In Italy, we often stopped for an afternoon espresso and a bite of something sweet to tide us over until dinner. We found our favourite cookies in Venice, where the coffee shops served buttery, shortbread-like cookies filled with a creamy chocolate hazelnut filling. They were absolutely perfect dunked into our strong coffee.
I can’t actually buy Nutella, because if it is in my house, I will definitely sit in front of the TV and eat it with a spoon straight from the jar. It’s a weakness of mine. However, this loaf features the chocolate + hazelnut flavour I love about Nutella, and it can be just as addicting.
The final product is dense, nutty, slightly crumbly and packed with melted chocolate chips. There isn’t much flour called for in the recipe; rather, ground hazelnuts make up a large portion of the dry ingredients, and the result is an intensely toasted nutty flavour. I would say the texture is somewhere in between a cake and a cookie (or biscotti).
I made mine in a 9×5-inch loaf pan, which resulted in the longer, skinnier, flatter loaf you see pictured. If you have a smaller loaf pan – say, a 5×3 or similar – you could bake yours into a more traditional loaf shape. Either way, I highly recommend you try this recipe if you love Nutella! It’s delicious no matter how you bake and slice it, and perfect served alongside a cup of coffee, tea, or even a tall glass of milk (if that’s your thing).
- 1 and ½ cups hazelnuts (filberts)
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan thoroughly and set aside.
- In a food processor, grind 1 cup of hazelnuts into a powder and transfer to a mixing bowl. Pulse the remaining ½ cup hazelnuts until finely chopped (but still chunky) and add to ground nuts. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a medium bowl, cream butter, vanilla and sugar together until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Mix in dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
- Bake 55-60 minutes, until a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Will keep covered at room temperature for 1-2 days.
Source: Adapted from The Canadian Family Cookbook (“Filbert Bread” recipe).