Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Chocolate-Hazelnut...Nature's Perfect Combination

Well! Now that I’ve caused a little furor in the ranks of the apparently passionate "Alfredo"-eaters across the US (please stop sending me email; eat the stuff, just don't expect me to!), I will turn my attention to a food item that everyone can agree upon…Nutella! A chocolate-hazelnut delicacy that is spread upon and squirted inside everything imaginable- from croissants, gelato, crepes, cookies, or a humble strip of toast, Nutella makes it appearance far and wide. It’s stirred into coffee cups, dipped onto fruit, eaten with a spoon right out of the jar (and apparently I’m not the only one to do this!) and drizzled over cakes. It is creamy, sweet, nutty and chocolatey…what’s not to like?

So, in honor of the First Annual World Nutella Day, so decreed by Shelley from At Home Rome and Sara from Ms. Adventures in Italy, 2 Baci is proud to participate in this momentous event. Since it also coincides with my mother’s birthday (hi Mama Jo!), I’ll be especially proud to concoct a confection in her honor (too bad she won’t be here to taste the treat for herself).

Read more about World Nutella Day. Participate in the event; together we can make the world a sweeter place!

While I get to work on the birthday recipe worthy of Mom as well as World Nutella Day, accept this contribution to tide you over.

Nutella Redemption
Or, how to make a panettone edible. Panettone is an Italian fruitcake that makes its appearance during the holiday season. It is not like the weighty, fruit- and liquor-filled fruitcake with which we are familiar, but it is still rather bland. A few candied fruits and raisins in a high-rise bread-like textured loaf. Boring, really. So, what to do with a big round cake of the stuff? Redeem it with Nutella. Nutella makes everything better.

First, slice the panettone and put it on a baking sheet in the oven to warm.
Take about a cup of mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese if you don’t have access to mascarpone). Heat about 1/2 cup of Nutella with a few tablespoons of milk and/or rum (or liqueur of your choice) and pour it over the mascarpone, stirring until the cheese melts and they meld together. Spread over a slice of warmed panettone. Ahhh, much better, especially with a cup of coffee to go alongside.

copyright 2007 Valerie Schneider


Anonymous said...

Yay, Valerie! Welcome to the party, this is going to be fun...I can't wait to see what you come up with.

Geek girl said...

Nutella on TOAST - now there's an idea!