Tag Archives: Nutella

My Attempt at Thundercake

27 Jan

Yesterday evening the DC area got our first real snow storm of the year.  But it wasn’t your average storm, instead we had thundersnow and thundersleet.  The storm moved in quickly, the traffic was horrific, and many areas lost power.  I was one of the few lucky ones to make it through the storm without issue, so I decided to celebrate by making Thundercake.  Well, actually I started off cleaning, then was invited for a glass of wine with one of my apt. friends, then made dinner, and that all led to the thundercake experiment.  

Honestly, what else were we supposed to do while we were snowed in?  This is the story of a cake using some of my favorite flavors and the icing that almost wasn’t. 

Everything started out so simple.  I pulled out a box of leftover spice cake mix, canned pumpkin, nutella, and cream cheese from the fridge.  Most people have these ingredients lying around in a snow storm right?   

Back to the cake.  I followed the box instructions that said to combine the mix with 3 eggs and vegetable oil.  I then mixed it until the ingredients were incorporated and poured the batter into a greased baking dish.

I decided that this spice cake needed a little something extra, so I added 4 tsp of nutella to the batter and ran a knife through the nutella to make a pretty swirl design.

I popped the cake into a 350 degree preheated oven and baked for about 38 minutes.  Now it was time to find a frosting recipe.  I decided to turn to my trusty food network website and found a Rachael Ray recipe for pumpkin cream cheese frosting.  Perfect!  I looked at the recipe and realized I didn’t have everything I needed.  That should have stopped me in my tracks, it didn’t. 

Too late to turn back, I needed frosting stat.  So, I tried to find similar ingredients in my fridge/cupboards and make substitutions.  The recipe called for 8 oz of cream cheese and I only had 4 oz, so I substituted 4 oz of nonfat plain yogurt to get the tang.  Strike 1.

The recipe then said to add 1/2 of a can of pumpkin, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.  I was able to do this correctly, but was lacking an orange to zest, so left this out.  Strike 2.

I was then supposed to beat all of these ingredients together and slowly add 3 and 1/2 cups of powdered sugar to the mix.  I was a 1/2 cup short, but actually this worked out fine because 3 cups was already tooth-achingly sweet.  No strikes there.

Try as I might I could not get my frosting to whip up.  I really needed more cream cheese or yogurt with a higher fat content to thicken it.  So after bringing in RB and G for a cake consult, I decided to add more yogurt and the remaining 1/2 can of pumpkin.  Strike 3. 

This produced what can only be described as sweet orange gloop.  I was about to throw in the frosting towl and settle for boring spice nutella cake on it’s own (I know I’m being overly dramatic but I REALLY wanted frosting).  When my two friends gallantly offered to hit the market in our basement in search of more cream cheese while I resumed pouting over my bowl.

A few quick minutes later I was back in business.  I whipped the new 8 oz container of cream cheese with 1/3 or 1/4 of the sweet orange gloop.  I honestly have no idea how much I poured in and was beyond precise measuments at this time.  To my surprise, this combo made an amazing thick and tangy cream cheese frosting.  Seriously, this stuff was crazy good.  As in we were all scraping the excess out of the mixing bowl after the cake had been iced. 

A true thundercake miracle!  The cake still looked a bit orange and gloopy, but it’s always a good sign when your friends say hurry up and take the picture I want a piece! 

My lessons learned were that it pays to have good friends during a snowstorm, it’s nice to have a market in the basement of your building that is open during said snow storm, and finally, you should always add more cream cheese.

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