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?