Sunday, November 15, 2009

Adventures in Baking Part 3

The one of the really cool things about the foodie blog world is discovering intriguing recipes on other sites.  I like to check out the forum on the Foodie BlogRoll because you get the bloggers introducing themselves and sharing a little bit about their blogs.  I've found a couple that I follow now there.  One of the ones that I recently found and started following is One Couple's Kitchen.  They shared a recipe from Food + Wine for a Nutella-Swirl Pound Cake.

I became a fan of Nutella in Italy when I was an exchange student back in 1991.  I remember how excited I was when I found it for the first time at Fresh Market in Hickory.  Back then, I'd put it on bread or cookies.  I've never cooked with it, and when I stumbled across the recipe, I was probably as excited as I was that day when I saw Nutella at Fresh Market.  Nowadays, you can get it at any grocery store, thankfully.  It's been a while since I've had any, and with another SNA Bake Sale on Monday, I decided that it was a perfect excuse to try it out.  If I had found it a day earlier, I probably would've made it for the bake sale that the women of my church has with our annual barbecue this weekend! (I made Ghiradelli brownies...of course!) I like how SNA Bake Sales have become my excuse to try to improve my baking skills.  I will definitely miss it (and need to come up with a new excuse) now that my final semester in nursing school is almost over.  I've never made a pound cake before, but they were always present at all holiday get-togethers when I was growing up.  My Aunt Mary Gordon used to always make them, and like my Aunt Mable's macaroni and cheese, I will equate them of Thanksgivings and Christmases in Shelby, NC when I think of them.  I wonder what my aunts would have thought of this version.

In order to get my eggs to room temperature, I put them out on the counter prior to my going to church.  According to the reviews on the Food and Wine website, that was rather important.  When I came home, they still weren't there, but I went ahead and mixed with the vanilla extract anyway.  I decided to go ahead and bake the chocolate chip cookies that I had signed up to make to give the eggs some more time to get to room temperature.  It also gave ample time for the butter to soften, too.  Despite the fact that the Nutella jar says not to microwave it, I followed the suggestion from reviewers on Food and Wine and microwaved it for 30 seconds before spreading it on the batter.  I gotta tell ya....microwaved Nutella is much less viscous than it is straight of the jar, and I definitely had an accident that resulted in Nutella running down the side of the counter, onto the dishwasher and pooling in the kitchen floor!  Luckily, there were no kitties around to get in it, and Lysol Disinfectant wipes do a wonderful job with removing the evidence of my faux pas (and Rick wasn't here to laugh at me)!

When I went to take it out of the loaf pan, some of the bottom stuck to the pan, but I was able to piece it together, it also started to fall apart a bit (notice the pan holding it together in the pic...hee, hee, hee!).  It did cut okay, but unfortunately, in most spots, the Nutella sank to the bottom of the cake.  It's still very yummy and rich, though!  Definitely needs a glass of milk!

Here's the recipe:

Nutella-Swirl Pound Cake
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, plus some for dusting
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 13oz jar of Nutella

Preheat the oven to 325°. Lightly grease and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, tapping out any excess flour. In a glass measuring cup, lightly beat the eggs with the vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk the 1 1/2 cups of flour with the baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer at medium-low speed, gradually beat in the egg mixture until fully incorporated. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, beating at low speed between additions until just incorporated. Continue to beat for 30 seconds longer.  Microwave Nutella for 30 seconds (uncovered).

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.

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.

1 comment:

  1. Luckily I scored a piece of this cake and it rocks. I am not really a cake lover, but this is delicious.


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