Last Friday the world celebrated Nutella - that ooey gooey chocolate hazelnut spread that with one lick has you hooked for life. For World Nutella Day I was honored with a rare firsthand experience in the kitchen of Joan's on Third. I received a special lesson in the making of one of Joan's favorite recipes- mouth watering Nutella poundcake. The whole kitchen had a warm vanilla fragrance. Jar after beautiful jar of Nutella in front of me, it was hard not to steal a taste. Joan’s on Third offers Nutella poundcake ($1.95) throughout the week. Come on the right day and you can find it fresh out of the oven and wrapped in individual slices.
It all starts with the butter and sugar.
Then the pure vanilla extract and eggs.
Once the wet ingredients are combined, add the flour.
Take the mix and create alternating layers of Nutella and batter.
The end result is poundcake with a warm honeyed glow throughout. The Nutella glistens through folds of plump cake. The exact recipe remains Joan’s secret, but my time in the kitchen inspired me to make my own Nutella creation.
Since I have a known affinity for cake so I decided to make Nutella cupcakes. I used a vanilla cake base with a hint of almond extract and mixed Nutella throughout the cake batter. The result was a buttery marble cupcake with subtle nutty undertones. I was pleasantly surprised to find a thick dollop of Nutella at the bottom of each cupcake. For added richness I frosted some of the cupcakes with more Nutella. Add toasted hazelnuts for a nice crunch. On its own, frosted, with nuts, anyway you have this cupcake, the flavor is impossible to forget.
I got bit by the Nutella bug and now I’m nutty for Nutella.
Vanilla cake (Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking)
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
zest of 1 large lemon
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together butter and sugar. Next, mix in eggs, vanilla and almond extracts, lemon zest and milk.
In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix with electric mixer on low speed. Scrape down sides of bowl periodically to make sure all ingredients are fully combined. Mix for 3-5 minutes, batter will be slightly lumpy.
Fill lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Alternate layers of cake batter and Nutella. Take a tooth pick and stir up mixed batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes.