Chocolate hazelnut lovers take note: February 5th is World Nutella Day. As if a Saturday weren’t already fabulous enough, we’re now permitted — mandated, even — to celebrate with Nutella.
And I’m not sure — but I think it’s implied — that we are therefore allowed to eat Nutella at every meal.
But if you’re like SoupAddict, you’re just gonna skip ahead to dessert anyway. Good move. Because there’s Nutella (of course). And cake. And mousse.
[P.S.: Dearest Subscribers, sorry about the post on peeling shrimp – that wasn’t supposed to be broadcasted like that, as it lives elsewhere on this blog. Slip o’ the button!]
The decadent mousse sits atop a hazelnut crust, so first we must husk the hazelnuts. Roast them in the oven for 10 minutes, and the skins coming right off with a little rub in a towel.
SoupAddict cannot believe she’s showing you this. My own crust recipe calls for graham crackers, but I forgot that I used up all the graham crackers the last time I made this. And the afternoon was waning, no time to go to the store. So, SoupAddict improvised: she used saltine crackers instead, adding a tablespoon each of molasses and honey.
Sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do.
And you know what? It worked.
But please just use the graham crackers. SoupAddict will feel so much better if you do.
Press the crust into the bottom and partially up the sides of a 6″ springform pan. This will serve 4 people generously. Or 2 people to the point of mousse coma.
Ha HA! The big jar. SoupAddict bought the big jar, because Nutella Day is likely to stretch into Nutella Weekend, followed quickly by Nutella Week, and Nutella February.
Big jar, people. Twenty-six ounces. Yessirreebobarooney.
The Nutella-gelatin mixture is the core of the mousse. There will be mascarpone, too. Have you ever tried mascarpone? You should. Trust SoupAddict on this one. She’s completely reliable on matters of Nutella and mascarpone. And soup. But other than that, all bets are off.
Chocolate whipped cream? Yes, please. Chocolate whipped cream + Nutella = Mousse Marvelosity.
“Whipped cream, this is Nutella. Nutella, I’d like you to meet chocolate whipped cream. You’re going to make beautiful things together.”
See? Nutella and chocolate whipped cream were meant to be.
It doesn’t seem possible, as creamy as the mousse was when spread into the pan, but a little refrigeration and the gelatin sets right up and springform pan pops right off without sticking. Gorgeous. But wait, there’s more …
Chocolate ganache makes everything better. You can pour it into the center and let it pool out to the edges. Or do some stripes.
Do you like the action shot? By this point, SoupAddict’s kitchen was nearly pitch black and this photo was taken with a long exposure. The ambient light is coming from waaay out in SoupAddict’s front yard, but did little to help SoupAddict see what she was doing, as you can tell from the crazy squiggles. The photo, however, looks like a bright light was sitting right there. Photography’s funny.
Kitchen’s still dark. But the cake is all finished. And SoupAddict can guarantee that by later that night, the cake was really finished. [nom nom]
Oh, World Nutella Day. You’re such a bright spot in this winter-saturated February.
Nutella Mousse Cake
For the crust:
6 whole graham crackers, broken into pieces
3/4 cup hazelnuts, husks removed
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons Frangelico liqueur
For the mousse:
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (from a 1/4-oz envelope)
3 tablespoons Frangelico liqueur
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 cup mascarpone
1 cup chilled heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3 tablespoons sugar
For the ganache:
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 oz. dark chocolate, chopped (if you can find it, substitute half of the dark chocolate with gianduia chocolate)
This recipe will fill a 6″ springform pan (serving 3-4 people) or an 8″ springform pan (cake will be a little flatter). For a 9″ springform pan, increase all the ingredients of the recipe by 1.5 times.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter the springform pan. Pulse graham crackers, hazelnuts and brown sugar in processor until finely ground. Add butter and Frangelico and continue processing until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and partially up the sides of prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool on rack.
Sprinkle gelatin over Frangelico in a small heavy saucepan and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Heat gelatin mixture over low heat, stirring, just until gelatin is melted, about 2 minutes. Whisk in chocolate hazelnut spread until spread is softened and thoroughly combined with Frangelico/gelatin. Remove from heat.
Whisk together mascarpone and chocolate hazelnut mixture in a large bowl. Beat together cream, cocoa powder, and sugar in another large bowl with an electric mixer or in a stand mixer at low speed until just combined, then increase speed to high and beat until cream holds soft peaks. Whisk one third of whipped cream into Nutella mixture to lighten, then gently fold in remaining whipped cream until well combined. Spoon filling onto hazelnut base in pan, gently smoothing the top, then chill, covered, at least 3 hours.
Towards the end of the refrigeration period, prepare the ganache. Heat the cream in the microwave until very hot. Add the chocolate and let site for several minutes. When the chocolate melts, stir to combine thoroughly. Set aside to cool a bit.
When the mousse is set, run a warm, thin knife around the edge of the springform pan to loosen, and then remove the sides. Place the cake (still on the base) on a piece of parchment paper. Either coat the top of the cake with the ganache, or place ganache into a plastic baggie with one corner snipped off to create a small hole. Pipe the ganache over the cake in a design of your choice.
Allow the ganache to set. Use an offset spatula to gently loosen and remove the cake from the springform pan base. Serve immediately, or refrigerate, covered.