Nutella Chocolate Chip Babka

February 5, 2017

img_5446So I gotta ask….are there any Nutella fans out there? Cause let me tell you I love me some Nutella! I did actually didn’t even know it existed until I was living in Ireland and my friend Theresa had a jar. I watched with amazement as she spread it over her toast. I was like “What! You can eat chocolate on toast!” I had no idea it was a thing. Yup, love at first bite. And I love bread as well, so this Nutella Chocolate Chip Babka recipe was a no brainer for me.

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Now it is not by chance that I’m blogging a recipe which features Nutella today. Today February 5th is World Nutella Day. This celebration of all things Nutella was started in 2007 by Sara at Ms. Adventures in Italy and Michelle at Bleeding Espresso as a day to celebrate, get creative with and most importantly, to EAT Nutella.

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Last year, the founders have transferred Nutella Day to Ferrero the company who owns that most beloved spread. Take a peek at their Facebook page and see how folks are celebrating the day! I love Nutella so I usually try to participate with a Nutella laden recipe every year. Last year I celebrated with Nutella Sea Salt Stuffies:

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The year before I made cookies as well,  irresistible Salted Peanut Butter & Nutella Sandwich Cookies – sweet salty bliss I tell you!

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I was still all about the cookies and the salty / sweet thing three years ago when I blogged about  Salted & Malted Nutella Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies. These cookies feature silky, decadent Nutella, creamy caramel, nostalgic malted goodness and rich chocolate chips, all rolled up together in a crunchy chewy salted cookie

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And then there was my  Nutella, Double Chocolate & Banana Tart which was quite stunning if I do say so myself.

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But let me get back to the stunning Nutella treat we have on hand today: Nutella Chocolate Chip Babka. Oh Lawdie…this bread is delicious! Babka, which has a Russian/Polish culinary pedigree (the name is derived from “baba” which is Russian for grandmother)  is made with a rich yeasted dough. You end up with something that is somewhere between cake and bread. Every brioche like morsel is so tender it simply melts in your mouth. And can we just talk about the fillings? Well there are as many variations in the fillings as there are grandmothers! You can have a fruit filled Babka, a chocolate Babka, a cinnamon Babka, a chocolate cinnamon Babka, or a Nutella Chocolate Chip Babka as we have here today. Babkas can be topped with a streusel, soaked in Rum or drizzled with a glaze. They can be shaped many ways as well, baked in a bread tin, free-standing or as I have done here, shaped into the dramatic Israeli version which is known as “kranz cake”. The possibilities are endless!

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Now all that being said, making this luscious filled rolled and twisted bliss is no simple undertaking! You’ve gotta want it…and believe me you will. It is so worth it. The good thing is you can break it up into steps and take up to 3 days to bake the bread if you wish. Or if you’re hardcore, get up early in the morning and blast through the whole thing in one day. Midnight Babka sounds great to me too!

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Laden with butter and lashings of Nutella and chocolate chips this bread not only has mouthwatering good looks but can back it up with to die for taste. Great as a dessert, for breakfast or with a cup of tea or coffee, you just can’t beat this time-tested comfort food treat. So Happy Nutella Day…I’ve gotta go tear into some Nutella Chocolate Chip Babka!

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Nutella Chocolate Chip Babka

  • Servings: 1 large loaf of bread
  • Difficulty: moderate - with a lot of rise time
  • Print

recipe adapted from: Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day

Ingredients:

For the Bread:

  • 2 Tablespoons (.66 oz / 19 grams) instant yeast
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz / 170 grams) lukewarm milk (95°F or 35°C)
  • 6 Tablespoons (3 oz / 85 grams) unsalted butter, melted or at room temperature
  • 6 Tablespoons ( 3 oz /85 grams) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (.25 oz / 7 grams) vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks (3 oz. / 85 grams)
  • 3 1/3 cups (15 oz / 425 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (.25 oz/ 7 grams) salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt

For the filling:

  • 1 jar (13 oz.) Nutella
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

Whisk the yeast into the lukewarm milk until dissolved and set aside for 5 minutes.

