After a very extensive preamble, here is my revised version of Nigella’s Nutella Cake. The ingredients are the same but I’ve added more detail to the directions after I encountered difficulties.
If you check out Nigella’s recipe online, she writes: “Not only is this one of the easiest cakes to make, it happens – joyously – to be one of the most delicious. My household is totally addicted!”
To be perfectly honest with you, this cake is NOT easy to make. You have to separate eggs and whisking the egg whites by hand, is open to disaster and exhaustion and after two attempts, we’re still fine tuning the cooking time. It also generates a lot of washing up.
However, there’s something about this cake that encourages me to persevere. It definitely improves after a night to set in the fridge and I love it served with fresh raspberries and cream and I needed a good coverage of roasted hazelnuts on top to break up the richness of the cake. They also provided that much sought after “crunch”.
So, I would consider this a special occasion cake for adults.While my kids do have a very sensitive palate and don’t like dark chocolate, they found the cake “too bitter” and really didn’t like it.
As I found Nigella’s icing too runny after two attempts, I have included an alternative recipe for dark chocolate ganache, which has worked for me in the past.
For the Cake
6 large eggs (separated)
1 pinch of salt
125 grams soft unsalted butter
400 grams nutella (1 large jar..NOT the jumbo size)
1 tablespoon frangelico (or rum or water)
100 grams ground hazelnuts
100 grams dark chocolate (melted)
Dark Chocolate Ganache
- 250g dark cooking chocolate, chopped
- 1/3 cup double cream
100 grams hazelnuts (peeled weight)
1 punnet fresh raspberries
Sifted icing sugar to taste.
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4/350ºF.
- Melt chocolate in the microwave, following packet instructions. Put aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl 1: whisk the egg whites and salt by hand until stiff but not dry. This means soft peaks but not until the foam starts to ball up. Put aside but you need to move quickly or the foam will liquefy.
- In Mix Master bowl 2: Beat the butter and Nutella together, and then add the Frangelico (or whatever you’re using), egg yolks and ground hazelnuts.
- Into Bowl 2: Fold in cooled, melted chocolate, then lighten the mixture with a large dollop of egg white, which you can beat in as roughly as you want.
- Bowl 2: Fold in remaining egg white a third at a time.
- Pour into a 23cm/9 inch round greased and lined springform tin and cook for 40 minutes or until the cake’s beginning to come away at the sides, then let cool on a rack. The cake will still be moist and wet inside, so do not overcook.
- Hazlenuts: Toast the hazelnuts either in a moderate oven or in a dry frying pan until the aroma wafts upwards and the nuts are golden-brown in parts: keep shaking the pan so that they don’t burn on one side and stay too pallid on others. Transfer to a plate and let cool. It’s imperative that they’re cold they go on the ganache while If your hazelnuts have skins on then after toasting in the frying pan transfer them to a slightly dampened tea towel and rub them while they are still warm to remove the skins.
To Make The Icing
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the cream, liqueur 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 the top of the cake
Assembling The Cake
Unmould the cooled cake carefully, leaving it on the base as it will be too difficult to get such a damp cake off in one piece.
Ice the top of the cake with ganache, and cover with whole, toasted hazelnuts.
Slice cake into small portions, as it is quite rich and plate up with a generous scoop of raspberry cream.
Enjoy and if you do make the cake, please let me know how it goes. I’m rather curious.