If you love yourself, then you must have Nutella. Awesome, awesome Nutella.
What is Nutella? You're kidding me right? Chocolate + hazelnut = spread? No bells? Well, go out and get yourself a jar now! Right now!
As a kid, Nutella was a treat. A treat that could well finish within seconds. Honest. Forget about spreading it on bread, I'd gleefully eat spoonful after spoonful of the gorgeous chocolate-hazelnut spread without even stopping to think about the earful I'd surely get for not sharing food with my siblings. I think I could eat 100g (that's half the bottle) of Nutella at one go.
I guess that explains why I was a chubby kid. And why my mother hardly ever bought Nutella.
I am not alone, let me assure you. There's a Nutella fraternity out there .... google Nutella and you'll get over 11 million hits. And, according to allfacebook.com, Nutella's Facebook page comes in third, only after Barack Obama and Coca-Cola. Nutella has more fans than Homer J. Simpson! That's insane.
Well, some habits never die.
I bought a couple of jars of Nutella for this quick bread and while waiting for the butter and sugar to get all soft and fluffy in my mixer, I ate a couple of spoonfuls of the spread. Oh My God! It's as delicious now as it was then. And as addictive.
These days though, I am embarassed to say I stop after 2 spoonfuls. Vanity has taken over and I ain't gonna struggle any more than I do at the gym by any means.
Back to the Nutella quick bread.
Quick breads are really quick to make. Du-uh. Unlike yeast-breads (which require hours to proof and some effort to knead), quick breads are made with chemical leavening agents like baking soda/powder/bicarbonate soda: no waiting around for the loaf to rise; just stick it in the oven and see it grow.
But why bake a Nutella quick bread when you can just as easily spread it on a slice of bread? Here's why.
1. It's fun to bake.
2. You like burnt cake crust? The loaf takes about an hour or 70 minutes to cook. My oven gets a little hotter at the back and so I ended up with half my loaf slightly ... "crisp". Ok burnt. Not Charcoal burnt but, well, crispy and crusty. DELICIOUS. Don't believe me? Ask the bunch of boys I gave this loaf to. They went straight for the burnt bits.
3. If you think Nutella out of a bottle awesome, try baked Nutella. Oh! It's chewy.Oh! Soooo good.
4. You want your Nutella to last more than a day? Bake it! My loaf lasted me four days (and I wasn't the one doing all the eating, thank you very much).
1.5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
225 gms unsalted butter
1 cup sugar (add 1/4 cup more if you like really sweet cakes)
2 tsp vanilla extract
One 220g Nutella (the original recipe uses double this amount).
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Lightly grease and flour a loaf pan.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk them to mix the ingredients up. Set aside.
Beat the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Make sure each one is well incorporated before you add the next one. Add in the vanilla extract.
Slow the mixer to slow speed and add the flour in gradually until incorporated.
Spread a third of the batter in the prepared pan. Spread half of the Nutella on top of of the batter and repeat. Lightly swirl the Nutella into the batter with a butter knife. I did it too lightly and so the marbling effect was not striking :(
Bake the cake for about 1 hour (+- 10 minutes, depending on your oven) or till the tester (inserted in the center) comes out clean.
Cool the cake in the pan before transferring it onto a rack to cool completely. Best eaten when just cool or just slightly warm.