Sunday, 12 December 2010

Foodie Experience#2 Italian Breakfasts/Nutella and a Chocolatey Heaven Guest Post

 The best intentions...

So I promised I would post every Sunday, then work came along and 'bam wang', my Sundays got taken up somehow over the last few weeks.



Don't get me wrong, I was pleased. A promotion, more money and more challenges. But at the back of my mind, the niggling feeling that I had failed my promise yet again on this blog!

*Sigh* Still this is my passion and I will to juggle and try to keep my promises. After all, it is through the blog that I can grow and learn and communicate with all of you!
That will never change nor will the friendships so dear to me I have made through this outlet.

But enough of me.

On with Italian breakfasts and the Italian's love of Nutella.

This is a typical Italian breakfast, served with a glass of milk or coffee:
A selection of various 'breakfast biscuits' as they call them.

Now, this did come as a shock to me.
I expected fresh croissants, jams or freshly baked breads, yogurts, etc. Your typical Continental Breakfasts.
But living in an Italian household, I saw both children and grown-ups topping up on their energy levels on an array of biscuits before heading off to work/school.

There are other options.
If you haven't had time to sit down for your biscuits and coffee, you can always stop at the nearest bar-read cafe,more of that to come on a later post- and have a lovely coffee and a pastry, such as these:
or the favourite of every Italian household:
Now, as a Brit, I had encountered the odd jar of Nutella in the supermarket.
I saw it as a cross between the sin of all sins-highly calorific-and a very occasional children's treat.

It wasn't until I arrived in Italy that I realised how much they embraced and adored this chocolate heavenly mixture.
I discovered, through my Italian friends, that Nutella had been created by Mr. Pietro Ferrero in the 1940's due to the shortness of Cocoa. He had decided to create a spread that used what cocoa he could find mixed in with hazelnuts which were plentiful in the region of Piedmont (Northwest of Italy).

Since then, most Italians had developed a love for this spread that became deeply engraved in their culture.
Not only do they spread it on bread but they also bake  with it:
They even top their pizza with it:
They have stalls in the street dedicated only to Nutella pancakes and in supermarkets you can buy giant Kilo jars of the stuff:
Not having a very sweet tooth, I never really converted to the same love and devotion the Italians have for Nutella. I did however find it as the perfect example of the Italians passion for flavours and all things indulgent.

Just like their breakfasts, no boring cereals, no tasteless, healthy drinks, just pure delicious indulgence.

My fascination for their love of Nutella led me to find many recipes online. I was not surprised to see how that chocolaty passion had managed to travel across the pond.

The Italian-Americans embraced that love just as passionately and managed to create some of the most outstanding recipes with this ingredient.
My very favourites are Claudia's from Whats Cooking Italian Style.
She has developed a huge variety of recipes using Nutella and I asked her if she could Guest Post one of them on the blog.

I do love reading her blog. She's a true Italian at heart and her post reflects as much.
Not only does she cook wonders with Nutella but all her recipes are incredibly full of flavour an d her family orientated style of blog writing do reflect what Italian food is really all about.
The way she describes it in this post pretty much sums it all up for me!!
Thank you so much Claudia and I do hope you all enjoy the post, try the recipes out and have a good old read of her blog!!
I was so honored when Ruth Martins from I love Flavour me asked me to guest post. 
Her culinary expertise has been astounding in the blogging world, I just love her versatility, as she can cook all kinds of fabulous foods. 
Being she is part Portuguese and part English, her culinary expertise is simply amazing. Thank you so much for asking me to do this guest post! I could never say no to you!
So a little about me. I absolutely have a very tight bond with family that starts and ends with cooking. 
A family that cooks together, has a strong bond together in mastering a universal love to create, eat and please others. 
That's what we Italians do. We love to cook, we love to eat, and much more please many of of friends and family  by feeding them. 
You have to know if you leave without eating in an Italian household table, that's a sin!
So with that, I would like to present two creations of my own. Nutella is a favorite in our family. 
Being my grandmother was a Ferraro, we often joked that this hazelnut creamy sensation was related somewhere. 
Just joking of course, but we just can't get enough of it. 
So, here are two ingredients to share in one recipe, made by the same company. 
Buon Natale to you and yours from Claudia @What's Cookin' Italian Style Cuisine... 
Thanks so much Ruth for having me here!
No Name Nutella Cupcakes
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 ounces good grade bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup dutch style processed cocoa
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup sour cream

heat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard-sized muffin pan.
Combine butter, chocolate, and cocoa in medium heatproof bowl. Microwave till melted and smooth, about 1 minute. Set aside to cool, to luke warm.
Stir in flour, baking soda, and baking powder in small bowl to combine.
Beat eggs in bowl. Add sugar, vanilla, and salt,beat till fluffy. Add cooled chocolate mixture and beat until well combined. Add flour and sour cream beat till everything is well combined.

Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Cut centers out, fill with filling below. Top with ganache frosting. Crumble Ferarro Rocher Candy on top of ganache.
Filling:
4 tablespoons softened butter
1/2 cup of chopped hazelnuts and 1/2 cup whole ones for the top of the cupcakes 1/2 cup of Nutella
1 1/2 cups of rice krispies crushed or put in food processor 30 to 40 seconds
2 to 3 tablespoon of heavy cream
1 cup of confectionery sugar
Mix butter and Nutella together until well blended. Add confectionery sugar rice krispies, mix together and add the heavy cream until a smooth filling not running but thick and spoonable. Fill hollowed out cupcakes with the filling.

Ganache Topping
2 cups of semi sweet good grade chocolate
3/4 cup of heavy cream
Heat cream in microwave till boiling, remove add chips keep stirring until chips are all melted. If you want this to be a more like just frosting, cool for 20 minutes before spreading, otherwise I put this on while hot and let it drip down the sides.
Add crushed Ferarro Rocher candies on the top of the cupcakes after you have put the ganache on them.
Nutella Hot Chocolate/Cocoa Recipe:

1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons Nutella
1 teaspoon  cocoa powder
Whipped creme in a can for garnish, chocolate shavings, chocolate syrup.  Optional: 1 shot of Frangelico or  Kahlua (Adult version only,  smile !)
Ferrero Rocher Candy
In a high quality heavy pan,  whisk together the milk, Nutella, cocoa powder.  Simmer for about 5 minutes. Serve with a  shot of Frangelico or Kaluha (if your an adult), top with whipped creme, crushed Ferrero Rocher candy, chocolate syrup drizzle.
I have to tell you it's so confusing is it Hot Cocoa or do you call it Hot Chocolate? Everyone is different....I just know it's delicious! Cheers  :)


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10 comments:

  1. great post and fun history on Nutella wow I want a cupcake!!

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  2. Thanks Ruth for this opportunity, I am very honored to guest post on your blog. Your amazing info on Nutella is making me want to go make another creation...thanks so much for having me here...a great read as always...have a wonderful holiday...all the best Claudia from What's Cookin' Italian Cuisine~ :)

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  3. Oh Nutella!! I love it! I always get those big nutella jars when I go to Costco... I am saving these recipes for later. :)

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  4. I have learned so much about Nutella! Thankyou!
    Ruth it seems that every time we promise to blog more.... something happens! It did to me! Please don't feel any pressure from me (but when I see there is a post from you, I am delighted!).
    Take it easy, and cheers to you!

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  5. Having just gotten back from Italy, you certainly reminded me of the breakfasts. The dried flavorless toast got me, until I realized it was the perfect way to get the Nutella from knife to mouth. Loved the history and this recipe looks like trouble in a very good way.

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  6. I grew up Italian and Nutella-less. Yes, that's right. Dried biscottis (which I loved)for breakfast! I discovered Nutella as an adult and I fear it - because I adore it. Bake with it? Or just spoon feed myself?). I love Claudia's blog and her Nutella recipes are amazing. Grand guest posting!

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  7. I used to eat Nutella as a teenager in France; all the French kids love it on a piece of baguette; then I moved to the US and for a few years it was not easy to find; now it is everywhere and I am older and I find it too sweet; love the cupcakes though with the Dutch cocoa (Droste!) and I would bake them happily with or without the nutella.

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  8. You and Claudia - what a perfect pairing!! And yes, she does love her nutella doesn't she? So does my husband, though he's not Italian. Listen - we all get busy, don't apologize! It's so hard keeping up with work and personal lives and blogging ... we will always be here when you can post. And thank you so much for your supportive comment on my post about my dog Pete. You are a sweetie pie.

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  9. I also love her lovely blog & these Nutella recipes truly rock!!

    Waw!! Thanks for sharing this guest post with us! I must make that hor chocolately nutella drink!

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  10. Hi there,
    Love this post. I’m a self-confessed Nutella addict and, only recently, I made a Nutella and banana pizza - it was a huge hit.
    Congratulations on your blog! I’m Laura from UK recipe-sharing website, Gourmandize.co.uk and I would like to arrange a short interview with you - by email or by phone - so that our visitors can learn more about your blog.
    Would you be free this week?
    My best contact is at laura@gourmandize.co.uk
    I hope to hear from you soon.

    Laura Packham
    GourmandizeUK
    Gourmandize.co.uk

    Gourmandize.co.uk features food bloggers from the United Kingdom and Ireland, along with monthly recipe competitions, and is an open community for all people to share their love of food and cooking.

    We are also currently looking for foodies to add their favourite recipes to our site to create a free personalised cookbook, like this: http://goo.gl/y0Go1Y

    This is a no-cost gift that we offer so we can share your recipes with other bloggers and visitors to our site - and rest assured there are no shipping costs either.
    I will leave you with a link to our site, http://www.gourmandize.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete