Have you ever heard of Nutella? It is a magical chocolate hazelnut spread from Italy.
You can find it probably at your local grocery store. At my grocery store it is in the same aisle as the jams and peanut butter. The first time I tasted Nutella was in Sicily and I was 10 years old. I was there that summer visiting with my dad. I was on the beach with my cousins and they brought these pannini di Nutella (Nutella sandwiches). Ingenious! Crisp, white bread with gobs of chocolate spread in the middle. Why hadn't my mom ever thought of this fabulous afternoon snack? I felt I had been cheated for so many years. Maybe that is why today I am not easily excited over chocolate because I possibly ate about 1,000 of those Nutella pannini that splendid summer on the beach in Sicily.
Here is my version of a dreamy Nutella Cake. Sort of like a Nutella Pound Cake, but without a pound of butter. Be warned. While it is baking you may feel compelled to take it out while it is undercooked and begin to devour it. The smell coming from the oven was intoxicating. We brought it to my mom's to celebrate 4th of July yesterday and it was safely sitting on my lap. My daughter said it smelled like chocolate waffles. I decided to be polite and not pick at it while we were on the way to my mom's.
1 1/2 cups all purpose flout
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
One 13 ounce jar of Nutella
1/2 cup sour cream at room temperature
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly butter a 5-by-9 inch loaf pan and line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides; butter parchment. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking powder.
In a large bowl, beat the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add the eggs and vanilla and beat to combine. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
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. I left about 1/4 of the Nutella in the jar in case I needed to have a spoonful or two while waiting for the cake. You may feel the urge to do the same.
(Here is photo of the 1st layer of Nutella spread on the batter)
(I kind of forgot to leave a little extra batter to put on top and just spread the rest of the Nutella. You could do it that way too and it will turn out just fine. The Nutella won't burn.)
Bake the cake for about 1 hour. Depending on your oven. My cake was ready in 55 mins. Check your cake around 55 minutes to see how it is doing by inserting a toothpick in the center and seeing if it comes out clean. It could take another 15 minutes if it is still raw. It just depends on your oven.
Lift cake out of pan with the parchment paper (see how clever this parchment paper is?) and let cool. To cut clean slices you have to let it cool for about 2 hours. If you don't care about having a messy cake, cut the cake into slices immediately and serve. That is what we did!