When I recently read about World Nutella Day I figured it was about time I participated in my first blogging event! Although Nutella didn't appear too frequently in my childhood, its occasional visits were certainly welcome. The fun starts at the supermarket where there's a good chance that the smooth, chocolatey spread will be sold in an array of cartooned drinking glasses. This week I scored a tumbler with three Nickelodeon characters: Jimmy Neutron, Angelica from Rugrats and Spongebob Squarepants!
The usual reason for the appearance of Nutella was that Mum would be making a super-sized choc-nutella pudding to cater for a weekend lunch with her friends and their offspring. It's a family-friendly recipe, with a moderately moist and chocolatey cake, and a layer of rich nutella sludge underneath. Fresh out of the oven, it's definitely a comfort food: impossible to serve neatly, with extra scrapings from the bottom heaped on the side, this pudding will instead win you over with the smell that emanates from the kitchen as it cooks. (I baked it in a retro dish that I inherited from Mum.)
Part 3 of my nutella-savouring is to eat the room-temperature leftovers of this pudding. While the cake becomes firmer and a little less enjoyable, the sauce sets into a smooth ganache-like consistency with chewy edges. I love those chewy edges. My specific memory of Mum baking this pudding for a crowd involves a visit from long family friends, the Thurlows. It appeared at lunch time and in the evening the grown-ups went out for dinner. Dan Thurlow and I, at about 14 and 15 years of age, were left in charge at home. We proceeded to finish the pudding for dinner and didn't for a second wish we were eating whatever fancy French stuff the old folks were chowing down on.
The final installment in The Enjoyment of Nutella according to Cindy is one that I bet features in a few other childhoods: sneaking the remaining nutella from the jar, one stealthy spoon at a time!
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 cup cream
90g butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup castor sugar
3/4 cup self-raising flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup buttermilk (or just plain milk, if you like)
Grease a cake pan and preheat the oven to 180 deg C. Whisk the nutella and cream and spread the mixture over the base of the pan.
Combine the remaining ingredients. I use the unwashed bowl that had the nutella and cream in it, and go through the usual cake process: cream the butter and sugar, mix in the eggs one at a time, sift the dry ingredients and add them gradually along with the milk.
Pour the cake mix into the pan and bake for about 35 minutes. (Test it with a skewer, it's ready when the skewer comes out clean.)
Serve with ice-cream or whipped cream.