Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Layered Hazlenut Cake with Nutella and Coffee buttercream

Hello fellow bakers! For Siddharth's annual Super Bowl party, he asked for a layered cake for dessert. For this dessert, I made a two-layered white cake with a generous layer of nutella in the middle to give the cake some softness and extra sweetness. The trick for making this cake look nice is to make the layers and let it harden the nutella layer harden in the fridge for a little bit. Then ice your cake with this delicious buttercream. I chose coffee buttercream after heading back from Dunkin Donuts. Hazlenuts and coffee? Oh yes that would work! I'm not going to include my coffee buttercream recipe because I ran into a few problems, but I strongly suggest browsing the other blogs like Joy of Baking or Browneyedbaker; they always inspire us for recipes.

We bought these chocolate covered coffee beans from Ithaca Coffee Co. located just down the street from Siddharth's apartment to use to decorate. Siddharth also made a hazlenut brittle that was also to die for.

Recipe is as follows:

For the white cake (inspired by Nick Malgieri)

- 12 Tbsps (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar
- 2 cups of all purpose flour
- 2 tsps baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup milk
- 6 large egg whites (3/4 cup)
- 2 tsps vanilla extract

I used 2-9inch diameter cake pans that were 1 1/2 inch deep. You can also use 1 13x9x2 cake pan as well.  Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper and butter the sides of the pans.

Move the racks to the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, whisk the ingredients together instead of sifting.

Add the butter and sugar in another bowl and mix with an electric mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes or at least until soft and light. Beat in the vanilla.

In another bowl, whisk egg whites and milk by hand. Finally, mix all together with the butter/sugar by alternating between the flour  mixture and the milk mixture. Beat in 1/4 of the flour mixture, then 1/3 of the milk mixture. Make sure to stop and scape the bowl from time to time. Repeat the mixtures, ending with flour.

Fill the cake pans about halfway and bake the layers 30-35 minutes until they have risen and the toothpick comes out clean. Cool the layers on racks. The layers can be stored at room temperature for 1 day or int he freezer for a longer time.

Once the layers have cooled, warm up the nutella briefly either in the microwave or in a pot of boiling water. Next, spread the nutella to make a cake sandwich. Set the cake to cool in the fridge for a few hours until the nutella has hardened.

Now decorate and ice the cake with your favorite butter cream recipe!  Keep reading for Siddharth's delicious hazlenut brittle:

For the brittle:
- 1 cup of toasted and skinned raw hazlenuts (to skin them, boil them in baking soda)
- 2/3 cup of sugar
- 1/3cup of water

On medium heat, cook the sugar with constant stirring until it browns. Once mixed, add the water and whisk quickly until it dissolves. Pour the caramel over the nuts in a baking sheet with parchment paper underneath. Let it harden in the fridge for a few hours.


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