Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Torta alla Gianduia

Welcome to our newest Mouthfuls of Heaven team member, Georgie! We're thrilled to have her helping us out, sharing the Nigella love!
Bells and RoseRed.

"Anything that has a whole jar of Nutella in it is already a winner in my book" - Rose Red

Or, if you're from the more working-class neck of the woods, Nutella Cake.

The verdict: A winner indeed. Despite some mistreatment in the form of my temperamental oven, this cake was moist but firm, rich and importantly, chocolatey. Definitely on my make-again list.

Unusual or substituted ingredients: I made the recipe to spec, including a 400g jar of chocolate-hazelnut spread, ground hazelnuts and quite a bit of dark chocolate. Double cream for the ganache topping. All readily available, but not often in my pantry.

Oh, and Frangelico liquer, both in the cake and the ganche topping. Nigella suggests substituing with rum or similar; easily done, depending on preference and availability, I think.

Special utensils or cookware: None. Baked in a springform tin.

Repeatability: Certainly. Go the whole hog with the toasted hazelnuts on top for a special occasion, or just the ganache, or even your regular choccy butter icing with a dash of liquer for everyday. It's a lovely dense, moist cake (being all nuts and no flour), so would keep rather well for several days.

I did break the cardinal rule here though: I didnt read the recipe all the way through. Cooking instructions are for 40 minutes at 180oC, "until the sides come away from the pan"; after that time, it was still very moist in the centre. Yes, the sides had come away, but it was pretty wet in there still. So I gave it another 15 minutes (with 5 minute-ly checks).

If I had kept reading, to the part where Nigella says " unmould the cooled carefully, leaving it on the base as it will be too difficult to get such a damp cake off in one piece." I may have twigged that the cake is supposed to be fairly moist.

Sauciness: Oh yes, very high. Not only are there good bowls to lick, plus an empty Nutella jar, this combine two of my favourites, chocolate and hazelnuts.

Overall pleasure level: Very good indeed. This was given an very solid 9 by those who partook. Bumped up to a 9.5 with double cream on the side. Yeah, baby!