Feb 5, 2011

Happy World Nutella Day!

Every year I anxiously await February 5th to break open my giant tub of Nutella and celebrate with fellow hazelnut-chocolate addicts in what many feel is the year’s sweetest occasion. But don’t be fooled into thinking I only eat Nutella on this date. No. I consume indecent amounts of Nutella, eaten straight off my finger all year round, and guilt never factors in any of these episodes.

A big grazie from the Nutellaholics of the world goes to Michelle from Bleeding Espresso and Sara from Ms. Adventures in Italy for annually hosting my favorite blog party at World Nutella Day, and providing us with many creative tributes to the dreamy spread.




As this year’s contribution, I made crostata. Calling it an open-top tart is offensive, mainly because baked Nutella tends to dry out and burn. At least in my crazy oven. The cookie-like crust is pastafrolla–which is the Italian version of shortcrust pastry, or the French pâte sucrée–and the filling is usually jam, sliced fruit or custard with pine nuts.

I love the appealing chewy crunch of coconut and the enveloping, sexy embrace of Nutella, it was only natural the two should become one in my flaky crusted, sliky smooth

Crostata Cocco & Nutella ~ Coconut and Nutella Tart

Ingredients
350 gr (1 3/4 cups) flour
150 gr (3/4 cup) coconut flour
200 gr (1 cup) confectioner’s sugar
300 gr (1 1/2 cups) salted butter
4 egg yolks
pinch of salt (only if you’re using unsalted butter)
The star ingredient, Nutella


Preheat oven to 180° C (350° F).

Shortcrust pastry is somewhat of a challenge. If the dough is overkneaded and too cold, it will be too firm to roll; if too warm and soft, the dough could fall apart during baking. Temperature is key, so work away from the hot stove, possibly on a marble surface and using chilled bowls and utensils. I run my hands under the cold water before kneading the ingredients together. Ready?

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the regular flour and the coconut flour. Add the sugar and, using two knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture. Roll up your sleeves, remove any rings and bracelets, and get in there pinching and breaking up the butter chunks further with your fingers until the texture resembles coarse oatmeal, and the butter pieces are no larger than peas.

Drop in the yolks, and knead just until the dough pulls together. You want to obtain a silky texture, so don’t be tempted to add flour.

Transfer the dough to a work surface, pat into a ball and flatten into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Butter and dredge a 12-inch tart pan (or you can line it with parchment paper like I did). Lightly dust your rolling pin with a suspicion of flour, and roll the dough out to about 1/8 inch in thickness. Use a paring knife to cut away excess dough, and save extra bits for decoration or cookies.

Blanket the tart pan with the flattened dough, push well into the edges of the pan, and poke with the tines of a fork, so it will not deform during baking. Another way to avoid forming of uneven air pockets in the crust is to cover the raw dough with parchment paper and use weights to keep it from rising. I scatter two fistfuls of dried beans to cover the entire surface, but I’ve heard of many other weights, like marbles, uncooked rice, bearing balls, or washed pebbles.

Pop the crust plus any spare bits in the hot oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden (my oven bakes it in just under 10 minutes). Remove weights and let the crust cool briefly.

Enter the diva. Warm the jar in a pot of hot water before liberally slathering a generous layer of Nutella on the baked crust (don’t be afraid to overdo) and decorate with leftover dough shapes, if you like. Licking the instruments clean is greatly encouraged.

Cut large slices, serve with champagne and field marriage proposals as needed.



 How do you enjoy your Nutella?

39 comments:

  1. Lovelovelove this. I'm a huge cocco fan :) Buon World Nutella Day!

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  2. Oh yes, break out a tub and a spoon. Mmmmm.

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  3. Sadly, Nutella is a forbidden pleasure for me...since I'm lactose-intolerant. Boo hoo!

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  4. Sadly, Nutella is a forbidden pleasure for me...since I'm lactose-intolerant. Boo hoo!

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  5. nice. i must confess, i have never had nutella...i live a deprived life apparently...smiles.

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  6. I love anything with coconut flour. Happy World Nutella Day! I participated too.

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  7. Mmmm..coconut in the crust??? I would love to try that. Crostata crust sometimes intimidates me, so this seems much easier :)

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  8. Somebody caught you in the act! Love it!

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  9. I love Nutella of course! I put small dollops of nutella into the freezer ... delicious and simple! kisses , great post on nutella day!

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  10. nutella pie? wowza - this is almost too much of a good thing, even for a chocoholic like me ;-)

    a wonderful paean to one of my favorite treats, but i think i will stick to it as the classic italian breakfast of champions!

    p.s. new haircut? che bellissima!

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  11. Michelle~
    Yay for the fuzzy nut! Happy you enjoyed this.

    Elizabeth~
    One of life's small pleasures...

    Saretta~
    Is there a non-dairy equivalent? You should look in health food stores.

    Brian~
    Go here and order some RIGHT NOW.

    Nisrine~
    I'll come visit your Nutella post as soon as I publish these comment replies!!

    Sara~
    Pastafrolla has a much worse rep than it should. Plus in this version, the coconut flour pulls it together better. Plus the leftover dough makes great cookies...

    Rosaria~
    Self portrait: some sins are better kept private!

    Colores~
    What a wonderful idea! I'm going to try it right now...

    Amanda~
    Bread and nutella is indeed the breakfast of champions! Happy you like the bob. A first, for me.

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  12. What a great idea!! Who would have thought - a crostata! It's wonderful. Happy Nutella Day!

