Happy Easter!!! Or as I like to call it; Stuffing Your Face Full of Chocolate Day!!! (what too long?!). Whatever you might be up to today (hunting for eggs in your garden, admit it!) today feels like spring has finally sprung, and what better way to celebrate it than with a green cake! But not just any green cake, no, a Nutella filled gluten free, chocolate cake!
While living in Belgium and being lucky enough to have access to some of the best chocolate in the world (Switzerland...I see you) it is also a truth universally acknowledged that when it comes to spreadable chocolate, Nutella is the one to beat. Plus, you guys will find it a lot easier to get your hands on it than coming all the way over here to the land of chocolate (and it's cheaper too).
For this recipe I combined the decoration from a cake decorating inspiration book with the inner cake based off of a recipe from a 30 culte Nutella recipes mini book. Now I would show you the photo I used for inspiration, but in comparison my cake doesn't look half as good. What can I say, they actually had flower cutters, I had to make do with my hands and the one flower cutter I do own. (Since baking this cake my mum has been very generous and ordered me two sets from Divertimenti, can't wait!).
Ingredients for cake (Serves 8):
2 sandwich tins 9 inch (greased and floured with gluten free normal flour not self-raising)
175g sifted plain white flour (Doves Farm gluten free; don't add xanthan gum as it will make the mixture too sticky)
2 teaspoons of baking powder
175g butter (soften to room temperature)
175g brown sugar (I used Cassonade which is quite a finely milled brown sugar but I don't think it makes much difference)
4 eggs (I used medium sized; which do look quite small to me, but they were enough)
4 tablespoons of Nutella (the recipe originally called for just 2 but that was with a very rich chocolaty icing. Since I swapped my icings for a plain but coloured one I put in 4 tablespoons, unlevelled...think more like tablespoon scoops, and it was just chocolaty enough)
1 big jar of Nutella for the "icing" in the middle of both cake layers (the jars are labelled gluten free)
The book's instruction says to fling all the ingredients together into the bowl of a food mixer, but as I only have a hand held mixer, I first put all my dry ingredients in a bowl (flour, baking powder, sugar) added my softened butter, blended a bit. Then I added the wet ingredients, the 4 eggs and blended till the mixture was well combined. Lastly I added the 4 tablespoons of Nutella and blended again.
Divide the mixture equally between 2 greased and floured (gluten free) 9 inch sandwich tins, level with a palette knife and bake for 30 minutes (although keep an eye out after 25) at 180°C in a fan oven or 200°C for a non-fan oven.
My oven is a particularly difficult one (non-fan) so mine cooked for about an hour at 200°C with me swapping over the tins half-way through (from top shelf to bottom) then taking them out of their tins and putting them back in (upside down) each for 5 minutes (the bottom wasn't properly cooked. I wouldn't recommend this technique (if you can call it that) as it made my cakes rather dry, but better than un-cooked right?
Once you have taken the cakes out of their tins, let them cool on a cooling rack. Cut the top of the cake you want as your top layer (try to get the thinnest one on the top if possible) as they do tend to rise a bit in the oven. Spread a generous coat of Nutella on the top of your bottom layer, and place the top one on top. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes (you don't want hot cake melting your icing).
Ingredients for Icing/Decoration:
2 packets of 250g Ready-to-Roll green icing
1 packet of 250g Ready-to-Roll pink icing
1 packet of 250g Ready-to-Roll yellow icing
1 packet of 250g Ready-to-Roll white icing
Smarties for the coloured centre of the flowers (or mini M&M's)
Knead both 250g of green icing and try and make it into a ball, then roll it out into a circle as best you can. Keep rolling it out till you have achieved the circumference of your cake plus enough to drop down over the edges. Place over cake, centre as much as possible and cut off the edges (I had to cut them off using "cooking" scissors because my knife wasn't getting through the thick icing). Glue down the edges as best you can with Nutella (use a knife with Nutella on it and scrape off on the insides of the edges).
Knead and roll out small chunks from your other coloured Ready-to-Roll icing packets (I had tons left over) then cut out the flowers and place as you wish. Add the Smarties to the centre of some of your flowers (again as your creativity dictates).
And Voilà, Bon Appétit!
Alternatively, if you can't be bothered to bake on this relaxing day, then Marks and Spencer have made some very cute Easter Chocolate Egg Baskets, which I checked and the ingredients are in fact gluten free (Belgium chocolate, although delicious, tends to also contain gluten unfortunately, so unless you've specifically checked with your chocolatier don't risk it).
But Belgium wouldn't be Belgium without wacky chocolates. I'm not sure about the gluten content of this next recommendation, I haven't had any problem with it though. Leonidas is one of our top fancy chocolate makes (Godiva, Neuhaus and Galler are the others off the top of my head) and last year they came out with little milk chocolate eggs containing...wait for it...popping candy!!!
So now, not only are the eggs delicious, but they are fun to eat too! Plus, if you're gluten free you get the crunch of a biscuit filled chocolate without the actual biscuit, amazing invention Leonidas! Very happy that they brought them back again this year, they are called Sucré Pop and are only available Easter time, so go, go, go, while you still can!
So there you have it, a new post full of deliciousness! I'm sorry all chocolate haters (I know there are some of you out there), but what did you expect from someone who called herself LilacChocolate, honestly my chocoholic problem was pretty obvious! :P
What are you doing this Easter?
Do you bake Easter cakes? This is the first year I've done one. :)
What's your favourite chocolate egg to buy this time of year?
Now I'm off to nummy...nummy :)