When I moved to Europe I had romantic ideas of love waiting to be discovered amidst the land of poets, classical musicians and thinkers of Germany. On a wild streak, I had an Italian love-affair. Every afternoon I romped and indulged. It was either with a Ferrero Rocher; a whole hazelnut, coated in chocolate, surrounded by a hazelnut filling, and encased in a nut shell or a Raffaelo, a half almond, surrounded by meringue and milk cream, encased in coconut wafer and coated with coconut flakes. They became my obsession. Both seduced me with a delicate taste which appeals and pleases my taste buds. But it wasn’t a mere passing fancy; a love them and leave them; I’m too serious for that. I knew I had to go a step further. I bought a jar of Nutella and experimented to come up with my own creation.
Today being Valentines’ day I will share this hazelnut goody with a hint of cocoa that is embarrassingly easy to make. When I started making it — I felt that it was just the sort of indulgence that cold weather demands, but I have since decided that something this good; and this simple to conjure into being, needs to be in all our lives…year round.
I’ve enjoyed it as a dessert, occasionally for breakfast but my favorite time to partake is late afternoon for a Kaffeeklatch, with a cup of Illy espresso.
1 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
4 Large Eggs At Room Temperature
2 Teaspoons Pure Vanilla
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Sticks Butter (1/2 Pound) Softened
1 Cup Sugar
13 oz jar Nutella Spread
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and lightly grease a 9 X 5 inch pan.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
Beat in the eggs one at a time and then add the vanilla.
Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and add this to the egg/butter mixture in three batches, beating just until mixed.
Remove one-third of the mixture to a separate bowl and stir in the Nutella.
Pour half the remaining pound cake mixture into the prepared pan, and add the Nutella mixture on top, gently smoothing it, and top with the remaining pound cake batter.
Bake the cake for about an hour or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Cool for 15 minutes then remove from the pan, and allow it to cool at room temperature before serving. And don’t worry: It may look a tad pale when whole, but when sliced; its dark depths are revealed.