Oh, Nutella, my love. I heard stories of you, tales of greatness, but I didn't ever try you until I was visiting Europe in the late '90s and saw it in the grocery store. And then I learned people would eat this hazelnut-chocolate magic for breakfast.
Breakfast! On their freshly baked breads. With coffee. And you became a symbol of perfection for me because you were a dessert sanctioned for breakfast.
Yet, somehow, I didn't know how easy it is to make your own Nutella. Half an hour and done. Hazelnut-chocolate magic that tastes just like the stuff in the jar.
Here's a quick history of how Nutella came to be, founded by Pietro Ferrero (as in the Ferrero company), in the 1940s. Because of the cocoa shortage from the war rations, Mr. Ferrero relied on hazelnuts, which were in ample supply in Italy.
At first, the mixture was shaped into logs that were easily sliced for sandwiches. But kids were tossing the bread and eating just the slices, so he then made the mixture spreadable to outwit those sneaky kids.
I, for, one, would never give up a chance to eat carbs, so I thank you Mr. Ferrero.
It's not difficult to achieve the blend of hazelnuts and cocoa. If you find roasted hazelnuts with the skins removed, you save even more time. If not, roasting is still pretty simple. After they come out of the oven, the skins fall off relatively easily.
Wait for the hazelnuts to cool to the touch, pick up a handful and rub them with your palms between two paper towels. If you don't get every bit of skin off of the hazelnuts, not to worry. Some skins in the mixture are just fine. I ended up with a good bit of the skins in my final product and it tasted divine.
And Nutella isn't just for breakfast, as I’m sure you know, given its cult-like status on Pinterest. Spread it on bread, bagels, croissants, crepes, and funfetti waffles. On donuts, cakes and cupcakes.
Use it as a cookie dip. Mix it in drinks, cocktails and hot cocoa. Spoon it on bananas, strawberries and apples. And even incorporate it in countless recipes, like this two-ingredient stuffed Nutella bread.
- 8 ounces hazelnuts, 2 cups
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spread the hazelnuts on the tray. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the skins begin to come off. Do not overcook.
- Let the hazelnuts cool slightly to touch and roll them between two paper towels using your palms to get off as much of the skins as you can.
- Place the hazelnuts in the food processor and process until the hazelnuts form a paste. This may take several minutes.
- Add the additional ingredients and continue to process to desired consistency, scraping down the sides of the food processor as necessary.
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