It’s Italy’s answer to peanut butter. Nutella. And who doesn’t love it? In 2007 two writers, Sara Rosso of Ms. Adventures in Italy (www.msadventuresinitaly.com) and Michelle Fabio of Bleeding Espresso (www.bleedingespresso.com) decided that Nutella deserved special recognition, its own special holiday.
They declared February 5 World Nutella Day calling on bloggers and food writers the world over to come together and post recipes using Italy’s beloved hazelnut and chocolate cream spread. Since that first Nutella Day six years ago the number of celebrants has grown by leaps and bounds. This year hundreds of bloggers will celebrate by sharing recipes that use Nutella in breads, cakes, candy, cocktails, cookies, gelati and more. Thanks go out to Sara and Michelle who “solemnly declared February 5th World Nutella Day 2013 – a day to celebrate, to get creative with, and most importantly, to EAT Nutella.”
Created in the 1940’s by pastry chef Pietro Ferrero, Nutella was first called Pasta Gianduja. During the war years cocoa beans and chocolate were in very short supply. To extend the chocolate taste, he used toasted Piemontese hazelnuts, plentiful even then. The original formula contained toasted hazelnuts, cocoa, cocoa butter and vegetable oil and was supplied in foil wrapped slice-able loaves. Over time the formula was refined to make a spread known as Supercrema Gianduja. In 1964 it was renamed Nutella. Now sold the world over and first introduced to America in 1983, it has become increasingly popular.
Follow the World Nutella Day community at www.WorldNutellaDay.com where you can view the recipe collection and find out how to participate. Follow the Twitter stream @nutelladay for updates.
Shaken Espresso with Nutella
This pick me up is a take on the classic Shakerato, a chilled and shaken espresso drink. The Nutella in this drink will prevent the formation of the half inch of foam typically seen on top of a Shakerato. Give this a good long shake with cracked ice to aerate and chill, then strain and drink straightaway. This one is not meant for slow sipping. Just a couple of sips and you are done and happy!
2 ounces brewed espresso
1 tablespoon Nutella
Pour espresso and Nutella into a Boston shaker and combine well, allowing mixture to cool if hot. Add 4 cracked ice cubes. Shake 1 minute. Strain into serving glass and serve.
Zabaglione con Frangelico e crema di Nutella
Zabaglione with Frangelico and Nutella Whipped Cream
You can get as creative as you want with zabaglione, starting with a dead simple formula: 1 tablespoon each of granulated sugar and flavoring (fruit juice or liquor) and 1 large egg yolk. Once cooked, the zabaglione can be served as is, but I like to lighten it by adding vanilla scented whipped cream.
For Nutella Day I’ve used Frangelico, a hazelnut liqueur. And to really make a Nutella statement I’ve added some Nutella and vanilla extract to the heavy cream, whipped it and folded it into the cooled zabaglione. This really is a very elegant way to enjoy Nutella!
With this dessert, keep in mind you are cooking egg yolks, and if you expose them to a fierce heat source, they will curdle. To achieve a smooth and stable egg cream the use of a double boiler is paramount, providing a gentle heat to cook the eggs. Properly prepared zabaglione will keep (refrigerated) for hours.
For the zabaglione:
4 large egg yolks*
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 tablespoons Frangelico
For the whipping cream:
3/4 cup heavy cream
scant 1/4 cup Nutella
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
chocolate shavings for garnish
Bring 3 inches of water to a boil in a 4 quart saucepan. Lower the heat to a moderate simmer. Place egg yolks, sugar, and Frangelico in stainless steel bowl set over simmering water, checking that simmering water does not come in contact with the bottom of the bowl. Whisk continuously, keeping the egg mass in constant motion, scraping sides of the bowl, about 8 minutes, until mixture lightens and thickens, holding a ribbon. If you are using a candy thermometer, look for a temperature of 160 degrees F. Quickly remove from heat, scrape contents of bowl into a clean stainless steel bowl and place over ice bath to cool, stirring occasionally to promote even cooling.
While zabaglione is cooling, whip cream with scant 1/4 cup Nutella and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in clean bowl. Gently fold Nutella whipped cream into cool zabaglione using a large rubber spatula.
Pour zabaglione into serving glasses, top with chocolate shavings and serve.
*The CDC guidelines recommend that eggs be cooked to a temperature of 160 degrees F. to kill salmonella. To completely remove the threat of Salmonella, pasteurized eggs, such as Davidson’s Safest Choice eggs (www.safeeggs.com), may be used.