Saturday, 22 November 2014

A Cake and a Meal for a Belated Birthday Celebration

Although we didnt celebrate my sons birthday on the day itself, I still wanted to make him a cake. I love Nutella and when I saw that Matt Preston had a recipe for a flourless Nutella cake that he had showcased on MasterChef Australia, I was rather intrigued. I planted the seed of suggestion in my kids but they didnt seem to enamoured by the thought of a flourless cake. I wasnt too sure either since the recipe called for only two ingredients - Nutella and Eggs.

I tossed about the idea of making him a decadent dessert cake but the more I looked at recipes, the more appealing the idea of the Nutella cake became. I asked The Lovely Wife to get me a bottle of Nutella when she went to the market but didnt check the amount required and told her that a small bottle would be enough. Actually, the small bottle held only 200g of Nutella whereas the recipe called for 240ml. I decided I would just add in some cocoa and also flour as I wanted the cake to be more like a cake rather than a pudding.

I decided I would use self raising flour so that there was some leavening agent.The eggs whipped up beautifully and then I added in some of the Nutella and then the flour and cocoa. The eggs started to deflate rapidly but I put it in to bake nonetheless. It was a disaster!

The cake didnt rise at all and was thick and rubbery. I let it cool and cut out a small piece. It tasted okay but the texture was just too rubbery. My daughter had a bit of a laugh and made a face at me. Was I crushed...

My son had gone to Genting where he had been invited by his friend, Ben's, parents together with 3 other neighbourhood boys to celebrate Ben's birthday. He was due back later that morning. Before he came back, I decided I was going to try the recipe again but this time follow it to a T. I popped round to the local supermarket with my daughter and bought another bottle of Nutella - this time the larger size.

I followed the recipe exactly and this time the volume of the batter was much larger. The eggs didnt deflate much and I spooned it into the pan and allowed it to bake. After 20 minutes, the cake had risen spectacularly. I knew though that it would collapse once it was taken out of the oven as flourless cakes are akin to do. True enough, once it cooled, it collapsed somewhat. I was in a bit of a rush to remove it from the pan and as I did so, some of the sides stuck to the pan.

Flourless Nutella Cake
4 large eggs
240 g Nutella

Preheat oven to 175C, grease 17cm pan and line with baking paper.
Place eggs in the bowl and whisk on high speed for about 6 minutes.
Place Nutella in a bowl, put in microwave for 20 seconds to soften.
Add 1/3 of the eggs mixture at a time into Nutella mixture and getly fold in. Add all egg mixture in.
Pour batter into prepared tin and bake for 20-25 mins.

The cake looked pretty good and I couldnt wait to taste it. I put the cake into the fridge to chill it slightly.

In the afternoon we had to go to Mid Valley to see the dentist as Mike's front tooth filling had come undone. While at Mid Valley, we were tossing up whether to have dinner out or if I should cook and I decided I'd whip up something quick.

We bought some bacon, mushrooms and ham chips for a pasta and I also bought a Baquette. So for dinner, I made a spicy pork pasta and cut up the baguette and served it with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vineger - what my daughter calls my 'special bread sauce!'

This is what I did with the pasta.

Spicy Pork Pasta


1 large Onion
8 cloves garlic
4 rashers back bacon - chopped
2 stalks curry leaves
200g ham chips - chopped
3 birds eye chilli - chopped
3 tomatoes, quartered
200g mushrooms - sliced
100g Basil leaves
1 sachet chilli flakes (dominos pizza flakes)


Mince onion and garlic into a paste then fry together with the birds eye chilli and chilli flakes. Add in the curry leaves and fry till fragrant. Toss in the bacon and ham chips and cook well then add in the mushrooms and cook till tender. Add in the tomatoes and add in a little water. Continue to cook till tomatoes have dissolved. Add in the basil leaves. Then toss in the pasta and serve

The pasta was very well received and it was all wolved down very quickly. I suppose the fact that we were hungry had something to do with it as well!

After dinner, it was time to serve the cake and we were all quite excited waiting to taste it.

The cake was light, almost like a light mousse, but the taste of the Nutella wasnt very strong. It was also rather eggy - both in smell and also taste. I had expected a bit more, especially from all the reviews on the web about this cake. It was nice, but nothing spectacular and as The Lovely Wife put it - "Nothing to write home about."

My son declared it was "The worst birthday cake you've ever made Dads. No offence." He even said that my normal butter cakes were better than this. He was very appreciative of the fact that I made him a cake though but he said that "your own creations are so much nicer."

So an underhanded compliment as my son thinks that my cakes are better than Matt Prestons recipes!

So anyway, a cake is a cake is a cake and I was just happy that I baked a cake to give my son for his birthday albeit being a week late. Happy Birthday once again son! At least the pasta was well liked!

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