I can’t believe it’s World Nutella Day again! Sara from Ms. Adventures in Italy and Michelle from Bleeding Espresso host “World Nutella Day 2011″ (the FIFTH instlment!) – a day to celebrate, get creative with, and most importantly, eat Nutella. It only seems like yesterday I was whipping up a marbled Nutella cheesecake with molten Nutella sauce (excuse the bad photos on that post…) for last year’s celebrations!
I have to admit my favourite way to enjoy Nutella (apart from, ahem, straight out of the jar) is on fresh white bread. Plain and simple. But I could hardly post that as my contribution to the “party”, so instead I went with a different kind of sandwich – a Nutella lamington. Now, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you will know that I *heart* lamingtons – having made the classic lamington as well as a “macington” and pumpkin lamingtons. So a Nutella lamington was kind of inevitable, right?
A lamington is basically a sponge cake sandwiched with jam and cream, rolled in chocolate glaze and then in coconut. My version? Sponge cubes sandwiched with Nutella, rolled in chocolate glaze and then toasted hazelnuts. They are, indeed, impressive to behold…
I ended up making these on my school’s first ever snow day on Wednesday, so I had the time to skin and toast the hazelnuts – I am glad I did. I boiled 1 cup of hazelnuts with 3 cups of water and 4 Tablespoons of baking soda for about 3 minutes. The water turned purple-black and frothy from the skins. I drained them and rinsed with cold water and the skins just slipped off. I made sure to air dry them for a couple of hours before I toasted them on a baking tray at 350F for 10 minutes. I cooled them before I roughly chopped them (with a knife, not a food processor – I wanted a more rustic look). Removing the skins removes the bitterness and oven-toasting them adds a lovely crunch to their texture and, of course, a toasty flavour. Check them out up close:
While I was waiting for the hazelnuts to cool enough to chop them, I sliced the pound cake (that I had found in our freezer and defrosted the night before – in my continued attempt to use up what we have in the house) into small-ish cubes and sandwiched them with Nutella. I placed the cubes in the freezer for about 30 minutes to make sure they would “stick” when dipped in the warm chocolate glaze.
The glaze is basically 4 cups of icing sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa, 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter and about 2/3 cup milk, heated on the stovetop and whisked until it was smooth. The consistency is pretty runny but this makes for easier dipping!
I used two forks to dip the cubes in and then drained the excess chocolate glaze off before I rolled them in the chopped toasted hazelnuts. I placed them on wax paper then the fridge to harden up a little. To serve, bring to room temperature – remove from fridge about 30 minutes before serving.
Yeah, these were G.O.O.D. Decadent. Rich. A once a year treat. But oh, so good.
And I couldn’t resist this next shot – I was shooting these in the middle of a snow storm on my porch (yes the neighbourhood kids thought I was crazy) and at one point I had to move some of the lamingtons around to brush some snow off the table. Instead of putting the in-the-way lamington on the placemat I had out there, I accidentally put it on the (empty and clean) snow-filled bowl we sometimes fill with water for our neighbourhood cat…
It’s a snowy day treat for sure!