My favorite food holiday of the year is rapidly approaching, and I just can't wait. Quite literally. Every day is National Nutella Day in our Nutella-loving household; if you wait until Feb. 5 to celebrate its lip-smacking, spoon-licking chocolate-hazelnut goodness, in my opinion, you're a chump!
I'm sure there are recipes that incorporate the spread into entrees or side dishes (www.nutelladay.com includes a recipe finder), but I think it tastes best in something sweet. So instead of "dinner," I'm offering this ooey, gooey dessert recipe in honor of my daughter Olivia, who shares her birthday with the holiday.
These taste best warm, right out of the oven. But if you must make the cakes ahead, you can stick them in the microwave for 10 seconds to reheat the molten center.
For the cakes
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
3 large eggs
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Sweetened whipped cream, optional
12 whole hazelnuts, toasted
6 fresh strawberries, sliced in half
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously spray a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
Place butter, chocolate chips and Nutella in a large microwave-safe bowl. Heat mixture in microwave for 60 seconds, then in three 30-second increments, stirring until smooth after each interval. Stir the flour and confectioners' sugar into the chocolate-butter mixture. Mix in eggs and egg yolks, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix until combined.
Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges are firm but centers are still soft.
Allow cakes to cool in pan for 3 minutes to set up. Run a knife around edges to loosen cakes, and invert them onto a cutting board. Transfer each cake to a serving plate. Lightly dust confectioners' sugar over each one, followed by a dollop of Nutella, some sweetened whipped cream, if desired, a hazelnut and a strawberry half.
Serves 12 (or in my house, 4).
-- "Savory Sweet Life: 100 simply Delicious Recipes for Every Family Occasion" by Alice Currah (William Morrow, 2012, $24.95)