Nutella is a guilty pleasure, and one that does not make an appearance all that often at our house.  To be honest, I do not think I have ever bought a container of it.  Usually we enjoy it when we are wandering the streets of Paris.  It is the perfect afternoon pick-me-up while jaunting around town, in and out of museums or shops.

We have two very good friends who make Nutella.  Megan stuffs her homemade Nutella between sheets of buttery pastry dough to create pop tarts.  Danielle, surprises her friends with sweet little pots of Nutella during the holidays.  Ever since, we first tasted their versions, I have talked about making it at home;  but, never have.  Until now.   National Nutella Day, is today, and I could not think of a better recipe to make than homemade Nutella.  This sweet treat would also be perfect for your Valentine!  I know a few of ours will be getting it.

After doing some research, I found that this sticky but delicious journey would be easy to make as well as pleasurable.  Nutella was first created in the 1940s during a chocolate shortage.  A pastry maker by the name of Pietro Ferrero stretched chocolate by thinning out his recipes with the addition of ground hazelnuts.  It became Europe’s “peanut butter”.  If, Nutella did not have such a high sugar content, the nutritional value would be very similar to peanut butter.  The fat comes from the hazelnuts, which is healthier than that double cheese burger you have been eyeing.  And making it at home gives you more control over what will actually be in your recipe.  Think of this recipe as a healthy version of Nutella.

The problem I have with Nutella is not the nuts nor the chocolate, but rather, the extraordinary amount of sugar that most recipes call for.  Don’t get me wrong, I like sweets, just not over sugary sweets, which I find Nutella is.  When I started out developing our Nutella recipe, I knew this would be the first area I would cut.  Most recipes call for powdered sugar and large amounts of it.  I decided to use unrefined sugar in small amounts.  I didn’t want the chocolate to over power the roasted hazelnuts, so I used a minimal amount of cocoa powder.  The cocoa nibs were added for texture.  As well I wanted our recipe to be a bit different, so I added cherry-wood smoked sea salt, and a small amount of roasted hazelnut oil to give the Nutella more depth.  It shined!

Why haven’t I attempted this sooner?  This recipe is so easy and so sultry you will also be wondering why you haven’t made it at home.  Besides enjoying it with merely a spoon, we enjoy a dab of Nutella on slices of baguette with a small sprinkle of Maldon salt.  Or simply wrapped in eggy crepes;  just like street food in Paris.

Happy Nutella Day! (scroll to the bottom for more Nutella Love)

 

 

Nutella Love

 

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