I’ve had the lovely book Baking with Julia in my cookbook collection for a while and have made some very successful and delicious recipes from it, but it had somehow gotten buried under the ever-growing pile of newer cookbooks over time. When I discovered that the Tuesdays with Dorie group had chosen this book, which Dorie Greenspan put together from Julia Child’s PBS series of the same name, I dug it out and flipped through the pages thinking all the time “Man, I forgot how good this book is!”
I know the brioche and sticky bun recipes are fabulous, and I love the idea of baking my way through the book in order to try all the other recipes. So, here goes!
The first recipe chosen for the month of February was White Loaves, contributed by Craig Kominiak, which begins a chapter titled “Daily Loaves”. Regular Shortbread readers will know that I have made quite a few loaves of bread in my time, and it was difficult for me to keep from straying from the recipe and doing my own thing. But I tried to use the techniques it called for, and the only substitution I made was using instant yeast instead of active dry because it was all I had in the pantry. (If you find yourself in the same situation, skip the first step of mixing the yeast, sugar, and water together and just stir the yeast and sugar into the first half of the flour before adding the water.)
This dough was definitely on the wet side for me, but the loaves rose quickly and baked up tall and fragrant. It sliced easily and made tasty sandwiches, toast, and was even better with a layer of Nutella.
This week’s TWD/BWJ hostesses are Laurie of slush and Jules of Someone’s in the Kitchen, and on their websites you’ll find this recipe. Visit the Tuesdays with Dorie blog for more information!
Apparently, there is a holiday for just about everything. Bell Bottoms Day, Cheese Fondue Day, Zipper Day, Cow Chip Day, closely followed by Freak Out Day. My personal favorite: Let Someone Else Clean Day. If only I could talk the husband into that one.
I didn’t have to talk anyone into observing today’s holiday, World Nutella Day, once I starting baking this delectable Nutella Swirl Pound Cake. The aroma from the oven was enough to make everyone a believer.
Nutella, a heavenly spread made from ground hazelnuts and cocoa, was first made in Europe, but has now gained popularity throughout the world and has thankfully made its way down to the Southern US. And what would be a better way to use it than adding it to a buttery, rich pound cake (other than just eating it from the jar)?
The recipe for this pound cake comes from Lauren Chattman’s Cake Keeper Cakes cookbook. The cake bakes up with a dense crumb and a lovely crust on top (my favorite part of a pound cake). I did find that I had to bake the cake a lot longer than the 1 hour and 15 minutes called for, more like 1 hour and 45 minutes. Also, most of the Nutella sank towards the bottom of the cake resulting in really only one layer of spread. So, the next time I make this I will just put 2/3’s of the batter in the pan, spread only one layer of Nutella over that, and then spread the other 1/3 of the batter on top. Then I’ll give it a good swirl up and down and side to side. Does that make sense? I hope so, ’cause it is very important that you try this cake.
I’m here if you have any questions.
Nutella Swirl Pound Cake
adapted from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman
makes one 9×5 inch loaf cake
- 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 oven to 325°. 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 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 over mix.
- 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.
*The pound cake can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
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Lovingly organized by Ms Adventures in Italy and Bleeding Espresso.