When I think of Nutella, I am filled with warm and fuzzy memories from childhood. Anyone else? I remember school holidays as a kid where we would get Nutella as a special treat, but only one small jar to share between my sister and me. This wasn’t anything to do with mum being stingy, I strongly believe it was first and foremost to protect our health. Although my sister isn’t as bad as I am, I developed a rather bad habit of putting a sizeable amount of Nutella on bread. Like this sort of sizeable amount:
Anyone else think that mum made the right decision?? It’s hard being an adult sometimes and refraining from buying Nutella because you know it’s just going to go straight to your hips! Especially when it’s been on the news a bit lately, making it of course, forefront of my mind. Like when I saw these Nutella Doughnut Milkshakes… Or these Freakshow Milkshakes, one being Nutella & Salty Pretzel. Both come from different cafes in Australia. Good thing they only exist in another country or I don’t think I’d be able to help myself from consuming them on a regular basis! With all this Nutella mania, it’s not surprising that I have been craving Nutella right? Good thing it was my friend’s 21st birthday and she is also partial to some of the chocolate hazelnut spread so I got the chance to craft this cake!
She wanted a Nutella filling but a pretty outside (i.e. something a bit more exciting than brown on brown for a 21st!) and I had just seen this watercolour technique on Sweetapolita and I knew it would be perfect for what she wanted.
Isn’t the purple so pretty? She loved it and it tasted awesome so definitely the right choice for a 21st birthday! If you’re looking for a special cake then try this one, you’ll love it because it’s fairly easy to make but has a great “wow” factor. Happy baking!
- 90g (3oz) dark chocolate bits
- 1½ cups hot brewed coffee
- 3 cups sugar
- 2½ cups flour
- 1½ cups dark cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
- 2 tspn baking soda
- ¾ tspn baking powder
- 1¼ tspn salt
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 1½ cups buttermilk, shaken
- ¾ tspn vanilla essence
- 1½ cups icing (powdered) sugar
- 115g (1 stick) butter, softened
- ⅓ cup Nutella
- ¼ cup regular sour cream
- 110g (4 oz) dark chocolate, melted
- 1 tspn vanilla essence
- Pinch of salt
- 230g (2 sticks) butter
- ½ cup vegetable shortening (like Kremelta in New Zealand, Crisco in America)
- Pinch of salt
- 5 cups icing (powdered) sugar
- ⅔ cup cream
- 1 Tbspn warm water
- 2 tspn vanilla essence
- Purple (or any colour) gel food colouring
- Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F) and grease and line two 23cm (9 inch) cake tins with baking paper.
- Put the chocolate in a bowl and pour over the hot brewed coffee. Mix together until smooth.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl with a hand mixer) beat the eggs until thickened and lemon coloured (around 5 minutes).
- Slowly add the oil, buttermilk and vanilla, beating after each addition. Then add the sugar, before mixing in the chocolate and coffee mixture. Sift the cocoa powder over the bowl and mix until combined.
- Pour half of the flour mixture over the wet mixture and mix until the flour is combined enough to not fly up in your face (very technical there) and then add the other half and beat it all together until well-combined.
- Divide the batter between the tins and bake in the middle of the oven, rotating after 30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached, around 1 hour – 1 hour 10 minutes.
- Leave to cool completely in the tins and then turn out onto a wire rack to set.
- Put all of the ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until smooth and glossy, about 1 minute. The frosting will be very soft.
- Refrigerate the frosting until it thickens slightly, about 15 minutes.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, shortening, and salt on medium speed until very pale and creamy, 8 minutes.
- Reduce the speed to the lowest setting and gradually add the confectioners' sugar, heavy cream, vanilla bean paste and water. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until very light and fluffy, about 6 minutes.
- The frosting will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Bring chilled frosting to room temperature and beat on low speed to soften.
- If using straight away, put a small amount of the frosting (around 3 Tbspn) into a separate bowl, and using a spoon mix in the food colouring of your choice.
- If not using gel food colouring, add more icing sugar to this bowl and mix well to combine (without the icing sugar the frosting will be too runny).
- Put your first cake layer top-up on the cake board or plate, and spread all of the Nutella frosting evenly across the top. Put the second cake layer top-down. Make sure that the layers are straight and lined up together.
- Using a turntable, if possible, frost entire outside of cake with a thin layer of the untinted frosting to seal in the crumbs. Chill until the frosting begins to firm-up, about 30 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator and return it to the turntable. Using a medium straight palette knife (metal spatula), spread small patches of the purple frosting around the cake (a few centimetres (1 inch) here and there). Cover the rest of the cake with the untinted frosting as usual. Using your palette knife again, smooth the frosting around the cake, which will blend the bright pink just enough to create a "watercolor" effect. To reveal more purple, gently go over those areas again until you achieve the desired look.
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