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Sunday, August 19, 2012

chocolate lemon cake with nutella frosting.

I used the remainder of my lemon cream to sandwich in between the chocolate cake layers and frosted the entire cake with nutella frosting which... was quite a disaster. If you look closely, the frosting isn't smooth at all. In fact, it has a slightly curdled appearance. I swear, if I knew that a regular icing sugar-butter buttercream was going to give me such trouble, I would have just made a swiss meringue buttercream. I creamed the butter and nutella together until smooth and homogenous and then added in a third of the icing sugar. Suddenly, the mixture began to separate out into fine tiny curds! I added another third of icing sugar, hoping that it would smooth it out but no. I kept beating and beating, but the curds only got larger and eventually, the oils from the nutella started to seep out. It was a nightmare. I just kept the mixer on, hoping that the buttercream would work itself out, even switching back and forth between the paddle and whisk attachment. In the meantime, I googled frantically how to fix broken buttercream? on my iPad but could only find solutions for SMBCs.

When I returned to my mixer a good 15 minutes later, nothing had changed. At least, not for the better. Frustrated, I dumped the remaining of the icing sugar in and the buttercream came together a bit, but frankly, the texture still resembled (I'm sorry) vomit. I decided to try a trick that I used with my SMBC whenever it separated out into a mess like this, which is to refrigerate it. So I stuck the mixing bowl into the freezer for a good 15 minutes before creaming the life out of it again. And thank goodness it whipped up into a fluffy buttercream! The mayhem of nutella oils and melted butter managed to combine readily but not completely. I think I did some damage when I added that last bit of icing sugar when the nutella and butter were not properly amalgamated.

I frosted the cake with the less-than-perfect frosting and it was such an eyesore to me that I opted to cover up as much bumpy surface area as I could with ruffle piping. The fine tip that the frosting has to squeeze past somehow compresses the curds together and makes the frosting seem smoother. I think the novelty of ruffle frosting has sort of withered away for me. I wasn't as excited seeing the results of my piping as I was when I did my basket weave piping.

Still, I'm questioning myself about the buttercream. Was it because I used the nutella at room temperature? I knew that using room temperature nutella would make the frosting soupier at first but I never would have predicted that it would separate after a bit of creaming. How about you? Have you made nutella buttercream (not SMBC style) before with nutella at room temperature without difficulty?


  1. the most important thing, in any cooking escapade: how did it taste? cuz remember, it ALL looks the same eventually. ;P

  2. i just made a dark chocolate layer cake with lemonade frosting. great teen baking minds think alike!