Cream the butter and sugar together using the paddle attachment for a stand mixer. Mix at medium speed for 2 minutes.

Add the vanilla to the eggs yoke and whisk together. Then add the yolks to the sugar mixture in four portions, mixing thoroughly until each is incorporated before adding the next. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and mix for 2 more minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl several times during the process.

Stop mixing and add the flour and salt, then pour in the milk mixture. Resume mixing at low speed until a soft, supple, tacky dough forms.

Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead by hand for 2 minutes adding flour as necessary to make the dough pliable. Form dough into a ball.

Place dough in a clean, highly oiled bowl, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 2 1/2 hours. It will rise, but won’t double. If you are taking my advice and making this Babka over several days, after the rise, place the dough in the refrigerator overnight to be rolled out the next day.

While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Line a 1/2 sheet pan with parchment paper and mist it with spray oil. Spread the Nutella evenly over the parchment paper. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the top. Place into the refrigerator to firm up. Once you have rolled the dough out, you can easily transfer this Nutella chocolate chip square directly on top of the babka dough. Easy peasy!

Once the dough has risen, or on day two, roll it into a 15″ by 11″ rectangle on a lightly floured surface. It should e between 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick. Lay the refrigerated Nutella Chocolate sheet on top of the Babka dough and peel the parchment away.

Roll up the dough like a jelly roll and place it seam side down on the work surface. With firm but gentle pressure, rock the log back and forth. Using a metal pastry blade, cut the log down the middle lengthwise. Rotate the dough so that the cut edges are facing up. Place one piece over the other and continue to criss-cross the pieces to form a braid. Pinch the ends of the braided pieces together to seal.

Cover the braided loaf loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature for 2 -3 hours. At this point, you can proceed directly to baking or refrigerate the loaf overnight. If holding it overnight, remove the dough from the refrigerator about 2 hours before you plan to bake it.

Preheat the oven to 350° F (177° C). Bake loaf for 20 minutes and then rotate the pan. Bake for an additional 10 – 15 minutes until the sides of the loaf are a rich golden brown. The internal temperature will reach about 185° F (85° C). I the tope begins to brown too quickly, tent with aluminum foil

Allow the Babka to cool for at least 90 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Nutella Chocolate Chip Babka brought to you by Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 


Nutella Sea Salt Stuffies

February 5, 2016

 

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Hey all you Nutella fans out there! Take a look at what I got here…Nutella Sea Salt Stuffies! Yup…a rich chocolatey Nutella cookie which surrounds a silky truffle-like Nutella center and if that hasn’t got you drooling, just listen up. It is topped with a sprinkling of flaky sea salt. You know I’m a sucker for that sweet/salty taste sensation! And these cookies have it all going on. The outside cookie is soft and yet also chewy at the same time. And once you bite into it, assuming it is warm out of the oven, you get this molten, lava-like burst of melted Nutella. Pure Nutella nirvana I tell you!

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Now it is not by chance that I’m blogging a recipe which features Nutella today. Today February 5th is World Nutella Day. This celebration of all things Nutella was started in 2007 by Sara at Ms. Adventures in Italy and Michelle at Bleeding Espresso as a day to celebrate, get creative with and most importantly, to EAT Nutella.

World_Nutella_Day_Final_m-300x207 This year, the founders have transferred Nutella Day to Ferrero the company who owns that most beloved spread. Take a peek at their Facebook page and see how folks are celebrating the day! I love Nutella so I usually try to participate with a Nutella laden recipe every year. Last year I made cookies as well,  irresistible Salted Peanut Butter & Nutella Sandwich Cookies

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I was still all about the cookies and the salty / sweet thing two years ago when I blogged about  Salted & Malted Nutella Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies. These cookies feature silky, decadent Nutella, creamy caramel, nostalgic malted goodness and rich chocolate chips, all rolled up together in a crunchy chewy salted cookie

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And then there was my  Nutella, Double Chocolate & Banana Tart which was quite stunning if I do say so myself.

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But back to today’s star, both decadent and addictive, Nutella Sea Salt Stuffies.

