Oi Mister. How much are yer penny sweets?
When I was younger, I used to pass a little sweet shop on the way to school. It was one of those dimly lit, old fashioned places where they had row after row of every kind of sweet you could imagine lined up on shelves behind the counter. The owner was an unassuming man with a world weariness about him. Patient and kind, but with a clearly heavy heart and a sadness in his eyes that betrayed his longing for the day he could finally hang up his apron for the last time. Mostly, I assume, because twice a day, every day without fail, a procession of school kids would traipse into his shop one after another and shout “Oi Mister. How much are yer penny sweets?” Then without waiting for an answer run screaming from his shop, arms flailing and giddy with laughter. I don’t recall if I was ever a part of his ritual daily torment, but I do remember that pokey old shop was where I first encountered Nutella.
The height of suavery.
E. When I were a lad. I used to have 30 pence a day for school. Should I spend that money on bus fares or sweets? It was entirely up to me, but I’ve never been one for walking so 99 times out of a 100 the bus won hands down. Until I discovered Nutella. Round these parts, back in the eighties, you were considered classy if you could manage to eat some scampi and lemon fries without inviting other people to smell your fingers. It was a happier time. It was a simpler time. The very height of suavery in our school was a tiny tiny pot of nutella that came with it’s own scoop. It was a ridiculous 30p a pot from that little sweet shop, long since demolished. Practically a kings ransom. And it meant all of my lovely pennies were gone in one fell swoop. But that miniature pot of sophistication and decadence was totally worth it. The delectable hazelnut gateway drug that led to a chocolate addiction that persists to this day. I’m snorting maltesers as I type.
A real mouthful.
The recipe I present to you today should by rights have been called supermarket own brand chocolate and hazelnut spread yoghurt loaf cake. I always want the cake to be a real mouthful, but the name? Not so much. Nutella no longer holds the same allure for me as it did all those years ago. These days, we who are cash savvy can buy perfectly good non-branded spreads that taste exactly the same for a third of the price. And that’s a good thing. Because this cake is quite plain, and the thing that really gives it a lift is the heavenly hazelnut topping slathered thickly on top. The only down side to using a cheaper alternative is that the name is not just as snappy. It doesn’t exactly roll easily off the tongue. It would be much easier to call it Nutella yoghurt loaf. But it’s Not Nutella Yoghurt Loaf.
A tin to bake it in.
When I wrote this recipe out I had intended to use a 900g loaf tin lined with a greaseproof paper liner. When it came to actually making this cake, I used a 1kg loaf tin and greased the tin with homemade cake release paste. I am not entirely sure what would have happened if I had used the smaller tin. What I do know is that there seemed to be a goodly amount of cake mix. To be on the safe side I would stick to using the larger 1kg tin. And besides, it turned out to be such a handsome cake. If you started faffing around with the tin size, that really would be nutty. Now here’s that recipe… Enjoy.
NOT NUTELLA YOGHURT LOAF.
- 230g Self Raising Flour.
- ¼ tsp Salt.
- 220g Greek Yoghurt.
- 2 Eggs.
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract.
- 60g Margarine.
- 80g Chocolate Hazelnut Spread.
- 150g Granulated Sugar.
- 120g Chocolate Hazelnut Spread.
- Place a shelf in the centre of the oven. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4. Grease and flour a 1kg loaf tin.
- Whisk together the flour and salt until aerated. Set aside.
- Whisk together the yoghurt, eggs and vanilla extract until smooth. Set aside.
- Cream together the margarine, chocolate hazelnut spread and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Fold in the flour and yoghurt alternately until just combined, taking care not to over mix. (Flour, yoghurt, flour, yoghurt and ending with flour).
- Spoon into the prepared tin and smooth the surface, leaving a dip in the centre to help the cake rise evenly.
- Bake for 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool in the tin for at least 10 minutes before carefully turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Heat the 120g of chocolate hazelnut spread in the microwave for about 30 seconds until runny. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. Just so it’s thickens back up a bit and becomes spreadable.
- Pour over the top of the cooled cake and gently spread to the edges, trying not to let any run down the sides of the cake.
- Allow to set slightly before serving.