When I found out that February 5th is World Nutella Day (or at least it is, according to Sara from Ms. Adventures in Italy and Michelle from Bleeding Espresso), I knew I had to bake something to celebrate. It's great to see so many people enjoying such a delicious chocolate spread! The Nutella phenomenon has spread rapidly in the US over the past 2 decades, and now pretty much every grocery store carries it (Costco even carries an extra -gigantic size bottle; guess where we shop for our Nutella?). Nutella has long been a pantry staple at our house; I can think of at least 10 ways we love to eat Nutella, right off the top of my head:
* Nutella on waffles/crepes/pancakes
* Nutella on sandwich bread
* Nutella and peanut butter on sandwich bread
* Nutella on (or inside!) a croissant
* Nutella and sliced bananas in a tortilla
* Apple slices dipped in Nutella
* Strawberries dipped in Nutella
* Warm Nutella, drizzled into vanilla ice cream
* Warm Nutella, drizzles into plain Greek yogurt
* Plain Nutella, on a spoon!
But for World Nutella Day, I wanted to actually use Nutella in a recipe, so I headed over to the World Nutella Day recipe collection. I noticed that quite a few bakers had tried and enjoyed a recipe for Nutella Swirl Poundcake by Lauren Chattman, so I tried it out. The result is Nutella heaven.
It's a pretty simple recipe, and I made it even simpler with the help of my new BFF, the Kitchen Aid mixer I bought myself as a Christmas present. The recipe has a lot of mixing steps, i.e. mixing the dry ingredients, lightly beating the eggs in another bowl, creaming the butter and sugar in yet another bowl, adding the flour little by little, etc...
I'm too lazy for that, so I just pretty much dumped everything into a single bowl (the Kitchen Aid mixer bowl), poured it into the pan and swirled the Nutella in (note: I did layer the poundcake batter and Nutella because the Nutella is quite heavy, and if you don't do this, it will all sink to the bottom. Even when you do layer, most of the Nutella ends up in the bottom anyway). The cake turned out very dense and buttery, but that seemed to be the general consensus for this recipe anyway. We ate it today with sliced strawberries and a squirt of whipped cream.
If you want to mix the ingredients in the proper way, check out the original directions. Otherwise, do what I did, below. Enjoy!
Nutella Swirl Poundcake
(adapted from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman, Taunton Press 2009)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
One 13-ounce jar Nutella
1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Lightly grease and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, tapping out any excess flour.
2. Dump wet ingredients into Kitchen Aid standing mixer and mix for 1 minute on medium speed.
3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix for 1 minute on medium-low speed.
4. Spread one-third of the batter in the prepared pan, then spread half of the Nutella on top. Repeat with another third of the batter and the remaining Nutella. Top with the remaining batter. Lightly swirl the Nutella into the batter with a butter knife. Do not overmix.
5. Bake the cake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto a wire rack, turn it right side up and let cool completely, about 2 hours. Cut the cake into slices and serve.
Hungry for more? Check out the hundreds of Nutella recipes compiled by Sara from Ms. Adventures in Italy and Michelle from Bleeding Espresso, co-hosts of World Nutella Day. If baking isn't your thing but you just like to drool over photos of Nutella dishes, check out the World Nutella Day Flickr Pool.