The Joys of Nutella Cake –My Angst with it!
My passion for baking began years ago, during secondary school, when I found out my aunt baked exceedingly good cakes (and not the Mr Kipling’s variety)! Fresh cream cake with fresh fruit –yes I know –yummmmm! However, I did not take this up fully until the last ten years of my life and I only stuck with my aunts trusted recipe. Example of one successful baking session can be seen as below:
Recipe: Fresh Cream Cake with Fresh Fruits -I forgot to add: The key thing is, after you have decorated the cake, you need to put the cake in the freezer for a couple of hours/overnight so it sets -if you leave it overnight you need to ensure time for it to thaw before serving it.
NB: If you are finding this difficult to read please scroll down to the bottom of the post and read the pdf version of this post.
It took me a good few tries to perfect this (there were times when I only used 15gr of flour as opposed to 150gr! I was young; I had written the ingredients incorrectly; I could not understand why the cake would rise beautifully in the oven then fall flat when it came out and on top of that, why it resembled a biscuit rather than a cake! I was not impressed –an understatement of my thoughts at the time); the end results finally paid off and it was a success with all my friends and family and was devoured instantly; see below after a party of five us had a cake feast! The cake rarely lasted more than two days –it was a joy to bake and decorate; I was able to use my creative flair to dress up the cake according to the occasion and this allowed me to experiment greatly; it was therapeutic in some ways… I realised I enjoyed baking. It appears that my friends also noticed my new found passion and so they encouraged it by suggesting I start a home baking service (which I didn’t) and with that they brought me my first baking cookbook: Nigella Lawson’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking! If only I knew what this would entail!
I soon discovered that my sister and my friends -who were (and still are) partial to chocolate, more than me, took a fancy to Nigella’ Nutella Cake (AKA the chickpea cake -according to one waitress who we gave instructions to serve the cake at a birthday bash)! They (my friends and family) dropped hints whenever they could and finally I agreed to bake it. My first attempt was a disaster (well the preparation aspect more than the final product!); beating the Nutella and the butter was the difficult part of the whole process –I can assure some unfavourable words were passing my lips/thoughts as the environment would allow! I don’t remember how my arm recovered after that ordeal! Following this, I accidentally spilt some of the chopped hazelnuts on the floor, as I opened the packed –yep more curses and cries of despair were unleashed! Nevertheless I was determined; I managed to put the mixture in the oven –yay! I then went onto to toast the whole hazelnuts in the pan –this should have been easy but, I was unable to find unpeeled hazelnuts so I decided I would peel them once the skin was warm and loose –wrong call, I burnt my finger tips –I know, that was silly of me! I still persevered. The cake baked; I took it out of the oven; being short of time (not recommended in any given situation!) I decided to take the cake out of the baking sandwich tin -big mistake as the loose ring came off quicker than I realised and it scorched my skin; instinctively I jerked my hand in order to free myself off the pain and the cake leapt out into the air and fell onto the kitchen chair –the rest on the floor! I was not impressed to say the least –my rants would have got the better of me but my rescue mode kicked in and I attempted to save what remains I had of the cake –luckily I had put the cake mixture into two separate cake baking tins so I had a spare. The rest of the process went relatively smoothly and I decorated the cake; cleaned the mess in the kitchen and took a well deserved break (I had been on my feet for two whole hours!) –I promised myself not to put myself through that again!
Despite my angst in making the cake; everyone complimented on how delicious it was and –to my horror- began to make requests! I was mortified and quickly told them of my last two hours of ordeal and anguish whilst baking the cake –they were undeterred –adamant would be the better word! I tried to hold out in baking the cake –but this seemed to encourage them more –something akin to wanting something forbidden –it should be forbidden –why of why would Nigella devise such a cake –did she secretly want to torment me?!!!! In the past five years I have baked the Nutella Cake approximately 7-8 times (on all occasions I have had some mishap with it!) and my fresh cream cake just the once! Even though both cakes take about two hours to make; I prefer the process of the fresh cream cake, but sadly that has been pushed to the sideline, as I seemed to be surrounded by chocolate lovers –well Nutella in particular!
Needless to say my passion for baking has diminished somewhat –though occasionally I do forget and delve back into baking –just last week I toyed with the idea of baking the Nutella Cake –I know! I think I like tormenting myself! I ended up baking it –with the help of my sister –it burnt –shoot me; my oven is temperamental! I managed to –with my sisters’ assistance, salvage it; we sliced off the burnt bits and hid the evidence under a rich chocolate icing! The cake still went down well despite being burnt –is there no way this cake will fail?!!!!
I have since wondered what the moral of this story would be; I have come up with the following:
- Stick to what you know and be ignorant of loved-ones requests.
- Nutella who?
- Why bake when you can buy!
- If you want to torment yourself; go ahead, make the Nutella Cake journey.
- No matter how bad the journey; the Nutella Cake still comes up tops!
Do you have any other morals you would like to add? Go ahead make my day –surely it cannot get any better –or even worse!
Have you lived through a similar experience in your life? Would you like to share it with us? I’d like to think I am not alone in the world with my angst against the Nutella Cake!
Pdf version: The Joys of Nutella Cake -My Angst with it!