Nutella Pound Cake; Need I Say More?

Pound cake with a big swirl of lovely Nutella.

Nutella is like a cherished old friend.

You know the kind I mean.

The kind that you grew up all sweet on. Then, as you got older, maybe you lost touch, preoccupied instead by so many other nuts in your life.

But every time your paths would cross at the supermarket, it was like old times again. You found yourself smitten just like before by Nutella’s comforting yet indulgent nature.

If you haven’t seen your friend, Nutella, in awhile, this recipe surely will make you want to get reacquainted fast.

“Nutella-Swirl Pound Cake” is from the cookbook, “Cake Keeper Cakes” (Taunton Press) by former pastry chef, Lauren Chattman. The recipe was published in the October 2009 issue of Food & Wine magazine.

Two cubes of butter, four eggs and a heap of vanilla extract make this one buttery batter. An entire 13-ounce jar of Nutella is swirled into the batter with a butter knife.

The cake bakes up with an irresistible crispy top. As it cools, the Nutella thickens and hardens, taking on the character almost of the chocolate in pain au chocolat. Don’t fret if your Nutella swirls end up mostly at the bottom third of the cake. It tends to do that.

Simple yet sinful with a tender crumb, this is quite a rich cake.

But isn’t it wonderful to have friends like Nutella to make our lives so much more abundant?

Who wouldn't want to make friends with chocolate-hazelnut spread?

Nutella-Swirl Pound Cake

(Makes one 9-by-5-inch loaf)

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

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. 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.

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.

Make Ahead: The pound cake can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

From “Cake Keeper Cakes” by Lauren Chattman

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