Easter Nest Cake

9 April 2012

Post image for Easter Nest Cake

This is a cake which I love to make when we have guests over, and this extra-chocolatey version is a favourite at Easter.

The recipe is based on the Chocolate Cloud Cake from Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Bites which has the inclusion of Cointreau for a liqueur kick and is simply decorated with whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder. But Nigella also offers an Easter version in her book, Feast, a child-friendly version whereby the alcohol is replaced with vanilla, the cake is swathed in a decadent chocolate cream, and this elegant concoction is then adorned with pastel-coloured, sugar-coated chocolate Easter eggs.

Whether you are making the original or Easter version, this is the perfect cake to make for anyone who has a gluten intolerance as it does not contain any flour. The absence of flour also guarantees that the cake will be tender and moist within, rich with chocolate flavour. The chocolate intensity of the cake depends much on the type of chocolate that you use. Nigella specifies using “best quality dark chocolate” which I interpret as meaning chocolate with minimum 70% cocoa solids, but I think 60% and upwards is fine (I used 68%). The dark chocolate might not sound kid-friendly but there is also sugar in the batter to sweeten things a bit.

This cake also happens to be perfect for entertaining as it can be made the night before serving, remaining moist and even improving during this time. The cream can be whipped in advance and kept in the fridge and spread onto the cake just before serving, but as this is a relatively quick and easy task, I often do this in the moments before serving.

When making the chocolate cream, make sure that the melted chocolate has not cooled too much, otherwise it will seize upon making contact with the cream and will not incorporate properly. The time taken to whip the cream just after you have removed the melted chocolate from the heat should be sufficient.

And owing to the cream topping, you should keep any leftover cake in the fridge.

If you can’t find sugar-coated Easter eggs where you live (I used Cadbury’s brand which I picked up on a recent work trip to the US), some raspberries or chopped strawberries would look just as welcoming. Be prepared for second helpings.

 

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Julia Levy 9 April 2012 at 8:01 pm

Ahhhh, just when (sadly) Easter is winding to a close, Easter Monday is nearly over, and our eggs and hxb have been greedily enjoyed you post this and give me just the extra easter boost I need, how lovely and kind you are!! Now you say that you make this cake when you have guests, can I hope you’ve had a lovely friend filled easter with people to share this gorgeous decadence with? I do hope so and if you have they’re lucky lucky people.,

I’ve not made this cake yet but you inspired me with the raspberry or strawberry idea. We have a big dinner coming up for parents and their friends and I’ve been tossing ideas back and forth for dessert (being so near bakewell i was thinking Nigella’s cranberry bakewell tart from HTE) but suddenly I’m thinking proudly presenting this beauty ablaze with berries, so beautiful.

Another beautiful inspiring post and not least because of your stunning photos.

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eat, little bird 9 April 2012 at 9:07 pm

Julia, you are so lovely :-) I made this cake yesterday for when we had some friends over for afternoon tea. I think I’m guilty of overloading their little boy with too much chocolate – he was possibly on a sugar high by the time they left our place! Our friends really enjoyed this cake and I made sure they took a few slices home with them :-)

I’m surprised that you’ve never made this cake! I think you will love it – it’s easy to prepare and always impresses. I’ve made the Chocolate Cloud Cake a few times and have decorated it with raspberries on top of the whipped cream. But raspberries with chocolate cream would be even more decadent! Please let me know what you end up making … I’m curious about the Cranberry Bakewell Tart because that’s something I’ve always wanted to try but have never made.

I hope you have had a lovely Easter this year – I know from your FB page that you have certainly been eating well :-)

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Me and My Sweets 10 April 2012 at 12:43 am

Hi,

WOW! What a cake! Looks irresistable! :-P
I just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the versatile blogger award. Check out my post to nominate the bloggers that you follow and enjoy. Take care

Johanna
http://www.meandmysweets.blogspot.com

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eat, little bird 10 April 2012 at 5:16 pm

Oh thank you, Johanna! That is so sweet of you to pass this award to me :-) Tack så mycket!

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Jennifer (Delicieux) 10 April 2012 at 6:57 am

What a gorgeous Easter cake! I love the egg topping, such a gorgeous way to decorate it. I love the raspberry idea too. I have yet to try Nigella’s Cloud Cake, but I will soon thanks to your recommendation. I always adore Nigella’s recipes, especially anything chocolate.

Happy belated Easter!

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eat, little bird 10 April 2012 at 5:19 pm

Happy belated to Easter to you, also!I love this Easter version mainly because of the Easter egg decoration, but I have to admit that it makes slicing the cake a bit difficult, LOL! Nigella’s Chocolate Cloud Cake remains one of my most repeated recipes and I hope you will get a chance to try it soon :-)

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Jo 10 April 2012 at 7:34 am

I love this cake Thanh, and all it’s variations! I’ve made one laced with Chambord and decorated with raspberries and more Chambord whipped into the cream, one with pears, a coffee one. Gawd I lurve Nigella’s cloud cakes! Genius recipe made to tweak & personalise. Your eggies look positively psychedelic in this piccie too – American ones must have more food colouring than ours which are much paler pastels!

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eat, little bird 10 April 2012 at 5:28 pm

Wow, you really have experimented a lot with this cake! I have to say that I have also changed the liqueur here and there, depending on what dishes I had served beforehand. I’m glad that you’ve also tried it with raspberries – it’s such a classic combination with chocolate.

And I didn’t notice that the eggs were brighter in colour! I’ve just looked at photos of the same cake I made last Easter using eggs which I bought in the UK and the pink is much paler … These Cadbury’s Easter eggs are made in the US by Hershey’s under licence, something which I quickly identified upon eating them as I find Hershey’s chocolate has a distinct taste and sweetness.

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manu 10 April 2012 at 8:11 am

This is so cute!!!
HAppy Easter!

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eat, little bird 10 April 2012 at 5:29 pm

Thanks, manu! Happy belated Easter to you as well!

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Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen 10 April 2012 at 8:54 am

That is one cake i can have to myself! and can be made ahead?! done!

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eat, little bird 10 April 2012 at 5:40 pm

This cake can absolutely be made ahead of time, and be even better for it :-)

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The Food Sage 11 April 2012 at 12:55 pm

Great looking cake. Shame Easter is over, but then again …

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eat, little bird 11 April 2012 at 12:57 pm

Well I only managed to sneak this cake into Easter … I missed out on making hot cross buns and all the rest. But as you say … ;-)

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Anita Menon 11 April 2012 at 9:09 pm

Happy Easter. The cake looks so beautiful.

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Heather 16 April 2012 at 5:33 pm

Absolutely perfect. I love those little mini eggs, although highly addictive.

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eat, little bird 18 April 2012 at 9:36 pm

Oh I agree but, luckily, we only indulge once a year at Easter :-) Now if only I could find sugar-coated dark chocolate eggs …

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rachelle 29 March 2013 at 11:59 am

I made this yesterday for a lunch today.

It was amazing and one of the best chocolate cakes I had. I made the original Nigella cloud cake recipe with Cointreau and orange in the base, followed by the above for the topping layer adding a further dash of Cointreau rather than vanilla to the topping. I made a layer of white chocolate curls in the nest and added milk chocolate easter eggs.

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eat, little bird 29 March 2013 at 4:31 pm

Hi Rachelle,
Thank you for your comment. I love how you decorated this cake – white chocolate curls with milk chocolate eggs sounds so lovely! As the sugar-coated eggs are hard to come by where I live, I think your idea is a beautiful alternative. Thanks for sharing!

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