My clothesline is laden today, not with laundry but with 3” of snow and ice – so much that it dips in the middle. I was stunned when I went out early to feed and water the “girls”/chickens. What a beautiful sight. The snow clung to everything, from the tallest pine tree to the overhang on the outhouse to the trailing thyme in the herb garden. It was so cold that I had to take boiling water to the chicks. After just a couple of minutes, they dipped their beaks into pleasantly warm water.
Nutella swirl pound cake
This cake was one of the baked goods for sale at an event during which I gave a presentation – Western Hills garden club’s harvest day. The cake intrigued me because it came with a recipe. Since it was too cold to do anything outside, I decided I should try it with my homemade Nutella. Was it good? A picture is worth a thousand words! This is a nice gift from the kitchen, as it can be frozen for a month.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
One 13-ounce jar Nutella, warmed if necessary for easing spreading
Preheat oven to 325°. Lightly grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan. Lightly beat eggs with vanilla. Whisk flour with baking powder and salt. Beat butter with sugar on medium-high until fluffy, about 3 minutes. On medium-low, gradually beat egg mixture until fully incorporated. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, beating on low between additions until just incorporated. Continue to beat for 30 seconds longer. Spread one-third of batter in pan, then spread half of Nutella on top. Repeat with another third of batter and rest of Nutella. Top with remaining batter. Lightly swirl Nutella into batter. Don’t over mix. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Invert onto wire rack, turn right side up and let cool completely.
Gilding the lily: After cooling, drizzle on a glaze made with 1 cup confectioners sugar and either 1 tablespoon brewed espresso or milk or water.
Tip from Rita’s kitchen:
When freezing baked goods, cool completely before freezing.
Otherwise, moisture builds up in the freezer, causing stickiness.