Monday, February 27, 2012

Almond-Chocolate Swirl Pound Cake

I absolutely love hazelnut spreads, such as Nutella. I try not to keep them around the house otherwise I would weight considerably more that what I do now.

I had been thinking about using Nutella to make a swirl cake for a long time but somehow I always manage to eat at least half of the jar of Nutella before I am ready to bake the cake. It is a vicious cycle in my life. 

Well, the other day I decided to buy a jar of Chocolate Almond spread instead of the hazelnut one. I was curious about how it tasted. Guess what? I don't think it is nearly as good as Nutella. Not even close. But in that disappointment I found my chance to finally bake that chocolate spread swirl cake I had been thinking about for so long! And although I won't be eating chocolate almond spread with a spoon anytime soon, I have to tell you that it worked great in this cake! It was actually fantastic! 

This cake recipe is a keeper! I am already looking forward to baking it again! I keep on day dreaming about its crusty outside, amazing buttery texture inside, and the delicious chocolaty swirls! Keep in mind that this cake tastes better and better as it sits. Mine last 3 days and the final crumbles were better than the first slice. 

Will will notice that I have don't have the step-by-step photos for this recipe. Well, somehow (don't ask me how!) I managed to delete almost all those photos from my camera. I am sorry!!

Chocolate-Almond Spread Swirl Pound Cake
(Makes one 9-by-5-inch loaf)
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 Chocolate-Almond Spread
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 325F.

Lightly grease and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, tapping out any excess flour.

In a small bowl lightly beat the eggs with the vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt together.
Using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer, beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy. With the mixer at medium-low speed, gradually beat in the egg mixture until fully incorporated. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, 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 chocolate-almond on top. Repeat with another third of the batter and the remaining chocolate-almond spread. Top with the remaining batter. Lightly swirl the chocolate-almond spread into the batter with a butter knife. Do not overmix.
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.
Make Ahead: The pound cake can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. This cake was even more delicious on the second and third day after baking!
Adapted from Food&Wine MagazineOriginal recipe is from “Cake Keeper Cakes” by Lauren Chattman

Layering the cake batter and chocolate almond spread:

cake batter
chocolate almond spread
cake batter
chocolate almond spread
cake batter

swirl it all with a butter knife and bake!

There aren't many things better than waking up on a Sunday knowing that you have a delicious pound cake to eat with your morning coffee. That was when I took the following picture. I can still taste it!

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