It feels like ages since I baked something on a Saturday. A combination of extreme busyness, weekends away and as many early nights as I can muster has made our kitchen an unusual (and scarily messy) place for me to be. Today I cleaned that little corner to within an inch of its life, and in celebration, I made cinnamon and Nutella cake from one of my new Good Food cake books. (It’s also here.)

Just stop and think about that for a moment. A cake made from 1) cinnamon and 2) Nutella. Isn’t that a beautiful thing? The Other Half and I are heartfelt Nutella enthusiasts – as our collection of empty jars will attest – so the only ingredient I really had to buy was a bag of hazelnuts for the top. And the cake mix was reassuringly ordinary: just butter, sugar, flour, milk and eggs with some baking powder and a heck of a lot of cinnamon, all thrown together in a big mixing bowl and beaten together.

The tricky part came, oddly, with the adding of the Nutella. First you put three-quarters of the cake mix into your tin.

Then the recipe said to take four large tablespoons of Nutella and drop it in four blobs onto the surface of the cake mix. Well, Nutella, in its straight-from-cupboard state, is pretty hefty stuff – try eating it by the spoonful and see how full you get – and it didn’t take me long to realise that cake mixture wouldn’t hold up a whole tablespoon of it. While a cake with a Nutella base did sound intriguing, it wasn’t quite what I was going for. So I melted it, and dribbled it on the cake mix like chocolate fondue.

This was much fun, but did make it slightly harder to cover afterwards with the remaining cake mix. I did it in the end, though, and after a sprinkling of chopped hazelnuts and a bit of granulated sugar just for the heck of it, it went in the oven.

Here’s where I made my mistake. The cake was supposed to stay in the oven for an hour and ten minutes – and there wasn’t even any fruit in it! Madness! I was convinced that our burn-happy oven would frazzle it, so I put it in with foil over the top. Then, predictably, the cake rose until it stuck to the foil, and I had to peel it off half an hour later, losing half the cake top in the process. It also buried all of the hazelnuts, like little submarines. It recovered well in the remaining time, and I was quite optimistic. And then I took it out and cut into it, and realised that…the Nutella, as well as half the hazelnuts, was all at the bottom of the tin. Even melting it hadn’t made it light enough for the cake mix to support it.

This doesn’t make the cake a failure, I don’t think: the Nutella makes a chocolatey crust at the bottom which is a happy alternative. But there must be a way of keeping it aloft. Perhaps – as with so many questions in life – the solution is larger quantities of Nutella.

If you find a hazelnut in your slice, you get a prize.

A hot drink is a compulsory accompaniment.

Deliciousness: High marks. It’s crumbly, sweet and crunchy with hazelnuts. On a side note, I bet this recipe would be good with chocolate chips.

Complexity: Aside from the unsolvable mystery of the sinking Nutella, mixing in a bowl was as complex as it got. My favourite kind of cake.

Washing-up pile: Six items, and only two of them large. A welcome result, as I’ve spent enough time washing up today already.

Casualties: None to speak of. My burn mark is only just fading, so I was extra careful.

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