I came across this recipe by chance. I was actually checking into one of my fellow bloggers, Chris at Cooking With Kick, since she had a computer mishap and had not been able to post anything new. So I went to her blog and checked on her, and I ended up reading her blog list and saw what everyone else was up to. One blogger, Hill Country Cook, caught my eye, since her post was about Nutella Pie. Whoosh!! My adrenaline was pumped up into my heart and my eyes popped open.
Not everyone has the same reaction as I do whenever the word “Nutella” pops up. Hubby for example. He said, “I don’t know what the big deal is about Nutella.” But I understand him. Not everyone has the same trigger point. His trigger point is black Angus cattle, or his recent infatuation with Chianina cattle. You could literally see his ears perk up and that invisible antenna on top of his head vibrates whenever there is any kind of steaks mentioned on TV. :)
I came to know about Nutella when I was growing up in Indonesia. My mom would occasionally buy a jar of Nutella – so it was a treat for us. We would slather the hazelnut chocolate cream onto two pieces of white bread, and eat it like that. It was a delish treat! The smooth, creamy, hazelnut spread was accepted by my brain neurosensories as one of the best things that happened in the world. :)
When I came to the U.S., I couldn’t find it anywhere. I think eventually the groceries in Chinatown would carry it from time to time, and finally, someone on Nutella’s corporate ladder was smart enough to introduce it to the U.S. market. I was so happy. Now, whenever I want some Nutella, I am just about five minutes away from it.
So after reading Hill Country Cook’s post about the Nutella Pie, I was curious about other Nutella recipes. One thing led to another, and here I am, writing about the Nutella Pudding Icebox Cake by Candy Wong at Dessert by Candy. I decided to make this one first, since I had a Snack Day coming at the office.
I needed graham crackers, milk, heavy whipping cream, Nutella, eggs, sugar, corn starch, and Hazelnut coffee flavoring syrup. Candy’s recipe called for Frangelico liquor, but since we don’t do liquor in this household, I opted to replace it with the syrup instead.
I used a 7 x 11 inch baking pan since I don’t own a 7 x 7 inch baking pan and I lined it with wax paper.
Then I poured the milk into a measuring cup, and then the heavy cream as well.
And I read this somewhere and watched it at one of the Joy of Baking’s videos, to rinse out your pot before pouring the milk into the pot. I think it’s to prevent scorching your pot.
Then I added the sugar and let it heat up to medium – medium low heat.
In a small bowl, I added the 4 egg yolks and sugar.
Whisked it until smooth…
And, I tempered the egg with the milk mixture. This is so that the eggs won’t become scrambled eggs. By adding milk a little bit by little bit to the egg mixture, I increased the temperature of the egg without cooking it.
When I was finished, I had a warm egg -milk mixture.
I poured it back to the pot…
Stirred it up, and now I used my long wooden spoon. When dealing with making your own pudding, use the longest wooden spoon you have, because things will get really hot. I mean, really, really hot.
The pudding got cooked really fast. Within 3 minutes I got this very thick pudding. I turned off the heat and transferred the pudding into a manageable mixing bowl.
Then, I attacked the Nutella jar. It was still sealed. Unbroken. Untouched. Could you believe that?
I put the mixing bowl on top of a scale, and I scooped up and plopped 6.5 oz. weight of Nutella. I knew this because I did my homework by reading the comments on Candy’s post. One person asked Candy if the 6.5 oz. Nutella is by the measuring cup measurement or by scale weight. And Candy said by scale weight. I love this method, since you don’t dirty up a measuring cup this way. :)
I mixed it in, and for some reason, my pudding was grainy looking. So I strained it and hoped that it would produce a smoother pudding.
It helped! And I almost forgot to add the flavoring syrup!
After I mixed it in, I had my Nutella pudding! :)
Then I put the graham crackers into the lined baking pan. I was able to put 10 crackers into this baking pan.
I scooped up some Nutella pudding on top of the crackers…
Smoothed it out as best I could…
Put on another layer of crackers…
I kept repeating the steps until I reached the top part of the pan. Then I dutifully chilled it in the refrigerator overnight.
I lifted it out of the pan by holding on the edges of wax paper…
Cut a piece or two for us to try at home…. To make a neat cut – I followed Candy’s direction by running hot water on the knife, sliced the cake, and I re-run it under the hot water and wiped off the pudding/cake that stuck to the knife.
And cut them into bite size pieces for work…
What do you think? I ended up with 4 layers of crackers. The taste of Nutella was somewhat toned down and not as strong as if you eat straight Nutella. It was delicious, if I might add, like you need some assurance. J I should have doubled the pudding recipe since I would have wanted more pudding between each layer, and it would add more moisture that way. This icebox cake was not dry, but to me, it could do with more pudding. People at the office though, gobbled it up like candy. Some people even asked for the recipe, and I dutifully referred them to Candy’s blog. So thank you Candy for sharing this wonderful recipe! :)
Print recipe here.
Nutella Pudding Icebox Cake
Recipe courtesy: Dessert By Candy
2/3 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 large egg yolks
2 tbsp cornstarch
6 1/2 oz Nutella
2 tbsp Frangelico
36 graham crackers
Line a 7” square cake pan with plastic wrap. Set aside. I know that it is an unusual size but they are quite popular in Japan as a two-piece pan that you can lift out the insert for making yokan. Besides, it fits 9 graham crackers perfectly in one layer. No kidding.
Scald the milk, cream, and 1/4 cup of sugar in a small saucepan. In the mean time, whisk together egg yolks, 1/4 cup of sugar, and cornstarch in a large mixing bowl until smooth.
Temper the eggs by pouring in a bit of the hot milk into the egg mixture while whisking. Keep adding milk to eggs and continue whisking until incorporated. Pour mixture back to saucepan.
Cook over medium high heat and stir constantly with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. When it starts to boil, the custard will thicken considerably. Keep stirring vigorously for another 15 seconds. Remove from heat.
Empty the cooked custard into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in Nutella and Frangelico until smooth. You now have Nutella pudding! I dare you not to take a taste.
To assemble icebox cake, line cake pan with a layer of graham cracker (9 cracker per layer) and top with 1/2 cup of pudding. Smooth pudding evenly using an offset spatula. Repeat with another layer of graham cracker and pudding three more times until you have 8 layers in total. The top layer should be Nutella pudding. Level with offset spatula. You may have a bit of pudding leftover. I don’t think you need me to tell you what to do.
Wrap the pan with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 24 hours. During this time, the moisture from the pudding will soften the graham crackers until they take on a cakey texture. Don’t rush it! If you want very clean neat cuts, I would put it in the freezer for 3 hours until solid.
To serve the cake, lift it out of the cake pan with the help of plastic wrap. Peel off the plastic wrap and transfer cake to serving plate. Cut with a knife dipped in hot water and divide into 9-12 pieces. If the cake had been frozen, let it stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.