Thursday, February 05, 2009

World Nutella Day is Here!

http://www.msadventuresinitaly.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/button2009.jpgFebruary 5th has been declared World Nutella Day, by the lovely ladies consisting of Michelle over at Bleeding Espresso and Sara at Ms Adventures in Italy, in case you hadn't heard.
There is nothing quite as exciting as opening a fresh jar of creamy hazelnut chocolate yumminess, especially to my husband. He grew up on the stuff, slathered on bread for breakfast or after school with Nonna who sandwiched it between Pavesini biscuits, to keep his energy level up. Like Fabrizio needs it. You will understand what I mean if you know him. He's a pretty high energy kind of guy most of the time, with or without Nutella, but he would prefer with!

In honor of this momentous occasion, I made mini banana cakes with a dollop of Nutella on top, which promptly sunk to the bottom yet made for a welcome surprise when you thought it was just an ordinary banana tortino.
The recipe I used was roughly based on Flo Brakers' banana sheet cake from her delightful "Perfect Baking" volume. I served them warm with caramel sauce, but there just as tasty cold. Nutella here in Italy is quite creamy, so the center stays soft even when cold the next day.
Hot or cold, don't delay to try this combination. I am sure you will be making them a regular feature whenever you have a banana that is calling out that it's time for plain eating has passed and it's being called for greater glory paired with Nutella.
Go on, you know you want to.

Banana Nutella Cakelettes
Yields 6 very generous mini cakes or one 10-12 in round.

Sift together
1 cup (100g) cake flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
Set aside.

Whisk together
3 T (50g) butter, lightly browned
1/2 c (100g) brown sugar

Add
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 c (50g) yogurt or sour cream
1/2 c /1 banana, smashed
1 tsp orange or lemon zest

Gently fold in the flour mixture.
Mix until all is incorporated.
Fill your prepared pan.

Drop
1 Tb generous, Nutella onto the top of your batter in each cup.
Quickly put into your preheated 375*(190*) oven.

Bake until they spring back.
Cool a few minutes before unmolding.
Serve warm with caramel or chocolate sauce.
Wait for the appreciative oohs and ahhs.

Be sure to check the World Nutella Day website on Monday, February 9 for the 2009 recipe roundup!
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