Lightening-Quick Nutella Crunch Pudding

I came up with this quick and easy dessert after wracking my brains about what my 7-year old could make for a small cooking competition. As it was a cold-cooking competition, where there were no hobs or electrical appliances allowed, anything other than assembling was not possible. Since the kid has not been introduced to any types of cooking or cutting and chopping and I didn’t have any kid-friendly knives around, I didn’t want to take that chance with salads and other laborious prep, so went with the quickest and easiest option. Didn’t turn out half bad! For Nutella lovers, this is a lightening quick and yummy dessert. 

The kid didn’t win a prize for this, but I’m putting it down to a lack of good taste of the judges 😉. The only addition here was the chocolate sauce which will cut down the sweetness of the Nutella and add just that extra punch. This dessert has creaminess, crunch, chocolate hit and tart from the cherries. Overall a pleasing combination, and best of all, it’s so easy and quick, you can have your children make the dessert every time this is on the menu! My little monkey is planning to make this on a large scale for the whole family for Sunday lunch and has taken complete ownership of it. 

Layering

It’s not gourmet cuisine, but it’s tasty and moreover an express dessert for when you don’t have time to labor over the more complicated preparations. It looks impressive and is also light on the tummy, so you don’t feel the heaviness that comes with eating a rich pudding. Am not going to talk too much about it now. Will leave the field open to you. 

Ingredients (Serves 2)

4 tablespoons mascarpone cheese (80gm) (can also use cream cheese)
4 tablespoons Nutella spread (80 gm)
2 tablespoons fresh cream
6 small digestive biscuits (or 4 large ones) broken up into tiny pieces
40 gms walnuts roasted, cooled and roughly chopped 
12 cherries roughly diced (I used canned cherries)
8 tbsp dark chocolate sauce (optional)

Dark Chocolate Sauce

50 gms dark chocolate broken up
100 ml cream
8 tbsp milk

Get Started 

Chocolate Sauce

Heat the cream in a heavy bottomed pan and when it comes to boil on the sides, turn off the gas. Add the chocolate. Leave it for a minute undisturbed, then stir till mixed thoroughly. Add the milk and mix well. See if it’s runny. If not, add another tablespoon and mix. Cool and keep aside. 

You will have more than enough left over. Can use it for making chocolate milk or make a larger batch of this pudding. 

Pudding

In a bowl, mix the mascarpone cheese with the Nutella spread till you get a smooth, even paste. 

Place one tablespoon of crumbled biscuit at the bottom of each of the serving glasses. 

Then add two heaped tablespoons of the Nutella mixture over that. Smooth the mixture so that it becomes an even line. 

Now sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the biscuit crumble over the Nutella mix and then sprinkle some walnuts all over that. Then add all the cherry over the walnuts in both glasses and drizzle chocolate sauce over that. 

Add 2 tablespoons of cream to the remaining Nutella mix in the bowl, mix well and divide them evenly across the two glasses over the cherries. 

Sprinkle more biscuit crumble and walnuts over the top. Drizzle with chocolate sauce and add a whole cherry on the top for garnish. 

This dish can be enjoyed at room temperature or refrigerated. 

Nutella Swirl, Chocolate Chip Brownies

Brownies are my weakness. It also is a hot favourite with all of my family members, so after a long hiatus and weighing the pros and cons of baking this sinful decadent dessert (which I absolutely cannot resist even though my weight goals are far from being achieved, I decided to throw self-denial of calorific food out of the window and just go for it even though I know that when I see these things sitting there, there is no way I will pass them without picking one up and shoving it into my mouth (at every pass) until they’re finished.

I normally make chocolate walnut brownies but this time thought to do something different and go for Nutella – hazelnut flavour being a big favourite of mine – and loaded them with chocolate chips. So, after working out some proportions in my head, this is what came of it. My kids raved about them, more I suspect because they have been denied pastries and candy this week as a result of overindulgence last month on holiday.

The daughter actually said “I love them as much as Krishna loves butter’’! And the son threw out his usual pithy “awesome’’ and ate about four of them. Am not going to let that make my head swell because they have very little discerning powers where desserts are concerned. Anything sweet is amazing.  And the combination of hazelnut loaded with chocolate chips made them absolutely giddy with delight. Ha ha, poor deprived monkeys. I’ll leave the judgement to you worldly souls.

You can use semi-sweet chocolate chips if you want a sweeter tasting brownie or dark chocolate chips if you want a nice mildly bitter touch to counter the sweetness. I would have used the dark chocolate chips in mine if I had them in hand as I prefer my brownies less sweet. Nevertheless, these came out very well. They tasted even better a day after. I left them out overnight on the dining table covered by a net.

Ingredients

250 gms Nutella hazelnut spread + 100 gms for swirling on top
200 gms butter (melted but not hot)
125 gms flour
150 gms brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
4 eggs (beaten)
150 gms semi-sweet chocolate chips

Get Started

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C with only the bottom heating rods on.
  • Line a 8 inch by 12 inch steel tray or a 9 inch square pan with butter paper/parchment paper making sure it comes up the sides.
  • Mix the Nutella and melted butter in a bowl and keep aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl mix the flour, sugar and baking powder.
  • Add the Nutella-butter combination to the flour mix and make sure they are properly melded.
  • Add the beaten eggs to the mixture and stir well till the eggs are mixed properly with the batter.
  • Add the chocolate chips, mix well and pour the batter into the tray.
  • Take the remaining 100 grams of Nutella and drops blobs of it over the brownie batter on the tray. Swirl the blobs with a fork making sure you cover the entire tray and bake in the middle rack of the oven for 25 to 30 mins. The skewer you insert to test the brownies should not come out completely clean as then you would have over-baked them but they should not be completely coated with a runny batter either.
  • Remove from the oven and cool completely. When cool, cut into squares and enjoy.

Important Notes: If you’re using a square pan, you may want to keep the brownies in for about five minutes longer.

I only use the heating rods at the bottom of my oven for baking my cakes. If you have an oven where you don’t have the option of turning the rods on the top off you can place an oven tray between the rod and the cake. I don’t use ovens which have only heating from the top.

The most important thing to note when baking is to Know Your Oven. Every oven behaves differently. There have been cakes that have called for 40 minutes of baking time and mine has taken an hour. This knowledge is critical for your baking success.