chocolate PB nutella cake

DISCLAIMER:

This is not health food.

This is not weight loss-friendly, it’s not kind to your swimsuit figure and it definitely won’t aid you in those skinny jeans.

It is pure decadence. It’s the kind of food that makes you want to eat a salad for every meal until the end of time, just so that you can eat a slice of this incredibly rich cake and not feel guilty.

Sometimes you need this kind of food. And there is a way to justify it: the end result is so rich (almost too rich) that just a tiny sliver will satisfy you.

Until you eat some more within the next hour.

It’s an easy cake though. Steps are as follows:

chocolate PB nutella cake 

1. Make your favorite brownie mix. Mine is my grandmother’s recipe, it involves sifting and melting chocolate over a double boiler. It’s great. Add peanut butter chips, or Reese’s Pieces, to the batter – because why not?

Bake the brownies in a sheet cake pan. This will make a very, veeeery thin end result, so make sure you spray the pan liberally with baking spray.

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2. While the brownies are cooking and cooling, whip a carton of heavy whipping cream into, well, whipped cream.

Fold Nutella into it. I used almost the whole jar because why not? Be gentle during this process, but make sure it’s mixed completely.

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3. When the cake cuts out, cut it in half, hamburger-style. Spread the top of one half with your Nutella mixture and stack the halves.

Cut the cake in half again. Trust me. “Frost” and stack again.

Now frost the sides. You’ll have a short and stubby chocolate cake. Four layers of goodness. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour so it can all set – and it should be stored in the fridge, too.

Feel free to get creative with sprinkles. And make sure you have a giant glass of milk on hand when you devour your end result.

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cinnamon buns

It finally feels like fall in the District! It’s cold and cozy, sweater and hot apple cider weather. It’s my favorite kind of weather, because it feels like home, the sort of crisp air that usually means leaves are changing in New England and we’re getting close to the season of snow and pond skating.

It’s also the kind of weather that calls for warm, delicious comfort food- cheesy pasta, hearty soups and piping hot baked goods.

I’d never attempted to make cinnamon buns before, and it ended up being more of a process than I expected. Not that it was hard – this recipe is surprisingly easy – but it’s just a long undertaking.

Lots of rising and rolling and waiting around. I will say that the dough hook on my KitchenAid did all of the kneading for me, and what a lifesaver that was.

I ran into some struggles rolling the dough- it didn’t seem to want to stick together at the end, and my seam was a little uneven.

I gave myself the “first time ever making this” mulligan and accepted that the final product wouldn’t look as perfect as professional bakeries. And I may have run a tiny bit of water between the seam so the dough would stick- I think I added too much flour during kneading, making it less sticky than usual.

I also didn’t have the exact pan called for in the original, so I crammed my rolls into cake pans. The key to baking these is to push them together in the pan so there’s barely any room (the below picture is an unfinished pan). They’ll bake together, but not so close that you can’t pull them apart.

And though eating these – warm, gooey, delicious – is the best part, a close second is how good your apartment will smell during the baking process.

It smells like winter, in the best way possible.

Lastly- don’t skimp on the glaze! I’m not huge on cream cheese frostings, but it makes all of the difference here.

And though these buns will keep for a few days, make sure to heat them gently before eating each time, otherwise they’ll harden and not be as tasty.

In my opinion, straight outta the oven is the way to go.