World Nutella Day 2012: Nutella-Swirl Pound Cake

Happy World Nutella Day! I’m excited to be back after missing last year’s celebration. I almost missed it again, having only realized it was happening a couple days ago.  I quickly searched for a recipe I could make that wasn’t too time-consuming and one that I had all the ingredients on hand.

Nutella-Swirl Pound Cake from Food & Wine fit the bill. Not only was it easy to bake, my swirl worked! I have a problem with swirl cakes. It’s got a pretty good swirl and a great taste. Not dry and the Nutella to cake ratio was perfect. No need for whipped cream or fruit with this cake. You can find the recipe HERE.

“Sara from Ms. Adventures in Italy and Michelle from Bleeding Espresso solemnly declare Sunday, February 5th “World Nutella Day 2012″ – a day to celebrate, to get creative with, and most importantly, to EAT Nutella.”

Photos by Paulrus
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Happy World Nutella Day 2010

I almost forgot about World Nutella Day this year. I’m actually leaving town today for a weekend of fun and have been busy thinking about other things. Yet,  out of a dark little recess of my mind sprang the thought and remembrance of this very special day. Just in time, too. I love my mind sometimes.

I made Nutella Brownies and brought them to work to mark the occasion. Who doesn’t love brownies and who doesn’t love Nutella?

You can find the recipe HERE. The only changes I made to the recipe was to double the amount of Nutella and sprinkle some of the hazelnuts on top prior to baking.

Please check out Ms Adventures in Italy and Bleeding Espresso the founders and hosts of  World Nutella Day.

{twd} chocolate caramel hazelnut cake

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I went to the very edge of CAKE FAIL, but made it out on the other side with HEAVEN ON A PLATE.

Yes, my cake might not look like much. It doesn’t look like the elegant picture in Dorie Greenspan’s Baking…From My Home to Yours. I overcame a lot of obstacles to make it, but it was worth it–so worth it.

  • This week’s Tuesdays with DorieChocolate Caramel Chestnut Cake–calls for jarred chestnuts. Week after week I would walk down the baking aisle at my local gourmet grocery store and see the jarred chestnuts thinking, “one day I will buy you for a recipe”. Of course, because this is the way things happen, this week the store didn’t have them. I also didn’t have the required sweetened vanilla chestnut spread. I did find and buy unsweetend chestnut puree which I figured I could sweeten myself  the next time I make the cake (and there will be a next time).
  • Not having enough time to drive all the way to Whole Foods/Los Angeles, I made the cake with toasted hazelnuts, Nutella, and instead of brandy–I used Frangelico.

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  • I made 1/4 of the cake batter recipe, 1/3 of the ganache, 1/8 of the syrup, and 1/8 of the glaze. In retrospect, I should have  made more glaze.
  • I baked the cake in my 4″ round pan. I should have used two pans. I knew I should have used it. I was feeling lazy and didn’t feel like prepping the second pan. The cake rose like crazy and overflowed like one of those constantly erupting volcanoes in Hawaii. Luckily, once I scraped away the overflow parts I was able to salvage two 1/2″ layers.

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  • I made the ganache a couple days ahead and it was too hard to spread directly on the cake. I had to wait for it soften a bit.
  • My glaze wasn’t smooth. I blame this on not making enough and having to play with it a lot to coat the cake.

In the end, all of that doesn’t matter because this cake was good. Thank you to Katya of Second Dinner for hosting this week. If you would like the recipe, visit her blog or buy the book.

Oh, I almost forgot. I had extra ganache, so I made truffles by rolling balls and dusting with cocoa powder.

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{db} Macarons! I got the feets!

The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.

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It often seems like the things I’m most trepid about making turn out to be easy. It happened with bagels and it happened again with this month’s Daring Bakers challenge. I’m back on track after missing two months and I was so excited when I found out the baking challenge was to make macarons.

I’ve wanted to bake these lovely French cookies for awhile and even took a class on how to make them at Surfas through Gourmandise Desserts. It was a fun class and I learned a few tips. The most important tip I learned was feet-achievement (the ridge at the bottom of each cookie half)  is a direct function of enough rest time after piping and before baking. You have to allow enough time for the exterior to harden before they go into the oven. That’s it. Now that I’ve made them once, I can’t wait to make them again. In fact, I decided I will make them every time I make ice cream. Use the yolks for ice cream and the whites for macarons. Perfect.

I made vanilla macarons using vanilla sugar and filled some with leftover peanut butter frosting, some with Nutella, and some with both peanut butter frosting and Nutella. I also sprinkled some with honey powder. The cookies came out perfect. Crunchy on the outside, with a slight chew. I served the macarons at my pizza party along with a gazillion other desserts and people loved them. It was very cool.

Thanks to Ami for hosting this month’s challenge. For the recipe visit her blog, Baking Without Fear.

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{sms} perfect pound cake

This week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays selection–Perfect Pound Cake–marks my return to blogging. I’m still getting my life and house in order, so this post will be short and sweet. The cake was delicious and the crumb was perfect.

I grilled a couple of slices and topped them with a slather of Nutella and some caramelized bananas. It was a good idea in theory, but the awesome flavor of the  Nutella and bananas overpowered the subtle flavor of the cake. I prefered the cake plain.

Thanks so much to Michele of Veggie Num Nums for hosting this week’s pick. It was the perfect choice for me. If you would like the recipe, please visit Michel’s blog or buy the book.

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Oh–last Wednesday, I was lucky enough to attend the Foodbuzz Community Table/Visa Signature dinner at Beso. It was amazing, the food was wonderful, and I got to meet Eva Longoria. Here are a couple of great posts by other bloggers on the event:

SippitySup

The Food Addicts