Yesterday was Valentine's Day. Lee loves chocolate cake and I wanted to make him one. Our daughter came for a visit so we made one together.
I have yet to find a recipe for a cake that is as good as a mix. But I wanted to make SOMETHING from scratch, so I made the buttercream frosting. I had recently read a book where a cake with hazelnut buttercream was used and I went searching.
I found one using Nutella. I am BIG Nutella fan. In fact right now, even as we speak (we are speaking, right?) I am craving a big, fat, chewy, lightly toasted bagel with a schmear of Nutella.
Hazelnut Buttercream Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup Nutella
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons heavy cream. Didn't have any, used half and half.
Cook the cake according to the directions and let cool completely. Or the frosting will all slide off. Don't ask I how I know this.
Use a stand mixer if at all possible. Place the softened butter in the mixer and let it mix on medium for about 2 minutes while you gather the rest of the ingredients and all you need to frost the cool cake.
Add the powdered sugar and start it v e r y slowly or you will be wearing the powdered sugar. Once it has mixed with the butter, increase the speed, slowly, to medium. Beat until light and fluffy.
Add the Nutella. The original recipe called for 2/3 of a cup of Nutella. Tara, my official taster, thought this was an insufficient amount. So we added another 1/3 cup, making a total of 1 cup and we recommend this amount. Beat for about 2 minutes, remember, light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla and the cream and beat for about another 30 seconds, until fully incorporated.
Taste it with a tiny spoon. Force yourself to frost the cake. There will be a bit left over to eat on a cookie, or a really big spoon.
I like to put a little smear on the surface where I will frost the cake. This helps to keep it from sliding. If you want the cake perfectly flat, it can be trimmed, but this was for our consumption, so I put the first layer top down. Place about a cup of frosting on top and spread evenly.
Then place the next layer top side up and frost the sides and top.
Smooth or leave with decorative swirls.
Because this was for Valentine's Day Tara made a small heart on top with upside down white chocolate chips and filled the center with red sprinkles.
It was delicious and I allowed myself one piece. Now I get to watch them finish it. A piece at a time.
That's alright. I can feel superior for my very strong will power.