I didn’t get around to making a HCB free choice this week, but I did make the chocolate cake with Nutella flavored Italian Meringue Butter Cream for Zosia’s 10th birthday. Perfect for the chocoholic! I also made the pumpkin cheesecake last weekend (to post on Monday). HCB friends, if you’re on the fence about this cake, it was fabulous! By all means, make it. You and your friends will be glad you did .
For the cake:
1 1/4 c. sour cream
1 1/4 vegetable oil
1 3/4 c. water
2 1/2 T white vinegar
2 t. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
3 c. sugar
1 c. dutch process cocoa powder
1 T baking soda
1 t. salt
- Grease and flour three 9″ round cake pans. (I also line the bottom with parchment paper – no risk of anything sticking that way.)
- Preheat oven at 350.
- Whisk together wet ingredients.
- In another bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
- Add dry ingredients to liquid ingredients and stir until smooth.
- Divide batter evenly into the three pans.
- Bake for 40-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
For the frosting:
1 1/4 cups sugar (1 7/8)
2/3 cup water (1)
5 egg whites (8)
pinch cream of tartar
1 pound butter, chilled and cut into chunks of 1 or 2 tablespoons (1 1/2)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 jar Nutella (the Jif chocolate hazelnut spread is thicker and give a better frosting texture)
2 ounces dark chocolate, melted (optional)
8 Ferrero Rocher candies
For the main ingredients, I used the amounts in parenthesis because I wanted to be sure I’d have enough frosting for 3 layers and to do some piping. I had more than enough and froze the leftover. If you’re only frosting 2 layers or not piping extra buttercream on the cake, the basic amounts should be fine.
- Bring the sugar and water to a boil. Stirring only until the sugar dissolves.
- Cook to soft ball stage, 238 degrees
- While the sugar is cooking, prepare the egg whites
- Beat whites until foamy, add cream of tartar
- Beat until stiff peaks form
- With the mixer running, slowly drizzle the hot syrup into the egg whites. I was using a hand mixer, so I drizzled between the beaters and the edge of the bowl. Stopped drizzling and moved the beaters to incorporate the syrup, over and over. If the syrup hits the beaters, it will just get flung about rather than mixed in.
- Continue to beat for about 3 minutes
- With the mixer running, slowing add the chunks of butter, the buttercream may look like it’s seperating, but just keep beating. It will magically come together with a fluffly, even texture and enough body to make a nice frsoting to work with.
- Add the vanilla, Nutella, and melted chocolate.
- Frost the cake. Pipe any pattern you wish along the base of the cake; make 16 large stars around the outside of the top.
- Place 1/2 a Ferrero Rocher on each star.