the girl with the bicycle

adventures in and around the city

Gooey Nutella and Hazelnut Cake

There’s nothing quite like a gooey chocolate cake and a mug of tea to make the world seem like a better place.

Like so many women these days I’m someone who suffers with anxiety, and although this is usually a mild shadow that follows me around like an imaginary friend or a faithful dog, it can sometimes blow up into a big hurricane circling around my head.

Anxiety and worry is something that really blights my enjoyment of things.  It stops me from feeling joy in the world because I’m too damn worried about what people think of me, regretting past mistakes, or whether I’m likely to get a nasty disease
and die young!

The thing is that none of those things are in my control, and although I’m fully aware of that and the irrationality of it all, it’s like the obsessive thoughts take over and I find myself in a spiral of negativity.

Anxiety doesn’t stop me from doing things anymore which is great, but the mistake I, and probably millions of other women like me make, is that because it doesn’t consume me it becomes normalised behaviour, and I think it’s just par for the course of living in today’s world.

There is light at the end of the tunnel

Over the past year I have experienced longer and longer breaks from the endless worry that’s been weighing me down, and only just come to realise that it’s totally within my power to boot it out for good!

There are many formal techniques and strategies for overcoming anxiety which range from medication (which in my opinion, should always be a last resort), to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Neuro- Linguistic Programming and mindfulness to name but a few. There are also the more informal therapies such as exercise, hypnotherapy, acupuncture, and meditation.

What’s helped me realise that anxiety doesn’t need to be a firm fixture and fitting in my mind is a mixture of yoga, meditation, and cycling (my trusty velo has a lot to offer!) But I’ve realised to give it the final heave-ho I might need some help to recognise how these thought patterns materialise, and how to bat them straight back out of the park.

So after a Sunday of worrying about work and things that are completely out of my control, i’ve made a really positive decision to move things forward. I’m going to take the steps needed to book myself onto a course and wave goodbye to the devil on my shoulder!

Whilst I was in the thick of the doom and gloom though, this cake gave me the momentary hug I needed.


  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 175g softened unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 5 tbsp milk
  • 5 large tbsp Nutella
  • 50g smashed hazelnuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line the base of a 20cm round cake tin.
  2. Put the eggs, butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, and milk into a bowl. Beat until light and fluffy.
  3. Tip half of the mixture into the tin, spread it level, then spoon the Nutella on in five blobs. Top with the remaining mixture, swirl a few times with a skewer, then smooth to cover the Nutella.
  4. Sprinkle with the nuts. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, until risen, nicely browned, feels firm to touch and springs back when lightly pressed (cover with foil if it starts to brown too quickly). Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out, peel off the paper and cool on a wire rack. Wrap tightly in double thick foil to keep fresh for up to a week.


5 comments on “Gooey Nutella and Hazelnut Cake

  1. notimeforironing
    September 5, 2012

    I am so similar with worrying, however this cake looks like it’s perfect for calming the nerves.

  2. girlwiththebicycle
    September 5, 2012

    Probably not so good for the hips though. Nearly 4 days later it’s still moist, and i’ve already had 2 pieces today- oops!

  3. Alex
    September 20, 2012

    Ooh, this looks delicious! I also think cycling is really good for dealing with anxiety, and I find baking very therapeutic too, particularly bread baking.

    • girlwiththebicycle
      September 20, 2012

      Thank you Alex, it was yummy! Yes you’re right about the bike riding, it has definitely released me from the grip of anxiety.

  4. lornagoode
    September 21, 2012

    This cake looks delicious; I have to try it! Thank you for sharing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on September 3, 2012 by in Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 37 other followers

%d bloggers like this: