Nutella Ferrero Cake – Decadent and delightful

Nutella Ferrero Cake - 1

“The measuring and mixing always smoothed out her thinking processes – nothing was as calming as creaming butter – and when the kitchen was warm from the oven overheating and the smell of baking chocolate, she took final stock of where she’d been and where she was going. Everything was fine.”
– Jennifer Crusie

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they hit the pause button for a while. To slow down momentarily and think about the direction they are headed to, to put their priorities back in order, to finish off things left half-done somewhere along the way and to re-assess realities in a new light.

A few days back when I had fallen ill and my whole body was sore with fever, while laying on bed I realized something important. Realized what it is that really makes my world go round. And that’s when it hit me how ungrateful I had been all along. How utterly impervious to all the blessings that had been bestowed upon by the Big Boss up above. It was a much needed self-reminder that at the end of the day all that matters is that you are healthy (for the most part), have the means to live a decent life and are surrounded by your loved ones and friends. In the big picture, nothing else matters. Nothing does.

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I made this Nutella Ferrero Cake for the first time a few months back on Stud’s birthday. Then I made it for a friend’s baby shower and got rave reviews. At the risk of sounding pretentious, ahem, reviews such as “this is the best chocolate flavored cake I’ve ever had”, “so soft, moist and yummy”, “never had a better nutella dessert than this”; the adulation went on and on. Undoubtedly, this versatile cake really boasts double the goodness of Nutella and Ferrero Rocher both.

Coming to the cake, I added a secret ingredient in the batter to give the sponge its signature decadent chocolate flavor. That secret ingredient is ground coffee (Keep it to yourself, ok?). The icing is not your run-of-the-mill nutella buttercream either. I used cream cheese and sour cream to give it a light, melt-in-the-mouth texture. And finally there’s ganache and Ferrero topping, which takes the yum index of this Nutella Ferrero Cake to the next level.

And you know the best part? It is very easy to put together the chocolate sponge (in a single bowl) as well as the icing. After all, there’s beauty in simplicity. And this cake is beautiful, simple and mouth-watering..all at the same time. So here it is, on popular demand: recipe of the ever-so-delicious Nutella Ferrero Cake.

You are welcome 😉

Nutella Ferrero Cake

Ingredients:
Cake
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3/8 cup Hershey’s cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk (or take a cup with 4 oz. (or 1/2 cup) capacity, fill it with 1/2 tbsp vinegar and fill remaining cup with whole milk)
1/2 cup oil
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tbsp ground coffee dissolved in 1/2 cup boiling water (I used Nescafe instant coffee)

Icing
1/2 cup or 1 stick butter (at room temperature)
1/2 cup Nutella spread
1 1/2 to 2 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup cream cheese (I used Philadelphia cream cheese)
1/4 cup sour cream

Ganache
6 oz. (or 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup) semi sweet chocolate chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Decoration
8 to 10 Ferrero Rocher chocolates
Sprinkles

Method:
Preheat oven to 150C (300F). Prepare two 8 inch cake pans by lining it with parchment paper at the base and greasing the sides.

Cake
Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl. Whisk them together.
Add buttermilk, eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla and coffee-water mixture to the dry ingredients and mix together (I used my hand blender to do the mixing until the batter came together)
Divide the batter in half and pour it in the prepared pans.
Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out ‘almost’ clean. My oven took around 30-35 minutes.
Let it cool to room temperature before handling it further.

Icing
In the meantime, prepare icing.
Beat butter, Nutella spread, cream cheese and sour cream together.
Gradually add icing sugar and mix until smooth. If you feel that the icing is too stiff, you might want to add a tablespoon or two of milk to loosen it a bit.

Ganache
*Must be prepared once you are done icing the cake*
Place chocolate chips in a glass bowl.
Microwave heavy cream for 1.5 minutes or until hot.
Pour it over chocolate chips and whisk until loose.
Cover bowl and let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it starts to thicken a bit.

Assembly:
Remove the cake domes with a serrated knife.
Place 2 tbsp icing on the cake board.
Place first layer of cake on it. Pour half of the icing and spread evenly.
Place second layer of cake and pour remaining icing on top. Spread it smoothly with an offset spatula.
Prepare ganache and pour on top of the icing layer.
Once the ganache firms up, decorate it with Ferrero Rochers and sprinkles and dig in!

Note:
– If you want to make this cake taller, you can double the recipe and use 4 8-inch pans.
– This recipe was a result of inspiration from multiple bakers, bloggers and my own imagination, therefore I am unable to give credit to any one person here

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Ambivalence

Sometimes, motherhood brings out the writer in you. The kind of writer who can give new definitions to existing words based on personal experiences. Something wonderful happened a few weeks back which made me view the word ‘Ambivalence’ in a totally different context 😉

Ambivalence

Ambivalence(n): That feeling when your toddler learns to wipe his face after eating chocolate. Only to find out that it isn’t a napkin that he used but your fresh, blown-out hair.

Spoonfully Yours

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Mixed Berry Jam – A breakfast staple

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“Breakfast is always the best time for something juicy, sweet and fresh – it just feels like the right way to open the day. There’s no right way, though, when it comes to choosing the fruit.”
– Yotam Ottolenghi

Since childhood, I had never been a morning person let alone a breakfast person. Everyday, at the crack of dawn, that raving appetite never woke up with me. It stayed sound asleep, until it was suddenly jolted by increased levels of physical activity sometime later during the day. Hence, before leaving for school, college or work, it was always a case of gulping down a quick glass of milk, a bar of chocolate or leftover brownie from the previous night. But never a proper meal.

A decade and two kids later, it’s a different story altogether. After waking up, I actually look forward to having a nutritious breakfast (oreos dunked in milk count!) with that mandatory cup of Joe. If I happen to miss my breakfast and coffee on some godforsaken day, it is advisable to maintain a 14 feet distance from the mom-zilla in me lol.

And since we are on the subject of the most important meal of the day, let me share an insignificant achievement with you. A couple of weeks back, I mastered the art of making this luscious fig jam and wanted to get my hands messy with mixed berry jam. And so I did. And guess what? It turned out awesome! A better, healthier, more delicious version of the store-bought ones that we usually consume.

mixed berry jam - 2

Dear peeps, when life gives you berries, make this mouthwatering, easy peasy, home-made mixed berry jam (without pectin and without canning…yaay!)

Mixed Berry Jam

Ingredients:
4 cups of mixed berries of your choice (I used strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries)
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
Juice of a lemon
1/2 tbsp lemon zest
2 pieces of whole cinnamon

Method:
Wash all the berries thoroughly and slice the strawberries. The other berries can be used as is.
Transfer the berries into a saucepan, along with the rest of ingredients.
Keep cooking on medium heat until the mixture starts to boil. The mixture will start to thicken and the berries will begin to soften in around 20 minutes.
Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. By now the mixture should have gotten concentrated then when you started off but it will still be loose. To check the right consistency, see if it coats the back of the stirring spoon. It will firm up as it cools.
Once cooled, remove the whole cinnamon pieces and give the jam mixture a blitz with a hand blender. If you prefer a chunkier version, skip this step.
Transfer to a jam jar. Keep refrigerated.

Note:
The jam should stay good in refrigerator for 2 months.

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