Chocolate Cake With Nutella Icing And Hazelnut Praline

Servings: 10 -12
Author: Maria Jose Martin
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Ingredients

  • FOR THE CAKE:
  • 2 cups Plain Flour
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetend Cocoa Powder
  • 1.5 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 stick Butter 113 gms, @ room temp
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 large Eggs @ room temp
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 1 cup Lukewarm Water
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk refer notes for substitute

For Nutella Buttercream

  • 250 gms Unsalted butter softened
  • 400 gms Nutella
  • 1.5 - 2 cups Icing sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp Milk

For Coffee Syrup

  • 1/2 cup Hot water
  • 1 tbsp Instant coffee powder
  • 1 tbsp Sugar

For Hazelnut Praline (optional)

  • 1/2 cup Blanched skinless hazelnuts
  • 1/3 cup Sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 180 C, 10 mins before baking.
  • Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with water and buttermilk, beating on low speed until just combined; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat on medium-high speed just until no traces of flour remain, about 30 seconds; do not overbeat.
  • Divide the batter evenly into 2, 8 or 9-inch round pans that have been greased and floured. Bake in the pre heated oven for about 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • To make icing:
  • Beat butter until smooth. Add Nutella and beat together until thoroughly combined. Slowly add icing sugar, mixing until combined. Add 1 tablespoon of milk. Add additional milk or icing sugar as needed to reach desired consistency.
  • To make coffee syrup:
  • Combine hot water, instant coffee powder and sugar. Let it cool completely.
  • To make the praline:
  • Melt the sugar with 1/2 tbsp water in a pan. Once it starts turning brown, add the whole hazelnuts. Swirl the pan to make sure the nuts are coated completely with caramalised sugar. Transfer it to an al.foil or parchment paper. Let it cool completely. Crush it using a rolling pin.
  • Assembling the cake:
  • Place a cake on the serving plate. If you are using a cake board, spread some buttercream on the board and place the cake. This is done to avoid the cake moving around while doing the icing. Place cut out baking/parchment paper under the cake around the edges and without covering the centre, so that the extra icing will not be falling on the board. You can pull out these in the end.
  • Moisten the top and sides of the cake with coffee syrup. Place some icing on the top of the cake and spread it. Sprinkle the hazelnut praline, if using. Place the next cake on top of this. Moisten the top and sides with the coffee syrup. Place some icing on top and start spreading it on the top and sides. Sprinkle the remaining hazelnut praline on top.

Notes

1 cup buttermilk = 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar + enough milk to make 1 cup. Let stand for 5 minutes
As you can see from the step by step pic, the batter tends to curdle after adding eggs. Dont worry about it, it will come together in the end.
if you want a taller cake, use 2, 8 inch baking tins. When I used 8 inch tins, I had some left over batter and I got 3 std size cupcakes from it. If you want to serve more people, 9 inch cake tins is ideal.
I baked the cake one day in advance, once cooled, wrapped tightly in cling film and left on the kitchen counter. Made the icing, praline and also did the assembling the next day. You can store the iced cake at room temp in an airtight container for 2-3 days, unless you are living in extreme hot-humid places. If storing in fridge, let the cake stand at room temp for 20 mins or so, before serving.
I used the coffee syrup, to cut down some of the sweetness of the icing. If you dont like the taste of nutella very much, add 1/2 cup of sifted cocoa powder to the butter and follow the rest of the recipe. If you are adding cocoa powder, you may need to use more icing sugar, around 2.5 - 3 cups.
If you are not doing any large scale piping, you may end up with extra icing. So please adjust the qty of icing as per your requirements. You can store the leftover icing, if any, in the fridge for 3-4 days. Just whip it up again before using.
You can also make cupcakes using the above batter, though I'm not sure about how many it will yield.
If you are baking this cake for a kid's party, it's better to skip the praline. I used hazelnuts since it was nutella icing.