Did You Try Making: Giulia Mule’s Cocoa Hazelnut Cake
After growing up in Rome and armed with a communications degree, Giulia Mulè, moved to London in 2006 where she took up a role in advertising and continued to feed her interests in photography, writing and cooking on her blog, Mondomulia. Giulia’s recipe for a Cocoa Hazelnut Cake with Strawberry Whipped Cream was featured in Issue 04 of Countlan magazine. Below, we find out more about Giulia’s cake, her blog and tips when visiting London.
INTERVIEW: Giulia Mulè // Mondomulia blog // London, UK
01 Why did you start blogging?
Mondomulia is a food, photography and travel blog. I post reviews and photos of restaurant & cafés in London and abroad, I prepare and photograph recipes (mostly baking) and share photos of my travels. I’ve always had a passion for photography, but in the past few years I grew an interest towards food and I decided to develop this passion by posting photos regularly on a blog. I wanted to create a personal space where I could share my eating and cooking experiences. I love working on my blog, as it allows me to practice my photography, my writing and cooking skills.
02 Why did you choose the Cocoa Hazelnut Cake with Strawberry Whipped Cream as a summer recipe?
When I think of summer, I remember how my mum would prepare bowls of fresh strawberries covered with whipped cream. So I wanted to use these ingredients for a cake and recreate those flavours. I recently traveled to Copenhagen where I tasted a hazelnut cupcake with strawberry mousse; That’s where the idea came from.
03 Do you have any entertaining traditions in your family?
During the summer my mum makes a lot of jam using the fruit from the trees in our garden or from the fruit trees of friends. My dad is in charge of washing and cleaning the fruit while my mum does the cooking. There is always so much fruit, the whole preparation goes on for days. The same division of work is followed for the preparation of Limoncello, a lemon liquor typical of Italy. In case you were wondering, I just do the eating and drinking!
04 If someone were to visit London, where would you recommend dining?
I have a passion for independent coffee shops and my favourite is Workshop Coffee in Clerkenwell, which is also an area full of amazing restaurants. Because my husband comes from Mumbai, we rely on Roti Chai in Marylebone to eat Indian street food. And whenever I want to eat a good pizza, I go to Franco Manca in Brixton, where they use slow-rising sourdough, fresh mozzarella and tomatoes from Italy.
05 Who are your food “idols”?
I don’t watch cookery shows, so none of the celebrity chefs inspire my cooking. For me food is a family affair and cooking is an art passed down through generations. My mum and my grandma are my food “idols” and everything I know, I owe it to them. I often call my mum to ask for a recipe or questions about something I am cooking.
06 If you could invite three people to dinner, who would they be and why?
I would try to invite a mix of people with different expertise in order to keep the conversation interesting: Italian singer Jovanotti, to chat about his music and travels, and because he would enjoy my Italian food; British actor and rapper Riz Ahmed, to talk about movies and for a freestyle rap session with Jovanotti; my grandma, Nonna Etta, because she is the most amazing and inspiring person in the world and she would entertain the other guests, while I am busy preparing the dinner.
Photo Source: Mondomulia
Recipe: COCOA HAZELNUT CAKE WITH STRAWBERRY WHIPPED CREAM
Strawberries are synonymous with summer as they are the first fruits to ripen around May/June, kick-starting the season. They are best eaten out of hand, or simply mixed with sugar and fresh orange juice in a fruit salad. They also make great additions to ice-creams and cakes.
For the sponge cake:
180g unsalted butter, softened
130g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
60g hazelnut butter
180g plain flour
60g unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
For the cream:
140g double cream
50g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 160 ºC. Butter and flour a 20 cm round cake tin.
Chop the walnuts and hazelnuts coarsely in a food processor. Combine the butter, sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time
Add the hazelnut paste and mix until incorporated and without lumps. In a medium bowl, sift the flour and cocoa powder, then add the baking powder and salt. Gradually add the dry mixture into the cake mix. Fold in the chopped nuts. Pour the batter into the cake tin. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. Let the cake cool 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and let cool completely on a wire rack. Clean the strawberries and whizz them to a purée (sweeten with a teaspoon of honey if needed).
Whip the double cream with an electric mixer until almost stiff. Add sugar and vanilla extract; beat until the cream holds peaks. Fold in the strawberry purée. Place the cream in the fridge for 10 minutes. When the cake has cooled down completed, spread the whipped cream over top. Decorate with fresh berries.
Other Recipes with Cocoa
- Dulces Bocados: Hazelnut Financiers with Mango Jam and Cocoa
- Everything is Poetry: Cocoa Pancakes
- Uproot from Oregon: Banana Ice Cream Bon Bons
- Wishful Chef: Cinnamon and Cocoa Party Popcorn
- La Couronne: Mexican Chocolate Dipped and Spiced Marshmallows
- Butterlust: Salt & Pepper Cocoa Shortbread Cookies