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These tempting little treats are pretty easy to make, especially if you plan ahead. You see, you need to freeze what will become the molten Nutella centers, for at least 3 hours before assembling the final cookie. Sure it can all be done on the same day, but I did it the day before baking day. Once I was ready to bake, these cookies came together in no time flat. They are truly magical warm from the oven what with that lava like flow of Nutella when you bite into them. But don’t fret if they’ve cooled down. The center will be more solid, like Nutella is straight out of the jar, which certainly isn’t a bad thing. However, if you love the Nutella lava effect, just reheat them for a short time in the microwave and you’ll have Mt. Nutella cookies, erupting again!

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I know these cookies look rather short on the list of ingredients front, but don’t be fooled, they pack quite a flavorful punch. The Husband, who doesn’t usually care for chocolatey desserts, has actually come back for seconds. He says they are like a Nutella filled brownie…with salt. YUM! Make up a batch today in celebration of all things Nutella. Or… you know… Valentine’s Day isn’t that far off. Bet any Nutella loving folks out there would be head over heels when gifted with these cookies on the big day. You know what they say…no better way to man’s heart and all…

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Nutella Sea Salt Stuffies

  • Servings: 12 -15 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: King Arthur Flour

Ingredients:

For the filling:

  • 5 1/4 ounces / 149 grams Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread

For the dough:

  • 10 1/2 ounces / 298 grams Nutella Chocolate hazelnut spread
  • 4 ounces / 112 grams King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour or 4 1/4 ounces /120 grams of King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional

For the Topping:

  • Fleur del Sel coarse sea salt

Directions:

To make the filling: Scoop small balls of Nutella (chestnut-sized, about 1″ diameter) onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. A teaspoon cookie scoop, filled level, is the perfect tool for this job. Scoop out 15 -18 balls of Nutella. You may end up with extras, but better that than coming up short.

Place the baking sheet into the freezer (uncovered is fine), and freeze until the balls are completely frozen, about 3 hours; or up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment.

To make the dough: Mix together all of the dough ingredients; the mixture will be cohesive, fairly soft, but not sticky; think modeling clay. It will stick together better when you squeeze it.

Scoop out heaping tablespoonfuls of the dough; a slightly heaped Tablespoon cookie scoop works well here.

Remove the frozen Nutella balls from the freezer once you have the dough ready to shape. Flatten a ball of dough. Place one of the frozen Nutella balls in the center. Wrap the dough around the Nutella like a dumpling, enclosing it completely. Roll the ball of dough between your palms to seal any cracks and round it out. Repeat with the remaining dough and frozen Nutella balls.

Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet; they won’t spread much, so should all fit on one sheet. Sprinkle very lightly with a bit of coarse sea salt.

Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes; when done, they will have lost much of their shine, and you may see a very faint lightening of color around the bottom third of each cookie.

Remove the cookies from the oven; serve warm, or at room temperature. For the full melting-center, lava-like effect, serve warm; if they’re at room temperature, the centers will be solid. Reheat very briefly in the microwave to liquefy the centers, if desired.

Enjoy!

Nutella Sea Salt Stuffies brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links to Useful Kitchen Tools and Ingredients for Nutella Sea Salt Stuffies:

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

OXO Good Grips Small Cookie Scoop

OXO Good Grips Medium Cookie Scoop

King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (this link is for 2 – 5 lb. bags of flour)

Nutella

Maldon Sea Salt Flakes (Fleur de Sel)

I should also mention that King Arthur Flour has a wonderful shop full of kitchen essentials as well as their quality ingredients on their website. Definitely worth taking a peek!

 

 


Salted Peanut Butter & Nutella Sandwich Cookies

February 5, 2015

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I love Peanut Butter. It’s true. I really love it. I mean I love it in baked goods, I love it on bread and I even love to just stand there with a spoon eating it straight from the jar. I love creamy peanut butter. I love crunchy peanut butter. I think the only one I know who might just love peanut butter more than I do is my dog.

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He also loves to roll in the sand at the beach!

