Brown Butter Cake with Nutella Swiss Meringue Icing

Roopa

After a year of making other people’s birthday cakes, I finally got to make MY birthday cake. My friend Devon’s birthday is one day off of mine, and she came to visit me this weekend, so we decided to do a double birthday celebration! It actually took me a really long time to decide on something, but I knew I wanted it to involve Nutella and Mini Eggs. I was initially thinking about this banana Nutella cake, but decided that getting 6 extremely ripe bananas in a day was unrealistic. I thought the icing looked spectacular though, and paired it with the brown butter cake from this peanut butter cake recipe. Having grown up in an Indian family, I’m quite partial to brown butter. 

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And Mini Eggs, because I’m an adult and I do what I want

BROWN BUTTER CAKE (original recipe here)

INGREDIENTS

  • 280 g (1.25 cups) unsalted butter
  • 250 g (2.25 cups) cake flour
  • 2.5 tsp. baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 100 g (0.5 cup) brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 yolks
  • 270 g (270 mL) whole milk

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Cook until the water evaporates off, and the milk solids begin to caramelize. *
  3. Set in the freezer for a few minutes until the butter becomes more firm.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F, and grease and line 2 x 8″ pans.
  5. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Set aside. 
  6. In a stand mixer, cream the brown butter and sugars on medium until light and fluffy. 
  7. At a low speed, add in the eggs one at a time. Mix in vanilla. 
  8. Alternate adding in the milk and dry ingredients (starting and ending with dry ingredients) at a low speed. Don’t over mix. 
  9. Pour the batter evenly into the two pans.
  10. Bake for ~30 minutes, rotating after 20 minutes. A toothpick should come out dry. 
  11. After 20 minutes, turn the cakes onto wire racks. 
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NUTELLA SWISS MERINGUE ICING (original recipe here)

INGREDIENTS

  1. 2 egg whites
  2. 66 g granulated sugar
  3. 225 g (1 cup) unsalted butter, cubed and softened
  4. 2/3 tsp. vanilla
  5. ¼ cup Nutella

DIRECTIONS

  1. Whisk together egg whites and sugar until combined in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Fill a small saucepan with a few inches of water over medium heat. Place the mixing bowl over the saucepan and make a double boiler. Make sure that the bowl doesn’t touch the water. 
  3. Whisk the mixture constantly until it is 71 C (160 F).
  4. Put the bowl back onto the stand mixer and beat on high for 8-10 minutes. The meringue should be glossy and hold a stiff peak. 
  5. Put the paddle attachment onto the mixer instead of the whisk. 
  6. At a low speed, add one cube of butter at a time. If the buttercream looks curdled or runny, keep mixing at a higher speed until smooth. 
  7. Add vanilla and Nutella, and whip on medium speed until smooth. 
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Devon and I were rather excited about this cake. We spent most of the day playing beach volleyball (and watching Olympic beach volleyball), so it was a nice treat afterwards. Just to be extra decadent, we ate it with extra Nutella and Mini Eggs. Overall, it was a pretty great belated birthday celebration. 

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