Hazelnut marshmallow fudge cake

Living in a hostel during my college days, I was perpetually hungry. Food in the mess was so tasteless, most of us spent the greater part of our pocket money in the canteen. Not that the food in the canteen was any better.

Hostel residents used to look forward to getting food parcels from home. Girls from Kerala would get parcels filled with all kinds of pickles, banana chips, diamond cuts, cake, cookies and coconut chutney powder. If you were a friend of one of these parcel recipients, they would be kind enough to share it with you.

My parents would send me a parcel once a year. From the time they posted it, my friends and I would eagerly wait for it to arrive. And when it finally did, its appearance would give us all a shock - a once sturdy cardboard box lined with corrugated sheets would be reduced to a shapeless lump of edges and corners. Did it really come by air or did it roll all the way to Madras? Well, we didn't care as long as the contents inside were safe.

There was always Mum's home made biscuits. She had a biscuit press and a fantastic biscuit recipe. My dad's packing was so good that not one of those biscuits would break during the journey. Then there would be Mum's chocolate cake which she would bake in a Danish butter cookie tin because the tins had lids. Just opening the tin would evoke oohs and aahs from the assembled group as the smell of chocolate would waft up through the air.

Then there would be a few local treats like love letters - thin crispy biscuits and most of them broken. Not a problem for us, a spoon would materialise and we would scoop up the crumbs and relish the taste of the coconutty flakes. A few packs of soup powder, Milo sachets, condensed milk sachets.... What I looked forward to the most would be a couple of bags of marshmallows...

I had a packet of tiny marshmallows in my store cupboard and have been hunting high and low for a recipe. And then I found this one. The recipe was quite similar to a recipe for a chocolate sheet cake with frosting that I have been using so I had a good idea of how the cake would turn out. For a twist to the taste,  I have incorporated hazelnut paste into the frosting, and made a few changes to the original recipe. I do not like using a measuring cup unless strictly necessary so I have converted most of the measurements to metric. This cake is baked in an 8" square pan.

Hazelnut Marshmallow Fudge Cake

240 ml water
180 gm flour
30 gm cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
300 gm sugar
125 gm soft butter
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
1/4 cup yoghurt
2 eggs

55 ml milk
15 gm cocoa
300 gm icing sugar, sifted
80 ml soft butter
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
50 gm hazelnut paste (or Nutella)
1 heaped cup mini marshmallows (or cut regular sized ones into quarters)

Heat oven to 180°C. 
Bring water to a boil in a saucepan.
Grease an 8" square cake pan.
Sift flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder into a mixing bowl.
Add in the sugar and butter, then the boiling water.
Beat with electric beaters for a minute, add in vanilla paste, yoghurt and the eggs.
Beat again for another minute, pour into the prepared cake pan.
Bake for about 30 minutes.
About 5 minutes before the cake is done, make the frosting.
Bring milk to a simmer, remove from heat and whisk in cocoa.
Add icing sugar in batches, stirring till it is smooth.
Add in butter, vanilla paste and hazelnut paste (or Nutella).
Add in the marshmallows.
Take the cake out of the oven and pour the topping over.
Make sure the entire top surface of the cake is covered by the frosting.
Allow the cake to cool for half a day (as if such a thing is possible!) to set the frosting.


  1. Thats one good piece of cake. Booked for sept. showcase.


  2. Truly a good read and it evoked a lot of memories from my hostel days as well.
    When we were in Kuwait,Mummy didn't have cake tins those days, neither did she have parchment paper-she used those Danish Butter Cookie tins and our school brown paper to line her tins...she also made diamond cuts for us and I loved making those diamond shapes for her...very beautifully written SK...will try this one of these days. Mummy used to send me Chicken pickle in such a huge container thru anybody coming dwn from Kuwait and I would have to pick it from TVM Airport...OMG! the best thing a girl could get when living in the hostel back in the eighties! A beautifully written flashback :)Thks for sharing!- The Inconsistent Chef

  3. These were the things that sustained us. How much our parents would have missed us when we left home for higher studies. And I'm sure those food parcels were their way of telling us this. Glad we have these memories, TIC.


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