Saturday, January 17, 2009

Italian Chocolate Nut Cake and Hippos

Yup, that's a cake. An amazing cake. Vera, over at Baking Obsession, one amazing baker and creator, made this incredible cake. I so wanted to try it and my daughter's birthday was an excuse to make it. It was for the adults. I made a hippo cake for the kids (see below). If you haven't seen Vera's blog, you seriously need to go check it out. Lots of beautiful creations!

I am seriously okay with having that cake. Usually it would mean at least two days of feeling guilty and overeating. Today, however, it means, I had a piece of cake and tomorrow is another day. And one piece was fine. I packaged up the rest of the cake and sent it home with my parents. It's about learning to eat healthy 99 percent of the time. Right?

I have not forgot about the giveaway. Just a few more hours and I will do the draw. I will let you know tomorrow.

Italian Chocolate Nut Cake
Recipe from Vera over at Baking Obsession

I did make a few minor changes. I did put cannoli cream in between the layers to get it out of my freezer. It was from this recipe here. I had previously used this recipe for a Cassata cake I made.

Makes about 10-12 servings


  • ½ cup unblanched or blanched whole toasted almonds
  • ½ cup toasted and skinned whole hazelnuts
  • 7 oz good-quality unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 8 large egg whites (1 cup)
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • Unsweetened or lightly sweetened whipped cream for serving


Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a jelly roll pan and line the bottom with parchment paper, grease again.

Combine the almonds, hazelnuts, chocolate, ½ cup of the sugar, and the salt in a food processor and pulse until the nuts and chocolate are very finely chopped but not completely pulverized. Set aside.

In a clean, dry mixer bowl or other large bowl, combine the egg whites with the cream of tartar and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until soft peaks form. Increase the speed and gradually add the remaining ½ up sugar, then beat until the meringue forms stiff but not dry peaks. Add one-third of the nut mixture to the meringue, and fold in with a large rubber spatula just until nearly incorporated. Fold in half of the remaining nuts, then fold in the rest of the nuts.

Scrape the batter into the lined pan and spread it evenly. Bake until the cake has risen and is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, or with a little melted chocolate, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then unmold. Cool completely on a rack. Cover or wrap tightly, and store for up to 3 days at room temperature.

Divide into thirds and layer with the cannoli cream or your favorite frosting.

I should have done a practice run. But you know, I was more focused on the gym, than making sweets. That's a good thing. Check here for the how to's of this cake.

My girls are seriously obsessed with hippo's lately. Why? I dunno. They keep singing I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas...


kat said...

Yum, I love nut cakes. & as for you having some, that perfectly fine in my book. I feel like no weight loss program where you can't have a piece of cake on a birthday will never work

Grace said...

everything in moderation, and this is certainly something you should never feel like you should pass up. i love the hippo--too cute! :)

soma said...

Thats an awesome sounding cake. Love the pic!

That Hippo is cute:-)


Jude said...

I'd likely do the same thing and send it off to someone else's home. I'd probably eat all that in one sitting.

Ingrid said...

First good for you on eating only one slice! I would have had at least two pieces and saved some cannoli cream to eat on the side. Okay, let me tell you there wouldn't have been any in my freezer to begin with! I'm checking out your cassata cake in just a sec.

Your hippo cake turned out GREAT and I LOVE that song, too. Dominic the donkey is another good one.