As much as I love relaxing, casual dinner “parties” on my sofa in my sweatpants, I also love throwing slightly fancier parties. You know, where we dress up a bit and sit in a garden or chat around the bar.
As I mentioned when we made the fantastic grilled cheese sandwich on Wednesday, I hosted a baby shower for a friend over the weekend. This was a co-ed baby shower that included great people, delicious food, cute baby clothes, and an insane, over the top cake.
Chocolate Blackout Nutella Cake, that is.
Iceberg roses are blooming everywhere at the moment, and I couldn’t help but pair them with this cake. You see, one of the couples at the party brought me a big, beautiful bouquet of them, straight from their garden. And they looked gorgeous with the rich chocolaty brown and colorful sprinkles! (For more beautiful floral pairings, check out the Friday Flowers Gallery.)
(This cake is one of my favorite Nutella recipes and it’s well worth the time it takes to create. I suggest reading through the recipe, including the instructions before you begin — to be sure you have everything you need and so the that layering process makes sense when you come to it.)
- 1-1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cocoa powder (I like Scharffen Berger)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup strong coffee, brewed and cooled to room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ cup Hazelnut Simple Syrup
- ¾ cup Chocolate Frangelico Crème Anglaise
- 3 cups Nutella, room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and adjust a rack to the center of the oven.
- Line an 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper. Then butter the entire surface of the inside and dust it with flour.
- You can either purchase two 8-inch, round cake boards, or use the bottom of the cake pan and trace around it, twice, on a large piece or cardboard. Set the two round cake boards aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda together. Stir in the sugar and salt and form a small well in the center of the mixture.
- Add the eggs, buttermilk, coffee and vanilla to the center of the well and stir only until the batter is well blended.
- Fold in the melted butter and immediately pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven just until the cake has solidified and no longer jiggles when you move the pan, about 45 minutes. (If you're not sure if the cake is done, stick a long wooden skewer, or toothpick into the center of the cake. It should come out clean.)
- Let the cake rest in the pan for about 15 minutes. Then use a cooling rack (or a large plate if you don't have one), to invert the cake. Let the cake continue to cool for at least a few hours, and ideally overnight, before you attempt the next step.
- Once the cake has cooled completely, use a long serrated knife to cut it horizontally into equal thirds -- keeping it stacked all the while.
- Use a large flat-bottomed metal spatula (or two together to make it easier), and very carefully move the top layer of the cake to one of the cardboard rounds. Place the second layer on top of that, and set these aside.
- Now use large flat-bottomed metal spatula to very carefully move the bottom layer to the other cardboard round. Drizzle spoon this cake layer with about a third of the Hazelnut Simple Syrup. Then spread about ¾ cup of the Nutella on top, followed by half of the Chocolate Frangelico Crème Anglaise.
- Again, using the spatulas, carefully move the second layer of the cake on top of the fillings. Gently use your hands to press in down on the cake. Repeat the layering process, ending by placing the last layer of the cake on top. (This last layer should be the first one you removed after slicing the cake -- it's the layer that was at the bottom of the pan during the baking process.)
- Drizzle the last third of the syrup on the top of the cake, and then spread on a thin layer of the Nutella, about ½ cup. Place the cake in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
- Use the remaining Nutella to create a thick creamy layer on the top and sides of the cake.
- This cake should be refrigerated for at least a couple of hours, but remove it about 30 minutes before your are ready to cut and serve.
Cooking times might vary slightly depending on how your oven is calibrated, the pan you use, etc.
Please note that most of the prep time for this cake is cooling time.
This is not a sponsored post.
1 day ahead: Make the cake batter and bake the cake.
at least 4 hours ahead: Cut, layer and “frost” the cake.
The Hazelnut Simple Syrup can be made days or weeks ahead, and the Chocolate Frangelico Crème Anglaise can be made up to three days ahead.