Have you heard about “The Smearing”?
No, it’s not some new horror movie. I really don’t like horror movies.
I mean, in the most basic of horror movies (i.e. PSAs about avoiding your basement), the characters are so asking for it.
If I were home alone and heard screeching/whispering/scratching/bubbling coming from my basement, the absolute last thing I would do is grab a flashlight and “investigate.” I mean why would I do that when I could just stay above ground level with Pinterest and a big mug of Bohemian Raspberry tea? What’s even worse is when they ask: “anyone there?” I mean, do you really want to know the answer to that question? Moral of the story, avoid unnecessary confrontation. Don’t check noises in your basement.
Now back on topic — if it’s not a new horror movie, what is “The Smearing”?
“The Smearing” was a campaign run a long time ago by the Ferrero company in Italy, where kids could bring a slice of bread to their local food store and get a free “smear” of Nutella. I’m patiently waiting for them to bring this service back. My day will come.
Is there anything in this world better than Nutella? Free Nutella. That’s all. A jar of this smooth, spreadable, chocolate-y brown gold is sold every 2.5 seconds (a baby is born every 8 seconds… do the math).
So to honor Nutella, one of the tastiest things that comes in a jar, I created this cake. There were no rules, just that it had to be absolutely redonkulous (because Nutella deserves that kind of respect…).
I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe for the layers (simple, velvety, with a nice cocoa bean-y flavor). Then things started to get scandalous. I slathered a thick, generous layer of Nutella between the cake layers, and then covered the whole thing with this dangerous Nutella buttercream (I always make a double batch in case… you know… I get hungry). While my first layer of frosting was chilling in the fridge, I went to the grocery store and ran up and down the aisles, just whacking every somewhat hazelnutty/chocolate-y thing I saw into my cart (ended up using the Hazelnut Ritter Sport and Ferrero Rocher). Then I piped some snazzy little Nutella buttercream ripples on the sides, and some big, vanilla rosettes on the top (to class up this monster of a cake). Finally, I smushed a little baby jar of Nutella in the middle. And my creation was born.
One, 2-layer batch of chocolate cake (here’s my favorite)
One jar Nutella
One batch of Nutella Buttercream
One batch of Vanilla Buttercream (this recipe without the Oreos)
Ritter Sport/Ferrero Rocher for decorating
melted chocolate for drizzling
Place once cake layer onto a cake stand, plate, or cake board. With an offset spatula, evenly spread a generous amount of Nutella onto the layer. Place your second layer face down on top of the Nutella filling and place the cake in the fridge for a few moments until it firms up a bit. Meanwhile, whip up your two buttercreams (if you’re like me and only have one stand mixer, make the vanilla one first so it doesn’t get streaked with Nutella!).
With your offset spatula, carefully smooth a bit of frosting in a thin, even layer over the entire cake (to seal in the crumbs, a.k.a a crumb coat). Chill again until the frosting is firm (about 15-30 minutes).
Place the cake on a turntable or cake stand. Using a clean offset spatula, spread the Nutella buttercream in a smooth, even layer over the crumb coat. To make the “ripple effect” on the sides, fill a large pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip with Nutella buttercream. Pipe a vertical row of 4 dots about 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter. Once you have your line of dots, use a spoon to smush down one side of each dot to form a line of petals. Keep repeating this process until you make your way all around the cake. For a picture of this technique, click here.
Next, fill a clean piping bag fitted with a medium star tip with the vanilla buttercream. Pipe big swirls of frosting on top of the cake. Place a Ritter Sport or Ferrero Rocher in the middle of each swirl. Lastly, drizzle with melted chocolate and enjoy your crazy, Nutella creation!
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