You take a good look at torta nutellotta and you feel, deep inside you, that no other cake will ever match its scrumptiousness and decadence, if you are a chocolate lover*(read the warning now!).
Torta nutellotta is a very famous Neapolitan cake that comes from one of the most renowned pasticcerie in Naples: Bellavia. If you Google it, it will look slightly different from what you see in the picture above. This is because I decided to give it my personal touch and decorate it in a slightly different way.
There are many recipes out there, but the truth is that no matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to replicate the original – which is not necessarily a bad thing.
Years ago my mum and I, shocked by the goodness of torta nutellotta, decided to make our own version, and I have to say that it is frigging awesome! Today I thought it was about time I shared the secret to happiness and joy for your tastebuds with you all.
It is a pretty easy cake to make. Basically, it is made of three chocolate sponge cakes, filled with a mixture of Nutella and mascarpone. So once the sponge is ready, it will be a pretty quick process to assemble the cake.
*WARNING! This cake is not for the faint-hearted… It is a very rich cake containing a ridiculous amount of Nutella. Not exactly a light treat. Go for it only if you know that you and the people for whom you are making it are going to appreciate it and are not the type of people who worry about how many more grams they are going to put on; how many extra miles they will need to run; or which meal they will need to skip after they’ve eaten a slice of torta nutellotta.
Damn it, people… Chill out, will you:-)? I find it hilarious that the majority of the above-mentioned people are the same ones who preach clean eating and then drink gallons of wine a week and have a ridiculous amount of cocktails at the weekend.
What is missing in this world is coherence. Ah, coherence, my dear friend.
There are many ways you can hurt your body and huge amounts of chocolate is definitely one of these, but alcohol is one, too… So next time someone gives you a shocked, disapproving look while you are enjoying a luxurious slice of cake, encourage them to think about the number of glasses of booze they had that week. Anyway… enough ranting for today!
Torta nutellotta is definitely one of my favourite cakes as it reminds me of so many family birthday celebrations, when my mum or I would prepare it to spoil my daddy or my brother.
My mum always used to make cakes for our birthdays and I loved them all. However, every time she made torta nutellotta, I reached new levels of happiness and excitement.
Seriously. For a Nutella addict like me, there can’t be a better cake. Hint, hint, George!
Yes, my birthday is now approaching. On 29th September I’m going to turn 24. Alright, it’s not funny; I’m turning 34, but hey, I feel as young as a 24-year-old, to be fair. I said feel, not look, obviously! Ha ha!
Joking apart, I sometimes think that I can be as reckless as I was in my twenties, but now I’m as strong as you can only be once you’ve faced tougher challenges as you got older.
On this serious note, I shall move to the ingredients for this outstanding Neapolitan torta. I am already dribbling, personally…
For the sponge
- 150g unsalted butter, softened
- 300g caster sugar
- 3 large egg
- 115ml buttermilk
- 40ml sunflower oil
- half a teaspoon vanilla or almond essence
- 3 tablespoons Nutella
- 160g self-raising flour, sifted
- 70g cocoa powder, sifted
- half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
For the filling
- 12 full tablespoons of Nutella or hazelnut spread
- 250g mascarpone
- 250g hazelnuts, reduced to fine crumbs
For the icing
- 4 tablespoons Nutella
- 2 tablespoons mascarpone
- 6 Ferrero Rocher to decorate (can replace with other types of chocolate)
- 250g hazelnuts, reduced to fine crumbs (can replace these with chocolate fingers)
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan).
Line 3 loose-bottomed tins (20cm).
In a bowl add the butter and cream it slightly. Add the sugar and use an electric whisk to cream them together until light and fluffy. This is an important stage to add air to the mixture, so make sure you take your time to do this properly.
In a separate small bowl add the 3 eggs and whisk them lightly.
Add a bit of egg mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and whisk it until the egg gets totally absorbed. Carry on like that, (about 4 goes), until the rest of the eggs has been well incorporated.
In a jug mix the buttermilk, oil and vanilla or almond essence. Stir well with a fork.
Add this mixture, in a steady stream, to the main mixture. The content might start splitting at this point, but never mind. It will come together.
Add the 3 tablepoons of Nutella and whisk well.
In another bowl mix well the sifted flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda.
Add the flour mixture in three goes. This time you will need to use a metal tablespoon and leave the electric whisk behind. Incorporate with a movement that goes from the bottom the the top, gently.
Mix well until all the dry ingredients are well incorporated into the main mixture.
When ready, distribute the content equally in the 3 tins.
Place in the oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when lightly touched. That said, every oven is different so it might take slightly less or longer. Do check after the first 20 minutes. When ready, take out of then oven. Let it rest for about 15 minutes, then take out of the tins and transfer to a grid and let cool down.
To make the filling and icing for torta nutellotta
In a bowl add the nutella and mascarpone. Mix well with an electric whisk until smooth and lump-free.
At this stage it makes sense to prepare the mixture for the icing, too. I like to keep them separated, despite being the same thing, so I know how much to use for the filling and how much for the icing. Mix the Nutella and mascarpone again. Set aside.
To assemble torta nutellotta
Place the first sponge on the surface you mean to keep the cake on. Add half of the Nutella and mascarpone mixture on it and distribute it evenly across the surface. Add some hazelnuts crumbs across the surface.
Cover with second sponge, add more filling, but leave some for the top. Add more hazelnuts crumbs. Add the third sponge and cover with left-over filling.
Use the second batch of mascarpone and Nutella to cover the edges of the cake. A knife is usually quite helpful. Make sure you have some left over to decorate for the surface.
Use the other hazelnut crumbs to cover the edges of the cake. I usually grab some in my hand and place my hand flat on the surface and then move the crumbs gently to distribute them evenly. This process is a bit messy and to be fair, you could skip it by just adding some chocolate fingers instead.
With the left-over icing, you can pipe some flowers across the surface and alternate them with Ferrero Rocher. Some people just add chocolate shavings on top. I think the way you decorate is a matter of taste and the time you have on your hands. So keep it as simple as you wish or go crazy!
Place the cake in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. After taking it out, let it rest for 30 minutes before cutting your first slice. It is such a treat: goodness and joy at the highest level.
Think about it. We all deserve a slice of heaven, every now and then. I actually saw hearts in my husband’s eyes once… I made him fall in love with me, again:-D It is also the best cake to make for someone if you have anything you want to be forgiven for…:-P!