Procrasti-baker

I am the queen of procrastination. Papers to write? Loads of laundry waiting on the floor? Two months worth of packing to do? Obviously the most logical thing to do is make a cake.

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Strawberries and Nutella is one of my favorite combinations ever. In my apartment, if someone is eating strawberries you know the jar of Nutella is not far away. When I stumbled upon this glorious Nutella and strawberry cake, I knew my packing/laundry/everything else in the world could wait.

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I was so anxious to make this cake that I refused to waste any time to run to the grocery store. Luckily, I had just about all the ingredients. Buttermilk was the only thing I lacked. After a few seconds on Google, I found an incredibly simple alternative. I added a few drops of fresh squeezed lemon juice to 1/4 cup of milk, let it sit for ten minutes, and stirred before adding to the cake. As easy as that! If you have the buttermilk, feel free to use it. But make sure to keep this simple trick in the back of your mind.

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So what is this packing I keep referring to? As some of you may know, I will be spending my summer in Dublin, Ireland interning with the Restaurant Association of Ireland. Eeeek! Unlike my last summer abroad, this time I will have a kitchen! Although I will be interning 4 days a week and traveling many of the other days, I look forward to continuing to share recipes and stories with you while I’m abroad.

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Now, back to that packing…but only after a slice of cake 🙂

Chocolate, Nutella, and Strawberry Cake

Adapted from: The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Yields: 1 single layer cake – but feel free to double or triple!

Ingredients:

Cake:

1 stick unsalted butter

2 heaping tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup boiling water

1/4 cup milk + a few drops of lemon juice (or 1/4 cup buttermilk)

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

pinch of salt

Toppings:

1/2 cup Nutella

1 cup strawberries – washed, dried, and sliced

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup powdered sugar

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a round baking pan with parchment paper and then spray with non-stick spray.

2. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and mix until incorporated. Add the boiling water and stir the mixture constantly for 20 – 30 seconds. Remove chocolate mixture from heat.

3. In a small bowl, mix the milk and lemon juice (or buttermilk), baking soda, vanilla, and egg. Set aside.

4. In a large bowl, gently stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the chocolate mixture. Stir until half-way incorporated. Add the buttermilk mixture, stir until fully incorporated.

5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until the cake looks set in the middle. Allow cake to cool completely on cooling wrack.

6. In a separate bowl, mix the strawberries, sugar, and vanilla. Allow to sit in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. Strain strawberries of excess juice.

7. Using a stand mixture or handheld mixture, beat whipping cream and powdered sugar on high-speed for 4-6 minutes, or until the cream thickens.

8. To assemble: Place cooled cake on serving platter. Spread Nutella on top. Spread whipped cream on top of Nutella. Ladle strawberries on top. Serve within an hour of assembly. Enjoy!

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Happy Baking!

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