I know some of you may have thought that I have gone AWOL with my baking, seeing that I haven't done anything for a couple months, but between going to a couple funerals out of town and being gone on another away rotation with my hubby for med school, baking kind of fell by the wayside. I am back, now, and am excited for some projects that I have coming up.
I finished this one for a special evening last night. It was the General Relief Society broadcast, and our stake (several church congregation groups together) had a dinner beforehand. The stake Relief Society presidency asked several ladies to bring in pedestal cakes for dessert, and I was so excited to make this one for it. It gave me a chance to try out a couple things I have been wanting to make: fondant ribbon roses and nutella-inspired recipes.
So I have made the very real looking fondant/gumpaste roses before--I really do love doing them, but they are kind of time consuming. This time I wanted to try these little beauties, and let me tell you, I am in love with them. Why? They are so EASY to make.
All you have to do is roll out gumpaste or fondant/gumtex mixture thinly (I used the 1/16th guide on my roller) and cut a 1" x 6" rectangle. Then simply start rolling it up at one end and make little pleats on the bottom as you roll. This causes the pretty ruffling at the top. After it is rolled up, cut off a little from the bottom so it is flat and can stand upright to dry. Voila! Beautiful roses in a fraction of the time.
As for my Nutella/hazelnut obsession? Well that stems from 2 trips I've taken--one to Paris where I ate Nutella and banana crepes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 2 days straight, and the other to Venice where I had this to-die-for chocolate hazelnut gelato (I would go back to Venice just to taste this gelato again, it was that good). I have been thinking about those trips recently and have had this gigantic craving for chocolate-hazelnut anything. That is why I tried this cake.
I first made Mel's Kitchen Cafe's Best Chocolate Cake recipe (and yes, it is one of the best I've made--moist and yummy), and filled it with a variation of a Nutella Mousse recipe I found online here. Wow. That mousse is something else. Just forget the cake and give me a spoon and a bowl full of that to eat and I'll be in heaven. My variation is posted at the end of this post (just adding in extra Nutella).
(and if you are wondering about what I iced the cake with--I made up that Amaretto Truffle Icing recipe I made earlier, but substituted 1/4 cup of the butter with about 1/3 cup of Nutella, the almond extract with vanilla, and added a few tablespoons of milk. All in all it was good--not the best, but definitely good; I just wish I could have tasted the hazelnut flavor more--has anyone seen hazelnut extract in the store? That would definitely help)
I was so happy with the final product, and the evening it was for was wonderful, both the dinner and dessert beforehand, and the broadcast we watched after. I am so looking forward to listening to General Conference this coming weekend. If you have never heard of it, I completely recommend listening in. This is held twice a year and is where the Prophet and Apostles of Jesus Christ, speak to us and give us council, advice, and support. I know you won't be disappointed.
Hazelnut Mousse Recipe
1 pkg cream cheese--softened
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2-3 T honey
1/2 cup sugar, divided
3/4 cup Nutella, melted
Beat the whipping cream and 1/4 cup of sugar in a stand mixture until the cream become fairly stiff. Transfer to another bowl.
Next beat the cream cheese and other 1/4 cup of sugar together until creamy. Add honey to your desired sweetness and mix. Microwave the Nutella for about 30 seconds, then add this to the cream cheese mixture and combine well.
Carefully fold in the whipping cream to the cream cheese mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until the mousse sets up.