Every Christmas morning, our family , home from wherever in the world they live, pads downstairs, opens the den door and sees what edible treats Santa stuffed in our stockings. In the past, he’s left Moroccan tagine, Indian curries, Scottish oat cakes, chocolate Euros and even vegemite which sat opened, but uneaten in the fridge for years. I don’t think it ever went bad!
This year Santa left Lizzy a jar of Nutella. She and the rest of our kids first tried the chocolate-hazelnut spread on a trip to Italy years ago. It was an instant hit, because how else do your parents let you eat mounds of chocolate for breakfast? Several months ago Lizzy returned to Paris without her Nutella. Since it’s now past Easter and we don’t want the jar to go the way of vegemite (into the trash!), John decided to make a Nutella Swirl Pound Cake.
The cake recipe, cooked in a loaf pan, is delicious by itself: buttery, rich and just sweet enough. (I have a theory cakes cooked at lower temperature for longer time have a denser consistency. Is that true?) When you add the Nutella to the cake, though, it becomes special. Add a scoop of gelato and your dinner party guests will gush. Oh, and because it contains Nutella, it’s always okay to enjoy a big slice for breakfast.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons good 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
- Preheat the oven to 325°. Lightly grease and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. In a small bowl, beat the eggs with the vanilla. In another bowl, mix the 1 1/2 cups of flour with the baking powder and salt.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy and light, at least 3 minutes. With the mixer at medium-low speed, gradually beat in the egg mixture. Slowly add the flour, beating at low speed between additions until just mixed. Continue to beat for 30 seconds longer.
- Spread half of the batter in the prepared pan, then spread half of the Nutella on top. (Test with a tablespoon or two of the Nutella. If you find it difficult to spread, you can heat it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften.) Repeat with half of the remaining batter and the remaining Nutella. Top with the last of the 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.
Did you know the company that owns Nutella settled a class action suit in the US in 2012? They agreed to pay up to $4 per jar for up to 5 jars for misleading consumers to believe the spread carries nutritional and health benefits.