A couple of weeks ago we were in Brighton for one of my friend’s 40th birthday celebrations. We had a lovely time with wonderful company – and I won at ten pin bowling. Always a bonus. The morning after – fortunately hangover-free, unlike my last overnight stay in Brighton – we decided to go shopping in The Lanes. We often buy art when we’re in town and have a favourite gallery that we always like to visit if we can.
As it didn’t open until 11am we found ourselves a nice little coffee shop in which to wait. I’d planned to order a hot chocolate – as I’m not normally a coffee drinker and can be a bit picky when it comes to drinking tea. But, as is often the case, something else on the menu caught my eye. Nutella Latte . When faced with such a prospect you can’t really say no, can you? I suspected it would be little more than a variation on a caffè mocha, but my inner recipe magpie had to find out more.
Suffice it to say that I enjoyed it a lot. The use of Nutella gave it a sweeter more subtle flavour than the intense dark chocolate hit you can often get. If time had been on our side I could have been tempted into having a second. But alas…
Anyway, later that week Michael asked me to make a cake for one of his team meetings at work. I always have a list of cakes in mind for emergencies like this and had some ideas. But I like to be democratic and asked him what he would like. His choice of Coffee and Walnut was not unexpected but a bit boring – don’t you think? The weekend was still fresh in my mind and I wondered if it would be possible to stick with the coffee theme. Only with a little bit of a twist. With that in mind – I present to you my Nutella Latte Cake.
Nutella Latte Cake
For the Base Cake Mix
- 225 g Caster Sugar
- 225 g Butter softened
- 4 large Free Range Eggs beaten
- 225 g Plain Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
For the Coffee Cake Section
- 1 tbsp Instant Coffee
- 1 tbsp Milk
For the Chocolate Hazelnut Vanilla Cake Section
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 tbsp Cocoa Powder
- 1 tbsp Chopped Hazelnuts
For the Nutella Latte Buttercream
- 100 g Unsalted Butter softened
- 50 g Nutella
- 250 g Icing Sugar
- 2 tsp Instant Coffee
- 1 tbsp Milk
- Chopped Hazelnuts to decorate
Make the Cakes
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Grease and flour two 20cm sandwich tins and put to one side for later.
- Put the butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl and cream together until the mixture has become lighter in colour and fluffy. Add in the eggs, then beat again until everything is well combined.
- Sift the flour into a separate bowl and add the baking powder. Mix to combine the dry ingredients before adding to the wet mixture in the other bowl. Mix well but be careful to not overwork the flour – you’re making a cake, not bread. When mixed, divide the cake batter into two.
- Mix the instant coffee with the milk until fully dissolved, then stir through half of the cake batter. Sift the cocoa into the other half, along with the chopped hazelnuts and vanilla extract.
- Pour the into the prepared cake tins, spread it to the edges and level the top. Put into the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes until golden and cooked through – a skewer inserted into the centre of each cake will come out clean when they’re ready.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. I tend to let them cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning them out to cool completely.
Make the Buttercream
- Put the butter and Nutella into a mixing bowl and whisk until combined and fluffy. Sift in the icing sugar and beat again on a medium speed until it is fully incorporated.
- As with the coffee cake, dissolve the instant coffee granules in a little bit of milk and add it to the buttercream. Beat until you have a light, fluffy buttercream frosting.
Finish the Cake
- Depending on how much time you have there are two options for how to decorate the cake…
- If time isn’t on your side then keep it simple. Put one of the cake halves onto a serving plate, then top with half of the buttercream mixture. Put the other cake on top then spread the remaining buttercream over the top. Use a spatula or palette knife to spread the buttercream out to the edges, then decorate with the chopped hazelnuts.
- If you do have time, I think it’s nice to make a bit of a hidden checkerboard pattern inside the cake, so that almost every mouthful comes with all of the flavours.
- To do this use a side plate or bowl as a template to cut a circle out of the centre of each cake. Carefully remove the centre from one cake and swap it with the central piece from the other – so that you have, for example, a coffee cake with a chocolatey concentric ring around it (and vice versa). You may want to use a little bit of buttercream to hold the sections in place, depending on how well they fit. You can then sandwich the two halves together as above.