Monday, January 16, 2012

Nutella Pound Cake

The past two posts would make you think we abandoned our baking mission for nails...fear not! We spent the weekend busy baking and here's the first of the goodies we attempted! 

While on one of my recipe click sessions, I (Stoof) came across a Nutella pound cake recipe I thought would be my debut project as a Double 00h.
Pound cake has to be one of our favorites, it's a nice buttery and moist cake and doesn't need icing to be good . The version I came across had an espresso glaze (here) , but the cake was so delish, incorporating it was unecessary. I do recommend a scoop of plain vanilla (good quality or home made* only please) or an ice cold glass of milk. If you want to add a standard glaze you can always mix confectioners sugar and milk (add milk a tablespoon at a time to a ½ cup of confectioners sugar until you reach your desired consistency). Here we go!

You'll need the following:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
One 13 ounce jar of Nutella

**For optional glaze: 1/2 cup confectioners sugar and 1 to 3 tablespoons milk  - or -  1 to 3 tablespoons prepared instant espresso 

  1. Position oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°.

  2. Lightly grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and line bottom with a rectangle of parchment paper. (I like to sit the loaf pan onto the parchment, trace with a pencil then cut and it should be a perfect fit) Grease paper and dust entire pan with flour, tapping out any excess.
    (Greased, parchment lined and flour dusted 9 x 5 loaf pan)
3. In a small bowl or measuring cup, lightly beat the eggs with the vanilla.

4. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

5. Cream the butter with the sugar on medium speed with mixer, until pale and fluffy.
(mix about 3 minutes)

6. On medium-low speed, gradually beat in the egg mixture until fully incorporated (add 1/4 mixture at a time).

7. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, beating at low speed between additions until just incorporated. You don't want a flour explosion! Continue to beat for 30 seconds longer. Scrape sides and beat for an additional 30 seconds.

8. 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 or skewer, but don't mix together. I did figure 8's.

9. Bake the cake for about 1 hour undisturbed. Test with toothpick. Insert in center of cake, it should come out clean. You may need an additional 10 minutes depending on your oven. My total time was one hour 20 minutes. (When I make this again I will lower my rack one level. But that's just my oven.)

**Note:    If you do want the espresso glaze, just substitute the milk with espresso (instant espresso, follow directions on jar).  Add one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached** 
(add milk or espresso a teaspoon at a time)

10. Let the cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Using a thin knife, loosen the sides of the cake from the pan, then invert the cake onto a wire rack, but carefully turn it right side up and let cool completely, about 2 hours.
**Note: My testers would not wait the allotted cooling time, so we had this piping hot.  It was delicious and I highly recommend popping any leftovers in the microwave and making it a la mode!**

(warm gooey goodness)

Cut the cake into slices and serve. Wrap any left overs.

I was very pleased with this recipe! It's impressive without being a hassle.  I thought that the Nutella tasted more chocolaty than nutty when baked. This would be great to slice and wrap in wax paper to bring to work, to a friend or to surprise your honey after dinner or you know, eat it for dinner! ;) 

Ok, Let's hear what Goober thought, I know she's not a huge Nutella fan, so.........

Imagine combining a delicious warm chocolate chip cookie with pound cake...that's what this tasted like. The extended baking time gave the cake a fantastic crust which added just enough crunch to the gooey chocolatey center. It was great... I may or may not have eaten a massive chunk for breakfast (what a fantastic hangover aid!!). We'll def be trying this one again! Happy baking!

xo - Stoof & Goober

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