Monday, October 5, 2009

Nutella - Heavenly Hazelnut Goodness

I grew up on Nutella. What is Nutella you ask? Nutella is a spreadable hazelnut chocolate spread. It's origin comes from pastry make Pietro Ferrero whose name adorns many products today including Nutella. In the 1940s, there was a cocoa shortage due to the rationing during World War II, so Mr. Ferrero added hazelnuts to extend the chocolate supply. The original form of Nutella came in a foil wrapped loaf and the formula would later be altered to become a spread that came in a jar. Today Nutella is sold world wide and is, in my opinion, the equivalent in Italy as compared to Peanut Butter in the U.S.

My mom used to make my siblings and me sandwiches for school. There were times that I wanted nutella sandwiches. I cannot tell you how many kids were converted after first being repulsed by the appearance of hazelnut chocolate being spread on bread and then to be blown away by the addictive taste.


Nutella's popularity in the states has definitely grown. Every year, fans all over the globe celebrate World Nutella Day. Kobe Bryant of the LA Lakers endorsed the product and it can be found in many grocery stores and of course it can be found in any Doris Italian Market & Bakery. If you don't live in South Florida and cannot find a store that sells Nutella, you can purchase it through our online store. Simply click HERE to purchase Nutella.


For those of you who like to replicate, I have taken the liberty to post a couple of recipes to make your own Hazelnut Spread


NUTELLA

Makesabout 1 1/4 cups
Active time:15 min
Start to finish:15 min
RECIPE BY WILL GOLDFARB
April 2008
You might not realize how simple it is to make the classic hazelnut-and-chocolate spread at home. This version has a more nuanced flavor than the store-bought stuff, with a softer texture. It stores really well—you don’t even need to refrigerate it—so don’t be afraid to make a big batch. Watch Goldfarb demontrate how tapioca maltodextrin can turn this spread into “Nutella” Soil.
200 g (7 oz) well-mixed canned hazelnut-praline paste (see cooks’ note, below)
100 g (3.5 oz) unsalted butter, softened
75 g (2.6 oz) 64%-cacao bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped and melted (see Tips)
Equipment:
a gram scale; a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment



  • Beat praline paste and butter in mixer at medium speed until smooth.


  • Beat in melted chocolate until smooth.



Cooks’ notes:
To ensure that hazelnut-praline paste (candied-hazelnut paste) is well mixed, purée entire contents of can in a food processor before measuring.
“Nutella” keeps in an airtight container in a dark, dry place at cool room temperature up to 3 months.



Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread (easy version)
Yield: about 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups)
2 cups whole raw hazelnuts1 cup powdered sugar1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powderup to 1/4 cup vegetable or nut oil1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place hazelnuts in a single layer on a shallow baking pan. Toast until the skins are almost black and the meat is dark brown, about 15 minutes. Stir the nuts halfway through baking to ensure an even color.

  • Since the skin is bitter, you’ll want to discard them. Wrap the cooled hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel or paper towel, and rub until most of the skins have come off. Don’t fret if you can’t get off all the skins.

  • Process nuts in a food processor, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until they have liquefied, about 5 minutes. First, you will get coarsely chopped nuts, then a fine meal. After a little while, the nuts will form a ball around the blade, and it will seem like you only have a solid mass. Keep processing. The heat and friction will extract the natural oils, and you will get hazelnut butter!

  • When the nuts are liquified, add in the sugar, cocoa and vanilla. Slowly drizzle in enough oil to make a spreadable consistency. Since the mixture is warm, it will be more fluid now than at room temperature.

  • Transfer the spread to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator for1-2 months. For best results, stir the chocolate-hazelnut spread before using.


Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread (caramel base)
Caramel instructions from Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts by Alice Medrich
Yield: about 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup sugar1/4 cup water2 cups whole raw hazelnuts1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder1/2 tsp vanilla extract1/8 tsp salt



  • Preparation: Line a baking sheet with foil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  • Make the caramel: Combine the sugar and water in a 3- to 4-cup saucepan. Do not stir again during the cooking. Cover and bring sugar and water to a simmer over medium heat. Uncover and wipe down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush or a wad of paper towel dipped in water. Cover and cook for 2 minutes, or until the sugar is completely dissolved. Uncover and cook until the syrup turns a pale amber. Test by spooning a drop or two of the syrup onto a white saucer. Swirl the pan gently, continuing to cook and test the color until the syrup darkens to a medium amber color.

  • Pour the caramel immediately onto the lined baking sheet. Tilt sheet to spread caramel as thinly as possible. Let harden completely, about 15 minutes.

  • Toast the nuts: Meanwhile, place hazelnuts in a single layer on a shallow baking pan. Toast in the oven until the skins are almost black and the meat is dark brown, about 15 minutes. Stir the nuts halfway through baking to ensure an even color.

  • To get rid of the bitter skins, wrap the cooled hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. Rub until most of the skins have come off, but don’t worry if some remain.

  • Make the nut butter: When the caramel is completely cool, break it into pieces and pulverize in a food processor. Try to get the caramel as fine as possible at this stage (it won’t get finer once you add the nuts).

  • Add the nuts and process until they have liquefied, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Be patient; the nuts will go from a fine meal, to forming a ball around the blade, to nut butter. Add the cocoa, vanilla and salt and process until smooth.

  • Transfer the spread to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator for1-2 months. For best results, stir the chocolate-hazelnut spread before using.

Notes:

Please use whole raw nuts, and toast them yourself to intensify the flavor. Pre-toasted or pre-chopped nuts are often spoiled.
To further intensify the nut flavor, use unrefined nut oil (for version 1), which is tan in color. Refined nut oils have the color and flavor removed. Peanut oil is especially cheap in Chinese supermarkets. I bought 20 ounces for $2.38! There’s a lesson: if you’re looking for a “gourmet” ingredient, try an ethnic market.
To make any standard nut butter, use this procedure but omit the powdered sugar, cocoa, vanilla and extra oil. Add 1/2 tsp salt and 2 tbsp granulated sugar. Try making your own cashew butter: you may never go back to peanut butter again! (sugoodsweets.com)

You can have Nutella by itself, on fruit, bread, crackers, etc. I love nutella with bananas. But don't take my word for it. Try some for yourself! For more information about Nutella, check out www.nutellausa.com or visit one of our locations.

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