First of all I would like to wish my cousin, Taniya, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  This is the least I could do for her since she has been urging me to start a blog for such a long time.  She’s always there for you if you need her and is a great person all around.  Too bad we’re an ocean apart, otherwise we would have a blast on her special day!



I made this Nutella Cake in honor of her birthday.  Everyone loves Nutella, especially me.  It can transform a boring piece of toast into delicious goodness.  I always have it on hand because its smooth, creamy, nutty, heavenly taste is a perfect solution to a girl’s craving for chocolate.  We know all girls love chocolate and its ability to lift our spirits is unmatched!

IMG_8305This cake is based on Nigella Lawson’s recipe from her book, How to be a Domestic Goddess.  Many bloggers have made this cake and its praises are endless.  It’s an absolutely decadent cake reserved for special occasions like birthdays.  It requires a whole jar of Nutella.  Good thing I always have two on hand.  The cake is also flourless, making it luscious and velvety.

Instead of topping it with the ganache that Nigella uses in her recipe I made a Vanilla Buttercream frosting based on the frosting from Magnolia Bakery.  I felt the cake needed a “lighter” topping since the ganache would make the overall taste too sweet.  The creaminess of the frosting is balanced out the intense richness of the cake.

Happy Birthday again to Taniya!  Here are a few messages from a few of us!  (Others feel free to wish her as well). 🙂

Happy Birthday Appa! -Love Henna!

Happy Birthday! -Usman

Happy Birthday Tanya,
With lots of Love and Best Wishes,
Nini Khala

happy birthday, hope it’s fab’ – noni

Happy Birthday!  Love, Ebay

From nuzi : Loads of best wishes!

happy birthday sis!!! hope all your birthday wishes come true and you have a great year. bridget


Nutella Cake

Serves 8

I used this recipe, and it is copied exactly below.  I no longer have a copy of How to be a Domestic Goddess, since my sister stole back the copy I stole from her :).


6 large eggs, separated
pinch salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 13-ounce container Nutellla
1 tablespoon rum (I used pure vanilla extract)
1/2 cup finely ground hazelnuts
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted and
cooled (I used 2 ounces 60% cocoa chocolate chips and 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa mixed with 1 tablespoon of sugar)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; butter a 9-inch springform pan. In a large bowl (preferably metal), whisk the egg whites and salt until stiff. In another bowl, cream the butter and Nutella, then add the rum (vanilla extract), egg yolks, and ground hazelnuts. Fold in melted chocolate mixed with cocoa powder and sugar.  Add a blob of beaten egg whites to the chocolate batter, and mix gently until well-combined. Fold in the remaining whites, one-third at a time, very gently but thoroughly. Pour into springform and bake for 40 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting tester, which should come out mostly clean; lightly pressing finger into top to check for a slight bouncing-back; and observing edges beginning to separate from pan. Let cool completely, in pan, on a rack.

Vanilla Buttercream

adapted from here

1 1/2 sticks of butter

2 1/2-3 cups confectioner’s sugar

1/4 plus 2 tablespoons, milk

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Using an electric mixer cream together butter, half the sugar, milk, and vanilla extract.  After the mixture becomes creamy and fluffy gradually add the rest of the sugar and cream for another 3-5 minutes.  Store at room temperature otherwise the butter will harden.  Frost the  top of the cake and sift on cocoa powder for decoration, optional.