Said chocolate also comes with an outrageous amount of pictures. I promised myself I was going to get better about that but I think I may actually be getting worse. It’s just so hard to stop snapping pictures when there is this much chocolate beauty to be captured, you know?
So I made this for Jenya’s 19th birthday and, I could be wrong, but I think it says a lot about how much I love her. I’ve actually been waiting all week to share this because her birthday was on Sunday, but it just felt like this cake should be saved for Friday. I’m glad I waited because now I get to share it with you! I’m going to try keeping things short today for multiple reasons.
Firstly, I’ve been extra busy the last few days because we had a big group of friends over for dinner yesterday and I spent the entire day, plus the day before, doing prep stuff and tons of baking. It was one of those type of gatherings that starts out as small thing and just keeps growing. It ended up that we were going to have six different families together, but then the first family we had invited, the ones we had basically planned the whole dinner around, had to cancel because of a fever.
Then we also got rained out all day, but the good news is that the food turned out great and I think everyone had a good time. The guys grilled steaks and sausage out on the grill and I did all the appetizers, sides (one of which was a creamy potato au gratin that I will have to share soon because it was a huge hit), and this pasta salad that I recently posted was on the menu too. Of course, I also did desserts. I made some of my biggest hits, snickers, somoa bars, and fluffernutter cookies to name a few.
Then we’re still having our usual Friday dinner with friends today and tomorrow is yet another little shindig that I’ll be at least doing some baking for so I’ve got mucho to catch up on. Another reason for trying to keep it shorter today is that I feel like some of my posts have been a bit too long lately an I’m hoping you aren’t all getting sick of my jabbering. Speaking of which, I should probably shut up and get to the point here, this most epic ever chocolate explosion of a cake. One of my friends told me it was the coolest cake he thought he’d ever seen and all the kids were chomping at the bit to get into it.
Here’s the breakdown of what it is. The cake is just a pretty basic, but really good and moist, dark chocolate cake recipe that you stuff with chocolate chips. Then the center layer is this extremely creamy nutella cheesecake layer. In between each layer you put a thin amount of the whipped nutella frosting and then you slather the whole cake with the rest. Then for decoration I dusted the top with cocoa powder, added homemade chocolate curls (super easy by the way), and then finished it off with a bunch of lovely pirouette cookies.
I kind of feel like I cheated with the pirouette cookies, but aren’t they gorgeous? I’m not sure why I feel that way, like who am I cheating on? I just know I have this misplaced guilt whenever I’m able to take cooking shortcuts and use the easy way. It must be because of how many things I’ve had to learn how to make at home and discovered that they are way better and so worth the effort. For the most part I’ve become a from-scratch cook and it feels wrong any other way, but occasionally there are things that you really can’t duplicate without industrial equipment and I think this is one of them.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
- 1/2 cup strong brewed black coffee
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 ounces German chocolate, melted
- 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (Nutella)
- 1/4 sour cream
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/4 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (Nutella)
- 1/3 cup (about 6 tablespoons) butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- cocoa powder for dusting top of cake
- chocolate curls and shavings
- multi-flavored pirouette cookies (I used about 80)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and grease 3, 9 or 10 inch round cake pans with oil and flour them well. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Beat in eggs, cream, yogurt, and coffee then add salt, soda, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Stir in cocoa powder and all purpose flour a little at a time until combined, then fold in melted chocolate. Divide batter into 2 of the pans as evenly as possible. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the batter evenly and swirl them in slightly with a knife.
- Bake for 25 - 35 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely then loosen cake edges with a knife and invert onto large plates. Wrap the cakes in plastic wrap and place in fridge to chill for at least 1 hour.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F (160 C). Beat cream cheese until completely smooth, making sure there are no lumps. Slowly add in sugar while mixing and beat until creamed. Add eggs, salt, nutella, sour cream and, cocoa powder; stir until combined and creamy. Pour the batter into your third prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes until the center doesn't (or just barely) jiggle when pan is nudged. Remove and cool completely. Loosen edges and invert onto a plate carefully. Wrap in plastic and place in fridge for at least an hour.
- Pour cream into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment and beat until it forms stiff peaks. Add the nutella and butter and beat until combined, then slowly stir in remaining ingredients and beat until frosting is light and fluffy. You can add more powdered sugar as needed for frosting to be a thick enough consistency.
- To assemble, trim cakes until level, then spread frosting on one of the cakes and place the cheesecake layer on next. Cover cheesecake layer gently with another thin coat of frosting and place the second cake layer on top. Frost the top and all the sides with desired amount of remaining frosting until smooth (you might have some extra frosting). If desired, dust the top with cocoa powder and line the sides with pitouette cookies. Also if desired, top with a heaping pile of chocolate curls, chocolate shavings, and cut pirouette cookies.