Yup I love peanut butter, but it is not the only thing that I have been known to eat straight from the jar….Nutella springs to mind. And I’m talking about big honking tablespoonfuls, not little proper teaspoons! I do love me some Nutella. I can’t believe I didn’t discover it until I was in college!

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And you know what else… I love it when peanut butter and chocolate come together. And if you throw in some flaky salt so that you get that great salty/sweet taste sensation….well, I’m just in heaven! So you can just imagine how I feel about these Salted Peanut Butter & Nutella Sandwich Cookies.

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These little devils have got it all going on! Listen up, what you’ve got is two salted chewy peanut butter cookies with a gooey, chocolate-y ribbon of Nutella nestled between them. The perfect cookie for me!

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Now, you might be thinking that what with all this talk of “love” in the air and Valentine’s Day being right around the corner, that I made these cookies for my sweetie. You would be wrong. These cookies would be a dreadful Valentine’s gift for him. If I were to make him these particular cookies as a prezzie, it would be a sign that our relationship was in peril. I know that he couldn’t care less about peanut butter, doesn’t pay much attention to cookies at all, and is lukewarm about chocolate desserts all together. Nope. These are decidedly not for him. (Don’t worry over him…I’ve got his Valentine’s Day treat all picked out. Just you wait and see…) These cookies are all about ME. The only thing that might tempt me more is a cupcake. Hmmm…note to self….try to make a cupcake version of these cookies.

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Another thing these incredibly tasty Salted Peanut Butter & Nutella Cookies are about is World Nutella Day. That’s right, today February 5th is World Nutella Day.

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This celebration of all things Nutella was started in 2007 by Sara at Ms. Adventures in Italy and Michelle at Bleeding Espresso as a day to celebrate, get creative with and most importantly, to EAT Nutella. I love Nutella so I usually try to participate with a Nutella laden recipe every year. Last year I made cookies as well, Salted & Malted Nutella Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies. These cookies feature silky, decadent Nutella, creamy caramel, nostalgic malted goodness and rich chocolate chips, all rolled up together in a crunchy chewy salted cookie. 

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A couple of years ago, I made a Nutella, Double Chocolate & Banana Tart which was quite stunning if I do say so myself.

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And I have also shared the recipe for Nutella & Banana Filled Peanut Butter Ebelskivers.

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Just can’t get enough of that Peanut Butter & Nutella combo! I will admit, this year’s Salted Peanut Butter & Nutella Sandwich Cookies are a bit on the large side. They are more the size of whoopie pies than regular cookies. But you see, I had gotten these wonderful cookie stamps and was just dying to try them out,

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so I definitely increased their size. However, I did not ever hear anyone say “Oh no! That cookie is just too big. I couldn’t possibly eat it all.” Well, now that I think about it, I did hear that once or twice. But when I looked back over, there was nothing left but crumbs…Heck a couple of times, even the crumbs were gone! As if they had been magically hoovered up. So I’ll leave the size of the cookie up to you. Make whatever size cookie suits your needs, but believe me you need to make a batch and soon! Folks, with the exception of my husband that is, will go wild!

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Salted Peanut Butter & Nutella Sandwich Cookies

  • Servings: 8 - 10 large sandwich cookies or 16 smaller ones
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: Sweet Peas and Saffron (I did not change a thing about the ingredients, but made the cookies larger so that I could use my new cookie stamps!)

Ingredients:

For the Cookies:

  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup peanut butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (110 grams) packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1½ cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • granulated sugar (for rolling)
  • coarse sea salt (for sprinkling)

Nutella for the ooey-gooey ever so chocolatey middle part

Directions:

In a large bowl, beat butter and peanut butter until well combined. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla.

In a separate small bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder and baking soda. Mix into wet ingredients.

Scrape down from sides of bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Do not skip this part or your cookies will spread!

Pre-heat oven to 375° F. Line cookie sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

Roll dough into 1 tbsp sized balls, roll in the granulated sugar to coat. Place on baking mat and press down slightly with a fork. Sprinkle with sea salt. If you would like to use a cookie stamp like I did you will need to use about 2 tablespoons of dough. Lightly grease your cookie stamp and push straight down on dough. Gently pull stamp away from cookie and then sprinkle with salt.

