“Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but Nutella and shoes seem to run a close second.”- David A Fearnhead
I didn’t intend to post about this cake. I have a 5 inch pan that I picked up eons ago that I get almost no use out of. I thought it’d be nice to find a cake that would make a cake enough for two people ( still going with Valentine’s theme folks!) so I was testing recipes that I could find for small cakes. This one from Bake like a pro worked well. Was moist without being fudgy.
There it was lying on my countertop cooling. And as the Nutella posts flooded my Fb and Instagram feeds (did you know yesterday was Nutella Day!) , I couldn’t keep away from the half empty jar of Nutella in my cabinet. Out came the butter and whisk. I whisked up this American style buttercream , as it was 12 in the night and I didn’t want to wake up the neighbours with my mixer sounds (not again!) . But you please do use a mixer ! Anyways the buttercream was ready – all fluffy and light and full of hazelnutty goodness. Only problem was that , my intentionally small cake seemed too small for all that buttercream.
So I made one more . Its so easy to make you see. So , I split both cakes in two . Lathered on the Nutella, in-between and on top and all over the place. Wasn’t too neat . Apparently making layer cakes needs two qualities that I am in dear shortage of – patience and organisation. I had made a small batch of the buttercream so covering up the untidy first coat wasn’t an option. I just made some ganache ( very little again) and dumped it on top. I hoped it would flow down like the droolicious drippy cakes that I seem to everywhere. Nope. No luck there. I probably should have made a thinner ganache. I tucked the cake away in my fridge.
Morning showed me that I had a cake that was no longer as small as I planned it to be , and which looked like it was decorated by a child. At the best of times , my photography is near-miss , but with this cake I literally had nowhere to hide. But I cut a slice and it looked and tasted so delicious. Even though I didn’t plan to blog about it , I was semi proud of my midnight effort and put up a pic on social media. I cut up the rest of the cake and packed it away for work friends.
This is what happened next.
The cake disappeared in 5 minutes after the box was opened . A couple of people were even upset why I don’t make the “good ones” bigger . One wanted me to make it for her bday two weeks later. I got more likes and comments on Facebook than I have ever gotten before for a bake (yes, i admit it. Makes me happy!) . I got several emails and messages requesting the recipe .
So , after prancing around with joy (yes, I admit it. I do that too) , I sat and wrote down this post. Wishing I had taken better pictures and wishing I had kept a slice for myself to eat now!
The Small chocolate cake :
Recipe Courtesy:Bake it like a pro
You’ll need (double amounts if making two cakes like me ):
Preheat your oven to 180 C / 350 F . Butter a 4 or 5 inch round pan (s) and dust with flour. Line the bottom with parchment if you have it.
Whisk together the flour, salt , cocoa and baking powder in a small bowl.
In another bowl , whisk together the egg, vanilla , milk and oil.
Mix in the sugar for a minute or two.
Add or sift in the dry ingredients. Whisk until smooth.
Pour batter into prepared pan(s) and bake at 180 c / 350 F in the preheated oven for 22- 24 minutes if using a 5 inch pan , and around 25 minutes using a 4 inch pan. A toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 5 minutes , remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.
The Nutella Buttercream
Beat the butter for several minutes until pale, light and fluffy.
Add the salt and icing sugar , one or two tablespoons at a time. Sift the sugar in through a sieve if you haven’t sifted already. Mix or beat well each addition.
Keep adding the sugar until all the sugar is added. The buttercream will be thick and fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat in well.
Add the nutella and beat until smooth.
Use as needed!
Make two chocolate cakes . Using a serrated knife , divide each horizontally into two layers. Place one layer on a plate / cake board . Spread about two tablespoons of the buttercream and spread using a spatula. Place another layer on top and repeat with all layers. Cover top and sides with the Buttercream as smoothly as possible. Pour ganache on top , if desired!
- If you want to make ganache for the top , chop up 50 grams of dark chocolate in a bowl. Boil 1/4 cup cream in a saucepan / microwave and pour over the chopped chocolate . Let rest for a minute and mix until smooth. Pour over top of cake and smooth . For more details about ganache , you may want to see this.
- For the smoothest fluffiest buttercream , use room temperature ingredients , sift sugar and add sugar little by little beating well in between.
- The frosting makes just enough to fill and coat this cake. If you want to put another coat (might be sweetness overload) or pipe , make a double batch!
- Cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or 1 week in refrigerator.
- Buttercream can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day , refrigerator for 4-5 days and freezer for 2 months.
- Get frosted cake to room temperature before serving.
- One cake with the recipe amounts given , makes a 5 inch cake that is around 2 inches tall.
So that’s the story of this cake. A small cake pan , a recipe for a good chocolate cake and some midnight Nutella craving . You could just make one cake and nosh on it at teatime . Or split and fill with ganache or this buttercream for a nice Valentine’s dessert. Or do it like I did , for a delicious layer cake. Moist chocolate cake , fluffy Nutella Buttercream , thick dark ganache . Who could say no to that!!