Sunday, 14 August 2011

Vanilla Sponge with Nutella Frosting

I adore this cake! Look at it in all of it's glory...

Clearly my life has come down to spending my evenings in bed wondering how I can improve on my Swiss Meringue Buttercream. After the failure of my lemon cupcakes (I'm exaggerating somewhat, they weren't too bad), I was so determined to try again that I felt I owed it to myself to succeed. Yes, my life has become that sad!

I'm pleased to say that it was this time that I succeeded! I followed two recipes from the great Caked Crusader, using her Nutella Cupcake recipe and her Vanilla and Coconut Cake with Sweet Tobacco recipe. An odd choice, I know, but after much discussion my brother and I felt that my cakes were always nicer and ultimately more successful than my cupcakes (should I be offended at that?!). So, I used the Nutella frosting from one and the Vanilla sponge from the other and merged them together, resulting in this...

As per usual with any of The CC's sponges, this cake is unbelievably light, moist and, most importantly, it has the perfect amount of vanilla in it to contrast with the bitter Nutella to create a perfectly rounded cake.

I followed her instructions for the buttercream more thoroughly than previously and had the pan of sugar and eggs over the heat for the full ten minutes. I then put my KitchenAid on speed 2 and, instead of whipping it up into a frenzy in a minute or so, allowed it to cool in it's own time. I feel this benefited the buttercream greatly and it has a fantastic flavour and texture, just as I had hoped for!

Once again, a huge thank you to The Caked Crusader. I have provided the links for the recipes I used individually above, but here are the recipes together as I used them!


For the cake:
175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
175g golden caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
175g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

For the Swiss meringue buttercream:4 egg whites
250g caster sugar
250g unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons Nutella- I used 4 teaspoons not tablespoons and my buttercream looked aneamic..


For the cake:

Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan oven 150°C/325°F/Gas mark 3
Line the bottoms of two 20cm loose bottomed sandwich tins with baking paper.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Do not skimp on this stage as it’s the key to a lovely sponge
Gradually beat in the eggs, adding a little of the flour if it starts to curdle
Beat in the vanilla extract
Beat in the flour and baking powder
If the batter is too stiff i.e. not dropping consistency, add a dash of milk
Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared tins. Level the surfaces
Bake for approx 30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the cakes comes out clean.
Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tins before removing from the tins and leaving to cool completely on a wire rack
The sponges can be made the day before and stored in airtight containers

For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

Place the egg whites and sugar in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir pretty much constantly to prevent the egg from cooking
After 5-10 minutes, when the sugar has dissolved, remove the bowl from the pan of simmering water and whisk until the meringue has puffed up and the mix is cool
Add the butter and vanilla to the meringue and whisk until the butter has been completely incorporated into the meringue. At first it will look a disaster – it will collapse and look curdled but don’t worry! Stop when the mixture is smooth, light and fluffy
Beat the nutella into the buttercream – add a spoon at a time so you can judge how much nutella the buttercream needs


Baking Addict said...

Yummm!! I love nutella and would definitely love a slice of this. I've never tried a swiss meringue buttercream but I think I may have to brave it one day.

Rachael said...

It's very sweet so good in small slices! SMBC is hard until you get the hang of it, unless that's just me!

Curious Cook said...

Aah...This looks absolutely yummy..Seriously, can you ever go wrong with Nutella? Why tablespoons, go for scoop fulls I say..:) :)I've never tried making meringues before but I think this recipe is a good place to start!

PS: Lol, aneamic buttercream..

Rachael said...

I genuinely believe that this buttercream can only benefit from as much Nutella as your stomach can handle!

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