Bake for 7-9 minutes until bottoms are golden brown. Cookies will look under-baked when removed from the oven but will set up on baking sheet. Cool for 5 minutes, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Now for the assembly: Place Nutella in a pastry bag and pipe it out onto the bottom of one cookie. Top with another cookie and gently press down. These sandwich cookies are best when assembled just prior to eating. If you wish to assemble them in advance, they can be kept in the refrigerator, just remember to let them come to room temperature before serving.

Enjoy!

Salted Peanut Butter & Nutella Sandwich Cookies brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 


Salted and Malted Nutella Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

February 5, 2014

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Salted and Malted Nutella Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies. I really don’t know if I need to elaborate on this one… I mean, I don’t know about you, but they had me at Salted & Malted. Nothing more need be said. But then those delicious pair of words are followed by Nutella. And it doesn’t stop there. Oh no. It goes on to read Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie! Have Mercy!

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I was instantly confident that this would be the recipe that I would make for World Nutella Day. That’s right, today February 5th is World Nutella Day. This celebration of all things Nutella was started in 2007 by Sara at Ms. Adventures in Italy and Michelle at Bleeding Espresso as a day to celebrate, get creative with and most importantly, to EAT Nutella.

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I love Nutella. Although I missed adding a submission to Nutella Day last year. (Total brain freeze…I have no excuse) I have contributed a couple of truly tasty Nutella laden recipes in years past. There was my exquisite Nutella, Double Chocolate & Banana Tart

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and my delightful Nutella & Banana filled Peanut Butter Ebelskivers.

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I think these Salted & Malted Nutella Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies are a great way to jump back into the game.

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Morgan over at Host the Toast came up with these gems back in December. What a masterpiece! They literally have it all, silky, decadent Nutella, creamy caramel, nostalgic malted goodness and rich chocolate chips all rolled up in a crunchy chewy salted cookie. (Yup…its got the salty/sweet thing covered as well!) They are an absolute breeze to make and as I’m sure you can imagine, are certainly quite easy to eat. (Ahem…probably a bit too easy judging from the fit of my britches…) I can’t get enough of these little devils! Get yourself addicted today!

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Salted and Malted Nutella Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

recipe from Host the Toast

yield: 27 Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 and ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup malted milk powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • ⅔ cup Nutella
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ⅔ cup caramel bits (or baking caramels cut into tiny pieces)
  • Flaky Sea salt, for topping

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, malted milk powder, baking soda, and salt until well blended.

Cream together the butter and both sugars in a separate bowl until completely smooth.

Add the Nutella to the butter mixture and mix until fully combined. Add in the egg and vanilla and continue to mix. Then, slowly add in the flour mixture. Mix until it all is just incorporated, but don’t over-mix.

Stir in the chocolate chips and caramel bits until evenly distributed. I like to refrigerate cookie dough for an hour or so before baking. It helps to keep it from spreading too quickly in the oven resulting in a very thin cookie. However, this step is optional. Using a medium-sized cookie scoop ( holds about 2 tablespoons) scoop dough and drop onto the parchment paper-covered baking sheets, spacing them out about 2½ inches apart and away from the sides of the sheet. You may have to do multiple batches– don’t try to squeeze them all in.

Sprinkle dough with flaky sea salt.

Bake 10-13 minutes. Remove from the oven. They will still be very, very soft. Leave them on the cookie sheet on a wire rack for about 15 minutes, or until they are solid enough to eat.

Enjoy!


