I sometimes feel that those with December birthdays are quite unlucky, but then at other times it is a great time of year to celebrate your birthday. On the one hand, there is a lot of competition with Christmas office parties and family gatherings, but on the other hand, people are in the mood to party and family and friends are often around! Still, overall, there is a saturation of Christmas wrapping paper and Christmas cards and Christmas themed everything. If I had a December birthday, I would like some non-Christmas wrapping paper and a normal birthday cake. My mom’s birthday is just a few days after Christmas and she told me once that she got one sock for Christmas and the other sock for her birthday! Cruel.
It was one of my friend’s birthday last weekend and I went over to his house for dinner last night. I decided to bake him a birthday cake that had nothing to do with wintery festivities. The base of this cake is my favourite Cake of Death. Nutella is one of the best foods ever and I remember he enjoyed my Nutella Brownie Cups, so I decided to make a Ferrero Rocher cake. It is a petite 6 inch cake, which is perfect for a smaller sized gathering. It feeds 8 people with generous slices.
The cake of death is as moist and chocolately as ever. The Nutella icing is fluffy and so creamy with a good hazelnut flavour. I liked the added crunch of the toasted hazelnuts, which mimics the crunchiness of biting into a Ferrero Rocher. This cake was very delicious and indulgent. If you would like to make an normal sized 8 or 9 inch cake, simply double the quantities in the recipe and increase the baking time of the cakes to about 40-50 minutes.
Ferrero Rocher Cake
One 6″ cake, feeds approx 8 people
Cake of Death
- 110g plain/all purpose flour
- 299g white sugar
- 45g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 125 ml strong brewed coffee, room temp
- 125 ml butter milk (add a tsp of white vinegar or lemon juice to milk)
- 65 ml vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 250F/175C. Grease, coat with cocoa powder, and line with baking parchment 2 6 inch round cake pans.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the centre.
- Add the egg, coffee, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. The batter will be thin. Divide evenly between the two prepared pans.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes then run a knife around the edge of the cake and turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Frost with Nutella butter cream and decorate with Ferrero Rocher as desired.
Makes enough to fill and ice one 6″ round cake
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 125g Nutella
- 200g icing sugar, sifted
- 65 ml double/whipping cream (not milk or single cream)
- Cream the butter and Nutella together on high for 2-3 minutes, The colour should lighten by a few shades and it should be very smooth and fluffy.
- With the electric mixer on low, gradually add in the icing sugar. Add a little at a time and make sure it is mostly incorporated before adding more. Failure to do so could result in your kitchen being covered in icing sugar!
- Add the double cream and beat on high for another 2 minutes, or until the butter cream is so dreamily light and fluffy you cannot resist it any longer. Use immediately to front and fill your cake as desired.
You will need:
- 2 x 6″ round cakes
- one recipe of Nutella butter cream
- 50g toasted hazelnuts
- 6 Ferrero Rocher
- 1 disposable piping bag with a large star tip e.g. 1M
- Optional: cakeboard, turntable, offset spatula
- Toast the hazelnuts by placing them in a frying pan and heating on medium heat until they are lightly browned and just starting to release their oils and a nutty scent. Set aside 6 whole hazel nuts, finely chop the remaining.
- Place a smear of icing on a plate to “glue” the cake down. Place the cake dome side up on the plate.
- Place generous dollop of icing on top of the cake and spread to the edges. Sprinkle a layer of hazelnuts over this, leaving a 1 cm gap at the edges of the cake.
- Place the second layer dome side down on top of the first layer.
- Ice the cake with a thin layer of icing. This is the crumb coat and will trap in the crumbs and prevent them showing in the finished cake. Don’t worry about it being neat or getting crumbs in the icing. Place the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Frost the cake with the remaining icing, reserving about a half cup. Sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts over the top of the cake. Place the 6 Ferrero Rochers evenly over the edge of the cake.
- Pipe 6 small swirls on the top of the cake using a large star tip e.g. 1M in between the Ferro Rocher. Top each swirl with one of the reserved toasted hazelnuts.