Sometime on or around July 9th, I received a fairly large package from Lyns on my doorstep. I knew she was sending me something, I just wasn’t sure what. I expected more cupcake materials; liners, sprinkles, etc. Lyns always spoils me. But when I opened it, I saw this: a Fred Cakewich silicone bake pan! Immediately, I knew what I was going to use it for- I was going to make a giant Nutella sangwich, better known as a “sandwich” to those of you not Dane Cook fans or residing in NY… or in this case- cakewich. It was a pretty nifty early birthday present!
“Oh hi. I’m Nutella. I’m incredibly rich & delicious. And you are…?”
Nutella is a hazelnut spread that’s pretty popular in Italian households. I never personally knew anyone of Italian descent who didn’t love Nutella (except for Brianne, who has never even tried it!). When I was a kid, another kid in my class used to bring Nutella sandwiches (Nutella spread in between two pieces of Wonder bread) to school for lunch, and everyone made fun of it, asking why his mom made him a “chocolate sandwich.” But he was a dick anyway, so nobody cares that he was made fun of. Anyway Nutella originated thanks to an Italian pastry maker, Mr. Ferrero, in 1946. It’s a mixture of hazelnut, cocoa and skim milk. It’s delicious right out of the jar, on croissants, on plain old white bread,cookies, in frosting, etc. Anything you can imagine using it for, it’s always delicious. How could it not be!
Gianduja is a type of chocolate analogue containing approximately 50% almond and hazelnut paste. It was developed in Piedmont, Italy, after taxes on cocoa beans hindered the diffusion of conventional chocolate.
Pietro Ferrero, who owned a patisserie in Alba, in the Langhe district of Piedmont, an area known for the production of hazelnuts, sold an initial batch of 300 kilograms (660 lb) of “Pasta Gianduja” in 1946. This was originally a solid block, but in 1949, Pietro started to sell a creamy version in 1951 as “Supercrema”.
In 1963, Pietro’s son Michele revamped Supercrema with the intention of marketing it across Europe. Its composition was modified and it was renamed “Nutella.” The first jar of Nutella left the Ferrero factory in Alba on 20 April 1964. The product was an instant success and remains widely popular. The estimated Italian production of Nutella averages 179,000 tons per year.
Nutella is a modified form of gianduja. The exact recipe is a secret closely guarded by Ferrero. According to the product label, the main ingredients of Nutella are sugar and vegetable oils, followed by hazelnut, cocoa solids and skimmed milk, which together comprise at most 29% of the ingredients. Nutella is marketed as “hazelnut cream” in many countries. Under Italian law, it cannot be labeled as a chocolate cream, as it does not meet minimum cocoa solids concentration criteria.
It’s pretty delicious. So I figured, why not make a huge “sandwich” with it, except instead of bread, just use pound cake! The recipe for this particular cake is on the box that the cake pan comes in, and it bakes perfectly, brown on the outside, white on the inside. Here’s yer Nutella sangwich, everyone. Come & get it!..
FRED’S FAMOUS POUND CAKE (aka the “bread” in the sandwich)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into dry measuring cup and level off)
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 6 large egg whites
- ¾ cup milk
- Set rack at the middle level and preheat oven to 315° degrees F.
- Grease and flour the inner bottom surface of the Cakewich pan.
- Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, mixing well with a whisk.
- Whisk together the egg whites and milk by hand until just combined.
- In a heavy-duty mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla and beat vigorously.
- Reduce speed to low, and add one-quarter of the flour mixture, then one-third of the milk mixture, mixing until just combined, scraping down the bowl and beater after each addition. Repeat until all ingredients are just combined.
- Scrape the bowl well with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the Cakewich pan and smooth the top.
- Bake for about 60-70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean.
- Cool the cake in the pan on a cooling rack for one hour. Then unmold to finish cooling.
After it was completely cool, I sliced the “dome” off using a Wilton cake leveler (if you don’t have one of these and you bake cakes a lot, you need to get one). I then adjusted the wire to the proper level to cut the cake entirely in half. Then I spread the Nutella over the first layer of cake evenly, making sure it was thick enough all over, using an offset spatula. Then I put the second half of the cake on top, and cut the entire thing in half like a sandwich. Ta-da! It was so good I can’t even verbalize it. Just delectable. I ate way too much of it.
Seriously… does that NOT look like a sandwich?
But it ain’t! It’s a cake! A 2.5″ high cake… or CAKEWICH!
You could also make it a PB&J sandwich. Just make a peanut butter buttercream, spread it over the first layer of cake, then top that with a fruit jelly of your choice, slightly warmed to room temperature. Then put the top cake layer on. Again, ta-da! Jay doesn’t like Nutella so he’s requested I remake it PB&J style for him. And I certainly will. It was a super easy and super fun cake to make. Just mix it, pop it in the pan, and go watch True Blood until the timer goes off. Then take it out, let it cool for another hour while you watch more True Blood, and then start assembly, which is even more easy. And yet it looks awesomely impressive. Another option is to do a cheese/fruit version- maybe a cream cheese frosting and a berry jam or fruit puree? It’s up to you. I’m not much of a berry or jam person, so for me, Nutella is the way to go. Though I’m thinking next time maybe a Nutella/Fluff combination, or a peanut butter frosting/Fluff combo. How awesome does THAT sound?
I was amazed at how much it really looked like giant slices of bread. This is a great idea for a kid’s birthday party or school party. I bet kids would get a big kick out of this. Well, I mean, I did. And the cake is pretty good on it’s own too, I know… ’cause I ate the top that was sliced off. Stop judging me. You probably would too. I’m sure the cake recipe could be used in a regular pan as well, the cooking time would have to be adjusted however, because silicone bakes at a different rate/temperature than metal or glass bakeware. My cake was 2.5 inches high because I cut a lot off the top. If you cut off less, you’ll get a thicker cake, obviously. You could probably get two cakes out of it if you cut the “bread” thinner. All I know is, Fred needs to make these pans cupcake size. Teeny little cakewiches… that would be so cute my head would explode.
If you’ve never gone to Sweet Cuppin’ Cakes Bakery & Cupcakery Supplies to buy stuff, then go now. They have amazing things like this cake pan, silicone tea cups to make “tea cupcakes”, a chef’s knife with “blood” on it (the “Evidence” Knife- you’ve gotta see it to understand) not to mention gorgeous, excellent quality cupcake liners, cupcake boxes & packaging and Nielsen-Massey extracts. Plus a ton of other stuff. Thank you, Lyns, for being awesome & providing me with incredible stuff that makes me look like an awesome baker/decorator *wink*