Chocolate Marshmallow Bars

July 24, 2012

Don’t you just love how life is full of surprizes? Well, I guess that is a kind of loaded question huh? The surprize could be your roof just collapsed in the midst of the latest round of thunderstorms. In which case I bet you wouldn’t be loving life’s little surprizes. But maybe you just opened a letter to find you’ve inherited a huge amount of cash from some relative you didn’t even know existed. That would be quite a nice surprize. Added to the difficulty here is that you can’t hear my tone of voice, so I could be asking in a genuinely happy manner or the question could be dripping with sarcasm. Usually with me I think the sarcasm bit would be a good guess, but this time I am asking completely sans sarcasm. I really am pleasantly surprized with just how fantastic these Chocolate Marshmallow Bars are. O.k. ….that isn’t as earth shattering a surprize as the inheritance thing would be, but hey, you gotta take those little pleasures and delight in them where you can. And these bars were really very tasty! I mean, obviously I thought they would be good when I decided to attempt to make them. I can’t really think of a time that I’ve looked at a recipe and thought to myself, “Wow. That looks God Awful! I think I’ll make that for dessert tonight.” However, I must admit, this time around I just needed to whip up something for dessert. I wanted it to be something easy and quick. You know, it had been one of those days. Generally any “bar” type of dessert would satisfy those criteria for me. And the ingredients looked good…chocolate, marshmallows, Nutella. Yet for whatever reason, I didn’t set out to make it with my usual excitement. Again, I knew it would be good, but I was expecting the usual run-of-the-mill brownie-ish bar dessert. But wowzers! These bars are the bomb! The bottom cake layer is moist and tender, the middle layer marshmallows are ooey-gooey perfection and the top layer…Oh my stars! The top layer is nothing short of phenomenal! I mean the chocolate and Nutella are so decadent and rich. But then there are also the Rice Krispies, which provide a fantastic crunchy texture to go along with the chewy marshmallows.  What have I stumbled upon!

They were pretty easy to make as well, so Ladies and Gentlemen,  we have a winner! There are a couple of “wait for everything to cool completely” times involved in the recipe, so you may want to start these earlier in the day. But definitely, whatever you do, do start them. They are truly amazing!

Chocolate Marshmallow Bars

recipe from: A Little Bit of Everything

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 Cup Butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 Cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/3 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 Cup Nutella
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Cups Rice Krispies cereal

Directions:

Preheat oven to  350° F. Line a 13″ x 9″ baking tine with parchment paper, leaving some paper hanging out over the sides.

In a small bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. In a nother bowl lightly beat the eggs. Add them to the creamed butter and mix well.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture. Spread into the prepared baking tin.

Bake for 15 – 18 minutes. Sprinkle marshmallows evenly over the top and return to oven to bake for another minute. Remove pan from oven after one minute and allow marshmallows to continue to melt on their own. Cool completely.

Once the pan of cake/marshmallow has cooled completely, make topping. Combine chocolate chips, Nutella and butter in a small saucepan. Melt over low heat and stir until blended. Remove from heat and stir in the Rice Krispies. Immediately spread chocolate/krispie mixture over the marshmallow topped cake evenly. Allow bars to cool completely before cutting to serve.

Enjoy!


Nutella, Double Chocolate & Banana Tart

February 5, 2012

A Nutella, Double Chocolate & Banana Tart for the Annual World Nutella Day. Be still my heart! Has there ever been a happier, more delicious convergence of ingredients? I think not, though perhaps adding a little peanut butter into the mix would have made it even more enticing… if that is possible. That’s right, today February 5th is World Nutella Day. This celebration of all things Nutella was started in 2007 by Sara at Ms. Adventures in Italy and Michelle at Bleeding Espresso as a day to celebrate, get creative with and most importantly, to EAT Nutella.

I absolutely love Nutella. Just spreading it on toast is a joy, not to mention just eating it straight out of the jar. Yup, I might do that from time to time. I participated in World Nutella Day last year with my Nutella & Banana filled Peanut Butter Ebelskivers. ( See..I got the peanut butter in there, but alas no chocolate. I will have to work on this idea for next year…)

This year I present a Nutella, Double Chocolate  Banana Tart. This recipe comes from Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table, which I was lucky enough to receive for Christmas. There are so many fantastic recipes in this book, but this tart caught my eye right away.

