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Jan 30, 2011

Will the Real Nutella please stand up?!



     "Reeni from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice and Christine of The Cupcake Bandits have created a progressive blogger competition with a monthly winner who will go head to head at the end of the year (December) to secure the position of ULTIMATE DESSERT WARRIOR and win a grand prize package. Each month we will be challenged with a theme ingredient and/or a specific dessert to bake." How could I not join in with this goodness?
     This month we were challenged to use a ingredient I find near and dear to my heart, Nutella.  To be honest I didn't have Nutella until I was 26,when I went to Italy on a holiday.  The friend that I was travelling with and I planned out our entire trip and stayed in many hostels along the way.  Breakfast was usually available in the morning and consisted of some sort of baked good with little packets of Nutella.  I was hooked.  One of the first things I did after I got home was buy a big jar of it and proceed to cover everything in its hazelnutty goodness.  Now, several years later my passion for Nutella has waned a little but I still enjoy it every once and awhile.  The first thing I thought when I read the challenge was think: homemade nutella and finally today I got a chance to make some.... but I didn't just stop there! 
     I got to thinking earlier today that if hazelnuts and chocolate could marry together in such a perfect symphony then how would dark chocolate and almonds? Or what about white chocolate and pecans furthermore...what about other things you can melt...for instance...butterscotch...and cashews.
Yes, my mind was like a runaway carriage, and I decided to enjoy it for the wild ride it was going to be!
I didn't start with homemade nutella, I was too excited about the other blends in my mind. I started with the wildest in my opinion, Cashew and Butterscotch butter...or ButterCash as SA started calling it.
Definitely a taste explosion, it was a creamy mix of golden sweet caramelly cashewy slightly salty goodness that melted on our tongues.

ButterCash
1 cup toasted cashews
4 ounces butterscotch chips, melted
1/2 split vanilla bean
a few drops, vegetable oil (optional)

Add cashews to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until it becomes a smooth peanut butter-like consistency. Add the melted butterscotch and vanilla. Process until smooth and well-mixed. Add vegetable oil one drop at a time, and pulse to a smooth, spreadable consistency, if necessary.

       Next I spied almonds and couldn't help but think a nice milk chocolate.  It wasn't bad.  Although it was the spread with the least amount of flavor it was still pretty good.  I think next time I try it I will try making it with white chocolate and almonds. 

Milk Chocolate & Toasted Almond Spread
1 cup blanched and toasted almonds
4 ounces milk chocolate, melted
2 tablespoon cocoa
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 split vanilla bean
a few drops, vegetable oil
Add almonds to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until it becomes a smooth peanut butter-like consistency. Add the melted chocolate, cocoa, sugar and vanilla. Process until smooth and well-mixed. Add vegetable oil one drop at a time, and pulse to a smooth, spreadable consistency, if necessary.

     The Hazelnuts were my last prey tonight and I have to admit, now that I have made homemade nutella, I'm not sure that I will go back to the store bought stuff.  The only complaint that I have is the homemade stuff isn't quite as smooth but I think that adds character.  The next time I make it I will process it through the blender once I get everything added together in the food processor.  This was our second favorite of the night and I am super excited to use it to finish my project for the month!

Homemade Hazelnut Chocolate Spread
1 cup shelled, toasted hazelnuts, skins removed
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
2 tablespoon cocoa
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 split vanilla bean
a few drops, vegetable oil (optional)
Add hazelnuts to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until it becomes a smooth peanut butter-like consistency. Add the melted chocolate, cocoa, sugar and vanilla. Process until smooth and well-mixed. Add vegetable oil one drop at a time, and pulse to a smooth, spreadable consistency, if necessary.


     Clearly, SA and I couldn't eat all these delectable nut butters by ourselves so I did what I had been obsessing over for the past couple of  weeks... Made a NUTELLA TIRAMISU. Yeah, I did that and it was AMAZING! I am submitting this as my January submission to DESSERT WARS and I am crossing my fingers to win this amazing prize packages:

The Most Wonderful List of PRIZES!
-Whisk and cupcake necklace from Moon & Star Designs
-The Smartshopper Electronic Grocery List Organizer
-Beanilla Sampler Pack of Vanilla Beans
-Lenox Personalized Musical Cupcake
-1,000 ideas for Decorating Cupcakes, Cookies & Cakes
-Endless Vanilla and Cinnamon Extract
-Unlimited Layers: A Recipe for Turning Your Passion into Profits
-$50 Gift Certificate to Theme Kitchen
-$50 Coupon Redeemable for Organic Valley Products
-$50 Coupon Redeemable for Organic Prairie Products


Now with out further adieu:



