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nutella pound cake

November 30th, 2011 | 5 Comments »

Pretty fantastic ending….. wouldn’t you agree???

There is a class of food folks that live for dessert. No meal is complete without some amazing sweet at the end of it- a slice of cake, a bowl of ice cream, some creamy gelato, a chewy brownie or a few crisp cookies; there is just no way any good meal is worth it’s weight in gustatory delights without dessert.

I do love something sweet at the end of a meal, but it doesn’t need to be anything very fancy. A cookie or a piece of really good chocolate is sufficient. We don’t have cake around unless it’s a special occasion or I get fixated on bundt cakes, and I can make a slice of banana bread, or sweet potato bread into a delightful ending to a meal. Brownies? Hello! Love them. Still, once I’m through with a wonderful meal, and feel stuffed to the gills with good food, dessert becomes an afterthought.

This Nutella Pound Cake is an amazing dessert. It’s amazing any time of day; with coffee in the morning, with afternoon tea, as a late night snack. It’s perfect because it’s rich, luscious and indulgent, certainly not something out of an ordinary day. Don’t slaughter me…. but I’ve never really been on the whole Nutella bandwagon. I don’t get vapors over the stuff, and once I used part of the jar for this recipe, the rest sat in my fridge and languished, untouched. For more than a month, in fact. This cake was excellent, but it’s a pound cake. Butter. Sugar. What’s not to adore about that? The Nutella was a bonus.

This recipe graced my blog just about two years ago. And I felt it to be a fitting end to National Blog Posting Month, my third go-round of posting every day for November. I’ve shared some good recipes with you, and this one needs another look. It’s that time of year when special treats are brought out, even ones as indulgent as a pound cake with half a jar of Nutella swirled through it.  This would be a wonderful treat to make as a gift, or to bring to work to share with co-workers as  a means of saying ‘Thank you’ for the past year. Share it with family. Bring a loaf to a treasured friend. Make one for a neighbor that needs a boost, or someone who hasn’t got the ability to make themselves a homemade treat. The recipe can be broken down in to smaller loaf pans, perfect for sharing. And any Nutella that’s left in your fridge? Well, I hope yours doesn’t sit for a month, ignored.

Onward in to December!!!!

Nutella Swirl Pound Cake

4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 t. pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 c. unbleached AP flour
3/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 c. butter, softened
1-1/4 c. sugar
1 13-oz jar Nutella spread

Heat oven to 325°. Spray a 9×5 cake pan with cooking spray. Dust with flour. Fill a bowl with hot tap water and place entire jar of Nutella in it to soften. Place the eggs and vanilla in a small bowl and whisk lightly to combine. Blend dry ingredients together in another small bowl.

In a stand mixer, blend the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides at least twice. Turn the mixer to medium-low and add the egg mixture in a steady stream, stopping to scrape down the bowl once or twice. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture, about a half cup at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition. After the last addition, blend the full mixture together for 30 seconds on medium speed. {{Be sure to scrape across the bottom of the mixer bowl too. Lots of stuff gets unmixed down in there.}}

Scrape 1/3 of the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth with a spatula. With a clean spatula, spread half the Nutella on the batter and smooth. Add in another 1/3 of the cake batter, then the remaining Nutella. Spread the last of the cake batter on the top. With a clean butter knife, swirl the batter and Nutella together to create a marbling effect. Don’t overmix the two! {{Kate’s Notes: The ‘spreading’ of the Nutella is impossible; try warming the mixture and drizzling it for ease. And I think the cake would come out better if you DON’T swirl the mixture, but that’s just my thoughts}}

Bake the cake until it’s golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then turn cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely. This cake tastes excellent after spending a night in the refrigerator, wrapped tight in plastic. I don’t know why. But trust me on that. {{Yes, trust us on this; WAY better chilled. As in OMG I could eat the entire thing COLD it’s so good.}}

From Food and Wine magazine, originally by Lauren Chattman, Cake Keeper Cakes




just make this

January 23rd, 2010 | 16 Comments »

It’s not often that I wish something so rich, so decadent and addicting on my readers. Me, of the ‘You should try this quinoa!’ and ‘Have you ever had such amazing black beans!’ and “Ooooh! Soup!‘ posts that gently encourage health through your food and yet when I come across such an incredible recipe for hot fudge sauce, something that takes all of about 10 minutes to make for an indulgent return of gasping through each sultry chocolate-y mouthful, here I am devilishly trying to get you all to break those hard-core resolutions with a spoon and a wink. On top of ice cream, even.

But please do so, if you are so inclined. While I am a firm believer in taking control of one’s health, of making the changes in your body and spirit that give you the wherewithal to pump your fist in the air and shout “YES!” when you step on the scale, or easily slip those old jeans over your hips,  at the same time I also emphatically feel that we can’t achieve our successes when we deprive ourselves of everything in the name of health. Life should be about balance. Enjoy some hot fudge, really enjoy it but not every day and for Pete’s sake, please share it with those you love because that’s what food is all about, isn’t it? The look on their faces when they spoon the first deep dark bite into their mouths and run their tongues over the silky smooth sauce and you’ll be fist-pumping for yet another reason because you totally made someone’s day. Make that one of your resolutions this year too, hmmm?

Decadent Hot Fudge Sauce
(from The Silver Palate Cookbook, with adaptations)

4  1-oz squares unsweetened Bakers Chocolate
3 T. unsalted butter (NO substitutions- be WILD people!)
2/3 c. water
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. light corn syrup
Pinch sea salt
1 T. pure vanilla extract (or get even more crazy and add real rum, cognac, amaretto……you get the idea)

In a small saucepan over very low heat, melt the chocolate and butter together. Do not stir, but occasionally agitate the pan to distribute the heat. Alternately, you can use a double boiler. In another small pan, bring the water to a boil.

When the chocolate is fully melted, pour the boiling water into it, then stir in the sugar and corn syrup. Stir to combine and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat so that it simmers gently, but not violently, and allow to boil for about 10 minutes. You can stir it occasionally, but it’s really not necessary. After 10 minutes, remove it from the heat and stir in the flavoring. Allow to cool for 20 minutes or so, then spoon it over ice cream.

This can be chilled too, and reheated in the microwave. Stir to combine before serving. Enjoy it immensely.