The tart looks pretty impressive huh? But it was really surprisingly easy to make and can be done in stages if you’re pressed for time on the day you wish to serve it.  It has a chocolate shortbread base, which can be made ahead of time. The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to one month. Once you’ve baked the base, you spread a layer of Nutella over the bottom of the tart shell and then chill it for about 1 hour. While it is chilling, you caramelize a banana and let it cool to room temperature. You then layer the caramelized bananas over the Nutella. But wait, you’re not done yet. Then you pour a rich bittersweet chocolate ganache over the caramelized bananas. The ganache can be made ahead of time as well. It can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months. You just need to pop it into the microwave to melt it a bit when you’re ready to assemble your tart.

Once you’ve added the ganache, you chill the tart once again for 30 – 60 minutes, or until you’re ready to serve it. At that point, you finish it off by topping it with freshly cut banana slices.

How does it taste? Unbelievably decadent. You should plan on eating this tart up on the day you make it. I don’t think you’ll have a problem there, it is soooo delicious! If by some bizarre set of circumstances the entire tart is not gobbled up, it will still be fine the next day, except the bananas won’t look as pretty.

Nutella, Double Chocolate & Banana Tart

recipe from : Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table

Ingredients:

For Chocolate Shortbread Dough

  • 1 1/4 Cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1/4 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 Cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 9 Tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 Large egg yolk

For the Caramelized Bananas

  • 1 ripe but firm banana
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons sugar

For the Bittersweet Ganache

  • 1/2 lb. bittersweet chocolate, very finely chopped
  • 1 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into four pieces, at room temperature

For the Banana Topping

  • 1/2 Cup Apricot jam, strained
  • 2-3 ripe but firm bananas
  • Fresh lemon juice

2/3 Cup Nutella

Directions:

For the Chocolate Shortbread Dough

Put the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt into a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is cut in coarsely. Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses- about 10 seconds each – until the dough which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and very lightly knead it just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.

Butter a 9 – 9 1/2 ” fluted tart pan with a removable bottom (butter the pan even if it’s nonstick)

Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan. Press the crust in so that the pieces cling to one another and knit together when baked, but don’t use a lot of force  working lightly will preserve the crust’s shortbread-ish texture. Prick the crust all over and freeze for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a piece of aluminum foil and press the foil snugly against the crust.

Bake the crust for 25 minutes, then carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and allow the crust to cool before you fill it.

Once the crust is completely cooled, spread 2/3 cup of Nutella over the bottom of the baked tart shell and chill the tart for 1 hour.

For the Caramelized Bananas:

Line a plate with parchment paper. Cut the banana into 1/8″ thick slices and toss the slices with lemon juice to keep them from blackening.

Put a large skillet – nonstick – over high heat and toss in the butter. When it melts and starts to bubble, add the bananas, turning them so that they’re coated with butter. Sprinkle the sugar over the bananas and cook, still over high heat, turning, until they’re golden and caramel-coated on both sides. Transfer the bananas to the parchment-lined plate and pat them gently on both sides with paper towels to remove any excess butter. Cool to room temperature. The bananas can be caramelized a couple of hours ahead and kept at room temperature.

To Make the Bittersweet Ganache:

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl.Bring the cram to a boil in a small saucepan, then pour it over the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for 30 seconds or so, then, with a whisk or spatula, gently stir the chocolate and cream together. Stir gently, and when the ganache is smooth and shiny, stir in the butter, piece by piece. The ganache can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months; reheat gently in a microwave before proceeding.

Remove the chilled Nutella covered crust from the refrigerator. Arrange the caramelized bananas in an even layer over the bottom of the crust, then pour over the ganache. Hold the tart pan with both hands and rotate it lightly from side to side to encourage the ganache to even out, then slide the tart into the fridge again to set the ganache, 30 – 60 minutes. You can refrigerate the tart until serving time; just be certain to cover it once the chocolate sets.

To make the topping:

Bring the apricot jam to a boil in a small saucepan or in a microwave oven.

