It’s National Nutella Day!
I think we can all agree that there are some pretty laughable “holidays” these days but this is one I’m pretty okay with. Yep, I can definitely jump on board this bandwagon because, I mean, NUTELLA!
Usually I wouldn’t start off the week with something this decadent, but with Valentine’s Day coming up and this being Nutella Day, well I just couldn’t resist. This is a cake that I had the idea for months ago when we moved back here to Northern Idaho from Chile. It’s been a long time coming I’d say, because I got this adorable little moose cookie cutter and have still yet to use it for a recipe until today. When I bought it I knew immediately I’d have to make something sweet with chocolate mousse and my little moose cutter. I guess I have a thing for ironic humor.
Ok, am I the only one that thought ‘mousse’ was spelled the same as ‘moose’ as a kid? I actually thought the dessert had something to do with a moose, you know, because it’s brown and I knew there was an ice cream flavor called moose tracks, so why not? But apparently it got it’s name from the French and it actually means “froth”. Hmph, and here I’ve been mentally limiting those French to toast, fries, and baguettes all my life.
But honestly, the name is of little importance when compared to how amazing the dessert itself is. Can we have a round of applause for the creator of the wonderful fluffiness that we all enjoy today (and that we can add Nutella to it!)???
So tell me, do you have any fun plans for Valentine’s Day? I’ll probably do a whole lot of the same things I do every other day. To be completely transparent, if you’d have told me at the age of, say 16, that I’d be here at 21 without a Valentine, I’d have been like “Oh, heavens NO, kill me now!” Haha, and now that I’ve lived through a few more V-days (some with and some without a date), I’m pretty fine simply embracing my independence right now. Um, girls, let me tell you, there are a much worse things than being a free woman at this age, just saying. Own it.
Eh hem, yeah so now that I’ve updated my relationship status for the world, let me tell you about this recipe. It’s pretty drastically opposite from the one I posted last Friday in terms of ingredients. This one definitely needs more than 4. I really try not to procrastinate things but if I ever do find myself doing it, it’s more likely than not, over writing out a recipe. At the end of the day it’s always so worth it of course, as is this cake!
Oh, and please don’t let the ingredient list intimidate you because this cake is not that difficult. I’d say one of the most important tips I can give is to make sure to plan ahead of when you need to serve it because, since it’s filled with mousse, you’ll need plenty of time to chill it. Other than that it’s a pretty basic cake recipe so if you’re familiar with baking cakes you’re good to go.
Here’s the breakdown, you’ve got a rich extra dark chocolate cake, filled with fluffy nutella mousse, covered in chocolate fudge frosting, and topped with cute little moose cookies, hazelnuts, and some hazelnut truffles for good measure! I might just have to make this as a wedding cake for someone, any takers?
Layers of dark chocolate cake, light Nutella mousse, rich fudge frosting, and buttery shortbread cookies come together into this lovely and fun cake that's perfect for any event.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup strong black coffee
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (or sour cream)
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour (plus more for work surface)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread)
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup granular sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 6 - 8 chocolate hazelnut truffles
- 1/2 cup chopped roasted hazelnuts
- Beat together the butter and powdered sugar in a medium mixing bowl until creamed. Add the salt, vanilla, and flour and mix until it forms into a thick cookie dough. Wrap the bowl in plastic wrap while you prepare the cake batter and come back to it once you've put the cakes in the oven.
- Also note that you'll have some extra cookies leftover (makes about 12) but that's never a problem in my opinion ;).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and grease 3, 9-inch (or 8 inch) round cake pan with oil and then flour them well. Whisk together butter and sugar until creamed then beat in eggs well. Add soda, salt, baking powder, vanilla, and cocoa and stir until smooth. Stir in the coffee and buttermilk, followed by flour, then stir in melted chocolate until batter is smooth.
- Divide batter among the prepared pan and place in oven. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until toothpick comes out clean (ovens may vary so if it's not quite done give it a bit longer). Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes then loosen edges with knife and remove cakes from the pans by inverting them over large plates. Once you've taken them all out, cover them with plastic wrap to seal then place in the freezer for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Now time for finishing the shortbread, remove the dough from fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it's roughly 1/2 inch thick. Use yourmoose cookie cutter to cut shapes (by the way, any shape will work instead. Hearts would be cute.). Place the cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet (Important: be sure to bake some of them facing the opposite direction so that you'll have cookies to face each other for your toppers) and bake in oven for 8 - 12 minutes until the edges start to brown. Remove and cool.Set aside until you finish the fudge frosting.
- Beat the heavy whipping cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment until it starts to form stiff peaks, about 3 minutes. Turn speed to low and slowly pour in the sugar and vanilla then increase speed and beat until fluffy, about 1 more minute. Scrape the nutella into the bowl and use a large spatula to fold it together with the whipped cream until evenly combined into a light mousse. Scrape into a seperate bowl and cover bowl then chill until ready to assemble the cake.
- In the same mixing bowl, beat the butter and one cup of powdered sugar on low until combined, repeat with the remaining 2 cups then add the remaining ingredients. Beat on high until light and fluffy.
- Before assembling cake, fit a pastry bag with a small round tip and fill with a small amount of the chocolate frosting. Pipe onto at least 2 of the cooled shortbread cookies to form an edge, then fill in the lines.
- Remove cakes from freezer and if needed, trim to level with a serrated edge knife. Now fit your pastry bag with a large round tip and pipe an edge of frosting around the cake to form a border for the mousse. Scoop about 1/2 cup of the nutella mousse into center of cake and spread in an even layer.
- Repeat last step for the next to layers of cake, then spread the remaining fudge frosting around the outside of the cake in a smooth coating. If desired, sprinkle hazelnuts along the top and bottom edges and place truffles along the top edge. Top the cake with 2 of your frosted moose cookies (use toothpicks to prop them up if needed)
You can purchase a moose cookie cutter online here.