Nutella Tiramisu
adapted from a Giada De Laurentis recipe
6 egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
1 pound mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 cups strong espresso, cooled
2 tablespoon hazelnut Kahlua
1/4 cup homemade Nutella
24 packaged ladyfingers
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream

     In a large bowl, using an electric mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Add mascarpone cheese and beat until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon of espresso and the nutella and mix until thoroughly combined and transfer to another bowl.
     In a small shallow dish, add remaining espresso and 1 tablespoon of the hazelnut Kahlua. Dip each ladyfinger into espresso mixture for only 5 seconds. Letting the ladyfingers soak too long will cause them to fall apart. Place the soaked ladyfinger on the bottom of a 13 by 9 inch baking dish, breaking them in half if necessary in order to fit the bottom.
Spread evenly 1/2 of the mascarpone/nutella mixture over the ladyfingers. Arrange another layer of soaked ladyfingers and top with remaining mascarpone/nutella mixture.
With an electric hand mixer or stand mixer combine heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and remaining hazelnut Kahlua. Whip until soft peaks form and spread over top of dessert.
Cover tiramisu with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 8 hours. Before serving sprinkle with dark chocolate cocoa and chopped hazelnuts.


Special thanks to Reeni and Christine for this special adventure. I loved it and can't wait for more!



Dessert Wars









19 comments:

Sher said...

Ummmm yeah we soooo need to live closer, I wanna be in that test kitchen with you and SA!!!
Wishing you all the luck on the contest! Everything looks and sounds FANTASTIC!! You are a amazing cook and will go far! Love ya!!

aggieam01 said...

Um, Hellos?! This is the greatest thing I have ever seen! Good luck :)

Megan Bennett said...

My husband would loooovvvveee this, he just told me not 5 minutes ago how he's out of Nutella and needs more. Hmmm, how daring am I? Should I make this? Maybe I should.- Megan

Angela said...

Oh, my! What amazing recipes! I am completely in love with the idea of Nutella tiramisu. Genius.

ann said...

This looks amazing. Good luck on the contest! x

Mary said...

Faith, the spreads and the tiramisu all sound otherworldly good. Good luck with the contest. It will be hard for anyone to beat the goodies you packed into your post today. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Merut said...

Oh man you are are on a roll! Holy moley, I am impressed. So which of your nutty spreads was your favorite? I can't believe you topped everything off by making tiramisu. Geez-o-pete! Well, all I can add is that I didn't have nutella until 6 months ago, at the tender age of 24.

Faith said...

@MerutThe butterscotch cashew was AMAZING! I loved it. I am hording it away though until I decide the perfect thing to make with it!!!
@Sher, wish you were here to try it!
@Megan, DOIT!!!! You totally should!
@everyone else, TY so much for the well wishes!

Medifast Coupons said...

So many choices how do I choose, okay I will have to try them all.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Hello Faith,

Your tiramisu looks wonderful and I already have "The Recipe" for tiramisu.
G'luck in the contest!

Rosie

Reeni said...

I love all of your spreads - the flavors sound scrumptious! You were super creative with this Faith. A tiramisu made with Nutella sounds amazing!! I hope you saved me a piece! Thanks for entering!

Xiaolu said...

Wow you are simply amazing! I couldn't possibly choose between these. Can I please sample them all? :-*

Corrine said...

Good luck to you too! Nutella tiramisu is pure genius. :)

ana said...

kahlua and Nutella? omg that must be heaven.
Good luck! Your tiramisu looks amazing!

girlichef said...

Oh flippin' YES! Awesome. Every single one sounds awesome. I've been meaning to make homemade "nutella", but not yet gotten around to it, but I"m totally inspired now! And packets of nutella? Really? cool!!!

briarrose said...

Wow.....the spreads look wonderful and what a fun thing to experiment with. I fear I'm going to have to experiment in the kitchen now. ;)

Nutella in tiramisu....brilliant idea! It looks just dreamy.

Kerri said...

That looks good and I love all of the homemade nut butters you made :)

Good luck with the contest. I can't wait till they post the winner.

Lea Woodard said...

You. Are. Killing. Me! Cashew butter??? Really, do I have to be allergic to cashews when there are things this awesome in the world!? Your tiramisu looks SUPER DELICIOUS! Restaurants should have tiramisu that looks this yummy! I'd like to place my order for nutella tiramisu for the first birthday I have after you've back to Texas!!!! :-)

theUngourmet said...

Oh my gosh, each of these spreads look crazy good! Last summer I made some pretty yummy honey cashew butter. I can't wait to try your spreads too!

I love your tiramisu recipe as well. Great entry for Dessert Wars!