Peel the bananas and cut them on the bias into slices that are a scant 1/4 ” thick. Toss them lightly with just the slightest bit of lemon juice – the juice will keep them from blackening, but you don’t want them to be so wet that they dribble on the ganache. Arrange the banana slices in concentric circles over the top of the tart – start at the outer edge and slightly overlap the slices in a circle, then continue building concentric circles, having each circle slightly overlap its neighbour. Brush the bananas with a thin coating of the hot jam, glazing them evenly. Allow the glaze to cool and set.

When you’re ready to serve, remove the sides of the pan and slide the tart off the bottom of the pan and slice.

Enjoy!


Boozy Peanut Butter & Banana Pound Cake with a Peanut Butter Nutella Glaze

October 14, 2011

So the other day I had a real hankering for something with peanut butter and bananas. Then I saw the bottle of Jack Daniels sitting there and decided bourbon would have to be involved in the dish as well. I don’t know why it is that I want to put Jack Daniels in everything. I think I’m borderline obsessed with the stuff! What’s even stranger is that I never drink Jack Daniels in any type of cocktail form. In fact, I only drink it straight after the most harrowing of days. 🙂 Yet I want to put it in everything I bake. Go figure…. Perhaps I lived in Tennessee in a previous life…

The man himself!

Well, I had come across a recipe that called for all of the desired ingredients. It was listed on a blog from which I had never attempted to make any dishes and which due to the following outcome, shall remain nameless. I must admit, I was a bit sceptical about said recipe because it did not call for any eggs. Hmmm…. And it seemed a bit short on flour. Hmmm…. But I soldiered on and popped the ill-fated concoction in the oven. The cloud of doubt grew ever darker as I peeked in the oven to check on its progress ( ie. lack of progress). With growing apprehension, I went to one of my favourite blogs, Buns in My Oven, because I knew Karly had published a recipe for a fantastic looking Peanut Butter & Banana Pound cake not too long ago. I checked her ingredients…yup…5 eggs and over double the amount of sugar and flour. Oh no! Why did I ever stray! But what could I do but sit with a horrible sinking feeling, hoping for the best, yet fearing the worst. Sadly, my perseverance merely resulted in  a terribly disappointing blob emerging from the oven. Utter failure! I hate it when that happens. But I proceeded to pick myself up ( after uttering a string of expletives which I wouldn’t even think of replicating here ) and began to mix up the recipe for Peanut Butter & Banana Pound Cake with a Peanut Butter Nutella Glaze from Buns in My Oven, but with the addition of some lovely Jack Daniels. It was obvious from the get-go that this was much more like it. I felt my spirits lifting and knew I would be redeemed in this cake.

Sure enough… This cake is stunning!

I bet it’s even awesome without the Jack. You could leave it out if you were taking it to a church pot-luck or a children’s party or some other such teetotalling thing. But it just makes me feel better knowing Jack’s in there.

Boozy Peanut Butter & Banana Pound Cake with a Peanut Butter Nutella Glaze

Recipe slightly adapted ( I added the Jack Daniels 🙂 ) from Buns In My Oven

ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter (I used JIF), divided
  • 2 3/4 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large bananas, mashed
  • 3 Tablespoons Jack Daniels (or your preferred Bourbon)
  • 1 cup Nutella, divided
  • 2 tablespoons milk or water (optional – or you could use some more Bourbon – as you seen fit)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter and 3/4 cup of the peanut butter until smooth. Beat in the sugar, mixing until light and airy, around 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Stir in the vanilla.

Add the flour and salt to the mixer, all at once, and mix just until incorporated. Mix in the mashed banana on low. Add the Jack Daniels and mix until incorporated.

Pour batter into the prepared bundt pan. Drop heaping spoonfuls of Nutella over the top of the batter, about 1/2 a cup. Using a butter knife, swirl the Nutella all throughout the cake to get a marbled look.

Bake the cake for 60 – 75 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a tester comes out clean.

Allow cake to cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Heat remaining Nutella and peanut butter in the microwave in 10 second intervals to soften it up enough to drizzle. If desired, mix in a little milk or water or even some more bourbon, depending on the day you’ve had, to thin out the glaze until it reaches the desired consistency.

Drizzle on top of the bundt cake.

Enjoy!


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