Friday, February 5, 2010
What the world needs now: Nutella
urely by happenstance, I discovered that today is World Nutella Day. Well, Twitter told me. Or more precisely, it was tweeted and retweeted until it reached my little corner of the world. And filled me with joy. (See, Pa, there IS a reason to follow Twitter!)
Nutella is the wonderful spread made of chocolate and hazelnuts. It's quite rich and lovely, and I have used it over the years to flavor custards and ice cream and cakes, spread on crepes, toast or just eaten by the spoonful... you name it, Nutella makes it better.
So what to make today? I looked up all kinds of recipes--from tastespotting to the Nutella web site to my best friend Google--and decided to go with something different but easy this go around; I found this recipe on tastespotting... it was o-so-hard to choose...
6 oz. whole milk
1 banana, sliced
1 Tbsp. of Nutella
1 tsp. of pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup crushed ice
Into your blender add milk, banana, vanilla and Nutella. Pulse together until well combined. Add in about 1/4 cup of crushed ice and pulse to combine.
Once upon a time I decided that I wanted to make my own Nutella, and researched gianduja, that homemade chocolate-hazelnut mixture I first fell in love with more than two decades ago in Sydney. There was a gelato stand out on Sydney Harbor that I would pass by, and while there were more than a dozen flavors, all perfectly lovely and acceptable, if gianduja was present, I couldn't bear to get anything else. Just heaven in a cup. If you are in the mood to make your Nutella from scratch, here's a really doable recipe.
55 grams dark chocolate (2 ounces, approximately 4 Tbsp.)
1 teaspoon of confectioner's sugar (powdered/icing)
2/3 tablespoon peanut oil (optional--I've made it without adding extra oil as I've found the nuts themselves to be oily enough)
35 grams hazelnuts (1.25 ounces, approximately 2.5 Tbsp.)
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Roast the hazelnuts for about 7 minutes and then roll them together between a teatowel to remove the skins, if you cannot get the skin off some you may need to bake them a little more but do not burn them, it is important to get almost all of the skin off the nuts.
In either a coffee blender, spice blender, small food processor or blender add the skinned nuts and blend until you have a very fine powder, the more fine the better. Add in the oil and powdered sugar and blend thoroughly.
Melt the chocolate either in a double boiler, or a microwave at 50% power for 1 minute, stirring and remicrowaving for 30 seconds at a time until it is completely melted. Add the hazelnut mix to the chocolate mix and stir in thoroughly, the mix will keep in the fridge for several weeks.
Happy World Nutella Day! Now go spread the word!