, I didn't toast the hazelnuts for the topping...they were already roasted and I was too lazy (sorry Nigella!).
Here's the recipe...
for the cake:
for the icing:
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- In the bowl of your mixer whip egg whites until stiff peaks form (yes! slowly getting over the egg white fear).
- In another bowl beat butter and Nutella. Add rum, egg yolks, and ground hazelnuts. Fold in the cooled melted chocolate, then add a bit of the egg white (no need to be so gentle) just to lighten the mixture.
- Fold in the rest of the egg whites, one third at a time.
- Pour into a 23 cm greased and lined springform tin and bake for 40 minutes (sides should be coming away from pan). Cool in pan on a wire rack.
- Prepare the icing. Place chocolate, cream, and rum in a saucepan over low heat until chocolate starts melting. Take off heat and whisk until it reaches a consistency suitable for icing your cake. - Unmold the cooled cake. Nigella advises to leave the cake on the base as the cake's "dampness" may make it difficult to move, but I let the parchment I lined it with do the job.
- Pour ganache over the cake and top with whole hazelnuts.
Doesn't it look like something you would want to come home to after a hard day? The Nutella-lover in me sure thinks so. I did come across some "bumps" in the form of a cracked top once the cake settled (help! suggestions anyone???), but the gloriously smooth ganache covered it all up! I don't know how this tastes though. It is presently sitting on its pink throne, untouched, waiting for me to (hopefully!) get this post out in time to make Nutella Day! I will add an update here as soon as we sample it :)
So there you have it. My small contribution in honor of the wondrous substance that has seen me through many a bad day, and a ton of good ones too. Thank you Sara and Shelley for hosting such a fantastic event! And Happy Nutella day to one and all!!!
UPDATE 2/7 -- Tasting notes: We had some for dessert last night and it was delicious! Moist and dense and chocolate-y. It is a great chocolate cake to have in your chocolate cake stable, and it is surpringly easy to make. However, despite using a whole bottle of Nutella, the Nutella flavor was not as pronounced as I would have liked. I will try incorporating Nutella into the icing next time I make this (yes, there will definitely be a next time!) to up the Nutella quotient.