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:
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.