Thursday, August 30, 2012

Buon Giorno, Baci Cake!

Years ago, while in college my sister studied abroad in Prague, Czech Republic. During this magical time of her life, she had the opportunity to travel all over Europe, in between her studies of course. This is where I speculate that her love of the Italian chocolate candy, Baci derived. My sister has adored these morsels for as long as I can remember, justifiably so, they are truly delicious. Hazelnut with a creamy nutty chocolate center covered in chocolate, these little sweets (which the word Baci means "kiss" in Italian) are certainly something that titillates the lips. For her birthday I wanted to make something very special, just for her, so why not make a Baci cake? I'll admit, its not the most beautiful cake I've ever seen but that's ok with me as long as it tastes great. For the cake I used Ina Garten's Beatty's cake recipe, which is a tried and true chocolate cake go-to recipe for me but I added Baci and hazelnut flavors, which the result was a success! Baci flavored cake... I think that's a slice of heaven for you.

Baci Cake - adapted from Ina Garten

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons Nutella 
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

  • 6 ounces of Baci bars (I got mine at World Market)
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup of chopped hazelnuts

  • Directions
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pansSift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, vanilla. almond and nutella. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Coarsely chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
In a large bowl beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the almond and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Stir in the hazelnuts. 

My awesome new cake holder! 

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