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Friday, March 4, 2011

I am whoopie for Nutella.

When I did my post last week on peanut butter sandwich cookies I was a bit shocked to find out that Nutella is not recognized as a word.   How sad.  Now I realize Nutella is just the name brand and if I were to write hazelnut spread the spell checker would have no problem understanding that, but who actually says hazelnut spread.  No one, its Nutella!  I took this as a sign that I need to blog more with it so it will get more hits and be recognized.   Nutella even has its own day, any food blogger knows that Feb 5th is World Nutella Day.   Since I was in the middle of a cake order and packing for my trip that week I wasn’t able to create something.   The funny thing is when I was on vacation in Roatan with my husband and some friends, we were at breakfast one day and our friend Sebastian shows up with his own jar of Nutella, smuggled in his suitcase.   What a lifesaver, those buffet waffles tasted so much better with Nutella and bananas sandwiched between them.   This gave me an idea! We were having a post vacation picture exchange on Friday night so I thought it would be nice to re-create some of those flavours.  I decided on Banana Whoopie Pies with Nutella cream cheese icing. 

(Pies adjusted from Martha Stewart)
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 medium mashed ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Nutella Cream Cheese filling:
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1) Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare some baking sheets with parchment or silpat.  In a medium bowl whisk together the first 5 dry ingredients.  Beat the butter and sugars in a bowl until smooth and well blended. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated. 
2) Mix together the bananas, sour cream and yogurt.  Add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture alternating with the banana mixture, ending with the flour.  Mix until just combined.
3) Add the batter into a piping bag fitted with a round tip or no top.   Pipe small mounds about 1 1/4 inch wide.  (These will spread)

4) Bake for about 12-15 minutes, until edges begin to brown.  Let cool on wire rack.  
5) Make the filling: Beat cream cheese and butter.  Add icing sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy. Add Nutella until combined  Adjust icing sugar amount to your desired stiffness and sweetness.
6) Put the filling into a small piping bag and pipe in a circle on one side of the cake.  Add another cake on top and gently press together.

After a couple tastes of the filling I wish I had added more Nutella to the icing so for a couple pies I spread some Nutella directly on to the cake and then added the filling.  That was a good decision, super rich and nutty.   Overall the best part about these was the icing.   Although I liked the banana cake, it wasn't great.   It may be that I have quite a love for banana bread and the texture and flavour of these cakes was just too different.   I also found the outside was just a bit too moist and could get sticky.    In summary: inside,  good but could have used more Nutella, outside, need to be tweak a banana bread recipe to be in mini cake form.    I will also make them smaller, the batter spread more than expected and they became 3 inch cakes instead of around 2.  (The 1 1/4 I state above should give you a smaller pie)    I also made one Whoopie Pie with out the Nutella for my nut allergic friend.


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