Sunday, 15 March 2009

Hazelnut cream sponge cake

I am always fascinated by recipes with methods that are new to me. This cake starts off as a meringue before you beat the egg yolks and other ingredients into it. The result is a light as air sandwich cake. You can see from the batter how airy and fluffy it is:

It was definitely time to revisit nutella, which I have previously used in cupcakes and swirl biscuits. This elegant sponge seemed the perfect addition to my growing collection of nutella recipes. If you happen to read the link I’ve provided to the Wikipedia page you will notice the sage advice that “Nutella is generally not recommended for people with an allergy to nuts” – who’d have thought?

This cake is light and creamy all the way. The sponge is super soft and the melt in the mouth whipped, almost moussey, topping is a perfect match for it.

For the cake:
4 large eggs, separated
115g caster sugar
60g self raising flour
75g ground hazelnuts (I couldn’t find these to buy so bought chopped hazelnuts and blitzed them in the food processor)
20g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons boiling water

For the topping/filling:
170g nutella
130g unsalted butter, at room temperature
60g icing sugar
3 teaspoons boiling water

How to make:

- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
- Line one 20cm loose bottomed square tins with baking paper.
- Whisk the egg whites until at the soft peak stage.
- Gradually whisk in the sugar until you have a thick, glossy meringue.
- Whisk in the egg yolks one at a time.
- Sift the flour over the mixture and fold in.
- Fold in the ground hazelnuts.
- Melt the butter in the two tablespoons of boiling water, then fold into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for approximately 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Mine took exactly 25 minutes.
- Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes or so, before removing from the tin and leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Now make the filling: beat the nutella and butter together until soft and creamy.
- Beat in the icing sugar and then gradually beat in the boiling water.
- Cut the sponge cake in half horizontally. I have to confess that my sponge was so soft and sticky that I didn’t dare do this and merely piped the icing on top of the whole sponge.
- If you have cut the sponge through, spread the filling over the bottom half and then replace the top layer of sponge.
- Refrigerate until the filling is firm.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


Sara said...

What a beautiful cake! I'm jealous of your piping skills, I have trouble with getting cakes to look nice.

Elyse said...

Yum, this looks delicious! I love that the cake starts as a meringue. How interesting! I definitely need to add this one to my "to-bake" list.

MH said...

I failed my sponge cake miserably!:( Yours look so pretty with the decoration! Can I have one slice please? :)

Sam said...

The Nutella topping sounds heavenly! It must have taken ages to pipe it so neatly but it looks fantastic!

Katie said...

Yummy yum yum - the sponge does indeed look very light and the nutella topping :)

J.Danger said...

Look beautiful! How long did that piping take you?

Mike of Mike's Table said...

That cake looks fantastic--light as air and you know what a sucker I am for hazelnuts. Also, cheers to those piping skills--I'd be lucky to even make one tuft successfully on mine, lol.

Y said...

Mmmm Nutella.. and check out that fluffy fluffy topping! :)

Maria♥ said...

Nutella cream frosting!! This cake looks and sounds heavenly.


Lisa said...

I have a bad Nutella habit. Bad. Like so bad every time I open the cupboard I have to take a spoonful from the jar. So I open the cupboard. A lot. :)

Having a recipe like yours, however, might be just the discipline I need.

Premyscakes said...

sounds heavenly with nutella. neatly presented.

glamah16 said...

Youi have been bust with all of these stunning creations. Beautiful piping.