nutella! a whole jar!

Yes, you read that correctly. This is the post wherein I talk about baking a cake made with an entire jar of nutella. And yes, it was as good as you think it would be.

We had hazelnuts in our fridge that were leftover from a Thanksgiving stuffing recipe and a jar of nutella burning a hole in my cabinet (we buy it at Costco), so in the spirit of not buying new groceries until I use what we have, I decided to whip up Nigella Lawson's Torta Alla Gianduia (Chocolate Torte with Hazelnuts), from her book How to Be a Domestic Goddess.

Yu-um, what a treat!

Photo from
recipezaar. I forgot to take a picture. Bad blogger!

If you're looking to make a cake that will impress folks, this is the one. It's lovely, even when it doesn't completely puff up and looks a bit sunken like mine did.

A few things to note if you're going to make it:

  • Be sure to use softened butter, not melted butter. I forgot to take mine out of the freezer in time and I think the meltedness of the butter definitely contributed to the un-puffiness of the cake.
  • This is a flourless cake (great for gluten allergies!) that uses a ground hazelnut meal in lieu of flour. I think that the hazelnuts should have been peeled before grinding, a step that I did not do but will next time. That might have also weighed it down.
  • I did, however, peel the hazelnuts used on top of the cake. After a short internet search, I found that Julia Child's (!) method of peeling hazelnuts to be the best:

    Add 3 tablespoons of baking soda to 2 cups boiling water. Add the nuts
    and boil for about 3 minutes. Slip a test nut into a bowl of ice water.
    If the skin doesn’t come off easily, boil the nuts a little longer.
    When a test skin rubs right off, add the rest of the nuts to the ice
    water and peel with incredible ease. Dry the nuts or let them dry on
    their own and toast them in the oven. (HA! "dry the nuts" teehee)

And, my final tip: I had a difficult time getting the frosting to thicken up. Next time, I might try whipping the cream slightly before folding in the melted chocolate. Or I might just try to beat it in my KitchenAid instead of by hand.

Tim had no complaints about the extra, somewhat-runny frosting.



Viola, Nigella Lawson's Torta alla Gianduia:

for the cake:

  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup soft unsalted butter
  • 14 ounces nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread)
  • 1 tablespoon Frangelico or rum or water (I used water)
  • 1/2 cup ground hazelnuts, scant
  • 4 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, melted

for the icing:

  • 4 ounces hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon Frangelico or rum or water (I used water)
  • 4 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350-degrees.

Prepare a 9-inch springform pan: grease and line with parchment.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites and salt until stiff but not dry. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and nutella, then add Frangelico (or water), egg yolks, and ground hazelnuts. Fold in the cooled, melted chocolate, then lighten the mixture with a dollop of egg white before gently folding in the rest of the egg whites a third at a time. Pour into the prepared pan and cook for 40 minutes or until the sides come away from the pan and then cool on the rack.

Toast the hazelnuts in a dry pan until the aroma wafts up and they begin to brown. Transfer to a plate and let cool (V. Important!).

In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, add the cream, liquer or water, and chopped chocolate and heat gently. Once the chocolate is melted, take the pan off the heat and whisk until it reaches the right consistency for icing just the top of the cake.

Ice the top of the cake and then dot heavily with roasted hazelnuts.