Saturday, May 4, 2013

Nutella Cake / Torta Alla Gianduja

This cake is fabulously easy and yummy! It's moist, light and DELICIOUS! you won't regret baking it. It's Nigella Lawson's Torta Alla Gianduja. Simply Nutella Cake.

Another reason for you to bake the cake, it's Mother's day soon. The hazelnuts on top somehow gives it a burnished, ceremonial and yet home-made look. I'm sure your mom will feels so proud of you if you baked this for her :)

Max is a huge fan of Nutella. Or I'd say, he's obsessed! He can eat almost everything with Nutella and even the Nutella alone! Urgh! Nutella Monster! Anyway, he's happy when I told him I wanted to bake Nutella cake. And when I complained that hazelnuts are expensive, he said he sponsor it. But he end up didn't even pay me. And neither did he mention that he wanna sponsor that big jar of Nutella. Sigh!

The ingredient is simple. This cake is not the ordinary cake. If you notice, this cake doesn't have flour, baking powder and sugar. Fret not. It will be okay. The cake will collapse. But this is what it should be.

I use shop-bought lightly roasted hazelnuts. Brought home, toast it on the pan. Grind half of it, and keep the remaining half for decoration. And also, if you have Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur) at home, use it. If not, use rum. If you have none, don't scream. Just use water. I don't have Frangelico, and my bottle of Rum gone missing for no reason. So, used Bourbon instead. And I kinda like it :)

(Source : Nigella Lawson's How To Be A Domestic Goddess book)

For the Cake
6 Large Eggs, separated
pinch of Salt
125g Soft Unsalted Butter
400g Nutella
1 tbsp Frangelico, Rum or Water (I used Bourbon)
100g Ground Hazelnut
100g Dark Chocolate, melted. (I used Valrhona)

For the Icing
100g Whole Toasted Hazelnuts
125ml Double Cream (I used Whipping Cream)
1 tbsp Frangelico, Rum or Water (I used Whisky)
125g Dark Chocolate

Don't worry about the cream part. The difference between double cream and whipping cream is in the concentration of fats. For this cake, I used whipping cream because I can't get double cream. I'm fine with it.


1. Toast 200g Hazelnut in a dry frying pan until the aroma wafts upwards and the nuts are golden-brown in parts. Keep shaking the pan so that they don't burn on one side and stay to pallid on others. Transfer to a plate and let it cool completely. If they go on the ganache while hot, it'll turn oily. So, be patient. Let it cool first. You may want to consider to make this a day ahead.

2. Grind 100g of the cooled Hazelnut. And I just can't tell you how much I love my Cuisinart mini food processor! It makes my cooking and baking so so so much easier! :)

3. Melt chocolate using double boiling method, to allow it to melt over gently under indirect heat. Once chocolate begins to melt, stir it gently with plastic spatula. When almost all of the chocolate is melted, lift up the bowl from the saucepan and set it on the counter. Stir continuously until it is shiny, smooth and completely melted. Set aside and leave it cool before use.

Okay, let's start baking!


For the Cake

  1. Prepare a 9 inch springform tin, greased and lined. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 degree.
  3. In a large clean bowl, whisk the egg whites and salt until stiff, but not dry. 
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and Nutella together, and then add the Frangelico (or whatever you are using), egg yolk and ground hazelnuts.
  5. Fold in the cooled melted chocolate, then lighten the mixture with large dollop of egg white, which you can beat in as roughly as you want, before gently folding the rest of then in a third at a time. Just like the way you make chiffon cake. 
  6. Pour into the prepared tin and bake it for 40 mins or until the cake's beginning to come away at the sides.
  7. Let the cake cool on a rack completely before you un-mould them carefully. This is a damp cake, you might find it abit difficult removing it from the tin.

My cake cracked badly, because I forgot to adjust my oven rack. I just dump the cake in and let it bake while I enjoy my favorite TV show at the living room. I'm a bad baker! Hahaha.

Well, as I said, the cake will collapse abit once it's cooled. But because mine cracked badly, so, it sank like a Titanic! But I'm not worried at all. I'm gonna ice it anyway.

For the Icing

  1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the cream, liqueur (or whatever you are using) and chopped chocolate, and heat gently under low fire. 
  2. Once the chocolate's melted, take the pan off the heat, leave it cool down abit and whisk until it reaches the right consistency to ice the top of the cake. 
  3. Ice the top of the cake with the chocolate icing, and dot thickly with the whole toasted hazelnuts.
  4. Set the cake aside and let it rest (or in the chiller) for an hour. This will allow the icing set and sit nicely on top of the cake when you cut. Or incase you want to bring the cake to a party or something. It would avoid mess. But if you are only eating it at home and you'd want some sexy and runny icing effect (just like mine), you don't have to let the cake rest that long then.
Here's the tips. You could prepare, and bake the cake a day ahead. And then, ice the cake on the 2nd day. This delicious chocolate cake keeps very well. 

So, how good is this cake? Max swallowed ate 1/3 of the cake AFTER our dinner! OMG! Can you imagine that? He just had his dinner, and this cake supposed to be his dessert. But.... when he's allowed to freely cut his portion of cake, he greedily cut 1/3 of the cake! He doesn't feels guilty at all! And I witness him eating the cake happily and kept saying "oh~yumm" while he nom it.

All in all, this recipe is indeed a keeper. And it's gluten free!

Happy Mother's day to my mom, my mother-in-law and all the mothers out there! Happy Baking! :)


  1. Annie, gua beh tahan liao! I still got 1.5 bottle of Nutella. I saw this recipe sometime ago, but lazy, lazy, lazy. Now I can use yours as a guide. At least I know it is supposed to collapse or else I think I fail again :)

  2. Looks soooo pretty and delicious!

  3. Annie,
    Me too, me too!
    Drooling :D

  4. Replies
    1. Hi Hankerie, thanks for visiting my blog. I'm sure mine is just ordinary compared to your baking. Shall learn from you if I have the chance :)

  5. hey annie .. im a beginner baker and here to steal some of your delicious recipes!

    ive got a question, i bought my first springform round pan and baked with it. i do not understand why my cake went inflate lopsided??? twice that happened! and both time at the same area where the latch of the pan is ???

    what happen? do you have any advice?

    thank you!

    1. Hi Anonymous, If your cake inflate loopsided, maybe you may want to turn the cake once cake is baked half way. I'm not sure what's really went wrong based on your description. But there's a possibility that the oven's heat distribution might be the cause. Next time, try to line your baking tin with baking paper and see if it really happens. If it does, this means the oven heat distribution problem, not the tin :)

  6. I find that if I microwave the chocolate for 15 seconds on high and then add half the softened butter, I can blend the mixture to a smooth chocolate consistency. The rest of the butter I add to the nutella.

    1. Hi Angie, you are right. Melting butter in microwave works really well.

  7. Replies
    1. You can. But you have to take note on the amount of liquid you added onto your batter. Balance the wet and dry ingredients is the key.