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  13. Saretta: found this recipe that i MUST try, since i'm steering away from sugar these days: toasted hazelnuts, dark chocolate bits (usually dairy free!), maple syrup - all in blender, while adding slowly grapeseed oil to spreadable consistency (never as soft as Nutella so keep tasting to not overdo it). Let me know what you think!

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  14. Yum. Head and shoulders above the national food of Australia -- Vegemite. (Shudder). I will mark this day on my calendar.

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  15. Che bella la Nutella! A thick slice of crusty bread and Nutella - is there a more perfect merenda? Not likely.
    Happy World Nutella Day.

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  16. Sigh - I always miss this day. Does it count if I just buy a jar and feed my face? The crostada would be most welcome here.

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  17. Happy Nutella Day.
    (don't know how I never knew about this before??!)
    Lol re licking the bowl, love the bob, and thanks, that's my Valentine's Day dessert sorted!

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  18. Amazing pictures as always. Good thing world Nutella Day is not World Nutella MONTH, or I would have to buy larger clothes

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  19. I think I might be the only human being alive who doesn't like Nutella but, all the same, happy Nutella day!

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  20. Joanne-
    We really went all out this year, didn't we?!

    Deeba-
    I'm happy you like the idea, give it a try and tell me what you think.

    Michelle AJ-
    thanks for the great dairy-free alternative!!

    Yvonne-
    My Aussie friends tried introducing me to Vegemite... it was not as bad as I expected actually.

    Andrea-
    nothing beats that merenda. Nutella DEFINES merenda.

    Claudia-
    Feeding your face with Nutella definitely counts.

    Mimi-
    Your Valentine will be soooo happy!

    Joshua-
    Oh no, I can't manage Nutella Month either!

    Frank-
    I know of others who find it too sweet. Do you eat peanut butter?

    Baci a tutti

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  21. Nutella is marvelous and evil. It is one of the greatest concoctions ever invented, but it is also almost as habit forming as heroin. Once I start eating a jar, it is gone. I do not stop until I've cleaned out every last bit of it - on crackers, on toast, or just licked from the spoon.

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  22. There is something, well, profoundly wrong about this post !

    I mean, what kind of decadent, indecent, debauched, shameless, gluttonous woman eats Nutella with her fingers ?!?!?

    (would you promise not to tell anyone if I were to whisper that I eat Nutella by the spoonful sometimes, late at night when everyone else is in bed ?... my daughters always yell at me when they see how quickly the level in the jar has gone down !)
    :-)

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  23. Love Nutella! I was raised on Eurocream, that also came from Italy - pretty much the same concept.
    There are very few combinations that complement each other so well as hazelnut and chocolate. Your tart looks really delicious and I know that my girls would love it.
    I enjoy reading your blog and therefore gave you a Stylish Blogger Award. Thanks:)

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  24. Jim-
    Yes, Nutella is my crack. I can actually feel it lining my arteries, coating my thighs in fat, but I don't care.

    Owen-
    Fingers, yes. Even several at a time, if the jar mouth allows. When I was a smaller child, I could actually fit my whole fist in it. Your secret is safe with me, fellow sinner.

    Lana-
    Thankyou, I'm honored to be your award recipient. I'll come claim it pronto! Happy you and the girls enjoy the Nutellathon.

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  25. Everyone's favorite! Nutella has been my favorite ever since I can remember.

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  26. Absolutely delicious! I had no idea about world Nutella day, but did demolish almost a jar teaspoon by teaspoon around the 1st of Feb! this will now be firmly on my annual calendar :)

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  27. Bed Frames~
    Childhood memories are redolent of nutella.

    Karen~
    Demolishing a jar on Feb.1st qualifies as celebratory! Looking forward to your contribution next year!

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  28. I feel guilty because I didn't know about the World Nutella Day. Yes Nutella it's something to go proud to be Italian (the only one, lately). By the way what I really love about your recipe it's your portrait. It says all that we have to know :-))))

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  29. Fabrizio~
    You, a pure-bred Torinese–didn't know about World Nutella Day?! Scandaloso... quasi come la mia foto in calce ;)

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  30. B~
    ...and yesterday I cropped 4 inches off the front. Bangs. I know...

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  31. Oh my girls will love this. Just need to find coconut flour which I haven't seen here in Spain.

    I thought that my willpower would withstand Nutella until my oldest introduced me to the deadly peanut butter and Nutella sandwich. Quick, easy, and sinfully delicious.

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  32. Perchè è così buona la NUTELLA?
    Perchè fa CICCIA!!!!!
    buona domenica Tilli^_^

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  33. Tiffany~
    Wait... did you just say "peanut butter and nutella" ... oh I like you (and your oldest daughter)!

    Tilli~
    Anche a te, dalla cicciona!

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  34. Eleonora: Why yes, I do live peanut butter quite a bit, though I don't eat it that often. I enjoy any kind of 'butter' made from nuts, in fact. Can you find it in Rome these days?

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  35. Frank~
    Yes, alas we do find it here. It'd be better for my thighs if peanut butter were still a luxury item... I like creamy, which is good, because my foreign food pusher doesn't do chunky.
    Just scraped the bottom of a small Skippy jar with a rib of celery yesterday, as a matter of fact.
    ...shhh...

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  36. I know I'm weird, but I hate the stuff. My friends laugh at me: apparently, Nutella is the official food of bisexuals, and I am bi, so I'm supposed to adore it. ;-)

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  37. Serene~
    Contrary to popular beliefe, Nutella is an acquired taste. There's an official food for bisexuals? How cool!

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