I was going to take part in the last week of Bakealong. I was going to go all out and do the picnic showstopper at the end - cakes, quiches, tarts and sausage rolls and whatever else. I was going to have a picnic tea, which are basically my favourite. I hadn't had a good run with Bakealong and couldn't even entertain the idea of taking part some weeks (Tudor week, I'm looking at you) so maybe this would be my week to make up for it all? Go out with a bang? But...
Well, recently none of my bakes have gone well and I've found myself at 1am standing in the kitchen, covered in icing sugar surrounded by a mountain of washing up, longing for my bed, but with absolutely nothing to show for it, telling myself that I would never bake again. So I thought I'd scale it back to just doing the chocolate cake. And then for some reason, when I was looking for recipes, I ended up deciding to make this hazelnut and espresso cake instead. However, this cake didn't manage to escape the recent baking disaster curse, because it took two cakes (hello cake tins that leak) and two batches of frosting (always follow recipes instead of being lazy!) to even come close to this one. Even now I can see some pesky crumbs on the side and some over squirted icing on the top ruining the effect.
If nothing else, it's probably the most ridiculously fattening cake I've ever made and those are usually the best ones, amiright? I never managed to eat any of it myself, but it went down extremely well at work and someone even took some home for their kids. In fact it went down so well that I'm declaring the baking curse is now over. Fingers crossed.
One of the great things about this cake is that it's quite easy to shake it up a little and change around. For example, I was going to use Ferrero Rocher on the top instead of Kinder Bueno but I got to Tesco and realised that it would definitely not have been the cheap option. If I was making this cake again for a snazzier occasion, then I would have definitely chosen that instead - and maybe I will give it another go, as all the Christmas chocolates are out on the shelves and reduced in price now. Tight? Me? Never. I used espresso in the cake and in the butter cream inside, but different kinds of coffee could change it up, or make it weaker, or a chocolate flavouring could be used instead if you're not a huge fan of coffee. Finally, I was going to make a coffee syrup to decorate with, but I ran out of steam. It probably would have been a great addition.
The recipe is below, good luck!
- 150g caster sugar
- 150g butter or margarine
- 3 eggs
- 150g self raising flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp hot water
- 1 tbsp espresso
- 230g unsalted butter
- 240g icing sugar
- 220g Nutella
- 45ml double cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 100g unsalted butter
- 200g icing sugar
- 2 tsp espresso powder
- 1 tbsp boiling water
- 5 x bars of white Kinder Bueno
- Chopped hazlenut.
- Grated hazelnut chocolate (I used Chocologie)
- Preheat the oven at 160C
- Grease two sandwich tins
- Add butter and sugar together and whisk until fluffy
- Beat the eggs with a fork and then add them gradually to the mixture with 1 tbsp of flour with the last bit of eggs
- Add the rest of the flour and the baking powder to the mixture and fold in
- Dissolve the espresso in the boiling water and fold into the mixture
- Divide into the sandwich tins and cook for 30 minutes
- When cakes are cool, remove from sandwich tins
- Place softened butter in a bowl and mix with electric mixer
- Add the icing sugar and beat together.
- Dissolve the espresso in the water and add to the buttercream and stir
- Spread out on one cake and sandwich the two together
- Beat softened butter with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy.
- Add icing sugar and continue to beat until soft peaks form.
- Add the Nutella and continue to beat on.
- Add the double cream and vanilla extract.
- Whack on the cake. I will give no tips on this as I am crap at it.