Happy World Nutella Day!
World Nutella Day (Febuary 5th) is now in its 5th year. Founded by Sara of Ms.Adventures in Italy and Michelle of Bleeding Espresso, World Nutella day is a celebration of chocolaty-hazelnut goodness. Folks all over the blogosphere are joining together to wax lyrical about our favourite treat.
For this special occasion I thought I might share my heroic tale of how Nutella came to the rescue and saved my wedding cake. And of course, some cakey indulgence.
Three years ago my then fiancé and I were busy organising our wedding, we decided to use a cake maker recommended by the hotel hosting the reception. After all, they ought to know their stuff, right? In preparation for the meeting with the baker I had trawled the net for ideas and created my very own wedding cake idea board (well, two sheets of A4 print outs). We talked sizes, shapes, decoration, toppers and, of course, flavours. Neither of us being fond of heavy fruit cakes, we had envisioned a gloriously chocolatey creation with layers of chocolate sponge and ganache.
Come the big day, we arrived at the reception venue to find a pretty, two-tier cake decorated with lilies just as requested. The night went on and eventually, after a sumptuous dinner, the time came to cut the cake. My husband and I assumed the ‘cake cutting’ pose and made the first slice. The cut didn’t go as planned, why was the cake so hard? On closer inspection our luxurious chocolate confection turned out to be dry sponge, so dense it barely deserved to be called sponge. The waiting staff dished out tasteless morsels with coffee and petit fours and, needless to say, there was rather a lot left over!
The following day we hosted a barbecue for all our family and friends to thank them for their help and support. Unfortunately the left over cake was supposed to be dessert. Not having time to whip up something else, we cracked out a big bread knife and the Nutella. By layering the decidedly dull sponge with oozy, sweet Nutella we salvaged the cake and dessert was enjoyed by all. The moral of this story? Always keep a jar of Nutella on hand, it can rescue a spoiled cake and transform a good cake into a great cake.
And so, in the spirit of jazzing up a plain cake with this delectable spread, for World Nutella day I decided to make over the humble fairy cake. Needless to say, I would never hand out a recipe for dry, boring sponge; these cakes are lovely as they are, moist and almondy, light and airy. But who can resist a bit of Nutella? Mmm.
Nutella butterfly cakes
Makes about 14 (British-sized fairy cakes)
- 85g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 85g caster sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 110g self-raising flour
- 30g ground almonds
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 100ml milk
Pre-heat oven to 180°C and put paper cases into a fairy cake tray.
Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Don’t skimp on this, it takes a good 5 mins with an electric hand mixer. Slowly drizzle in the egg and vanilla; if the mixture looks like it will split add a tablespoon of flour.
Sift the flour, almonds and baking powder and gently fold into the butter mix. Add enough milk to get a dropping consistency, you may not need it all.
Three-quarter fill the cases. Bake for 20 minutes until golden and springy and allow to cool.
With a knife or a teaspoon carefully cut a hollow in the top of each cake. Cut the cake you remove in two to form the ‘wings’. Place a heaped teaspoon of Nutella in the hollow and position the wings on top.