Nutella and I met over twenty years ago. I don’t remember exactly when or where we met. I don’t even remember our first kiss. Sad, isn’t it?
I only have a few fuzzy memories of nutella and I’s early relationship. I remember liking cereals more than toasts before we met. I remember the pure guilt-free bliss of eating it on white – toasted or not – bread as a little girl. I remember the mandatory licking of the knife.
It took me a while to understand that nutella was quite pricey. Once, my mom bought some fake nutella and put it in the real nutella jar thinking it would escape my notice (she tried to do that with hellmann’s mayonnaise too). Back then, I was apaled that she had so carelessly underestimated my tastebuds. Looking back, I guess she was desperate to make her only child’s hazelnutty dreams come true within her single house-owning mom budget.
At nineteen, I fell head over heels in love with the prince of persia. At the time, he was still living in his faraway kingdom. So every time I’d go visit him, my mom would buy a huge jar of nutella – the real thing this time, the mortgage was done paying for – for me to bring as a gift to the prince. Maybe she assumed he shared my edible obsessions. Maybe she thought I was kidding when I told her he had a cigarette for breakfast. Predictably enough, I was always the one who ended up having the diabolical spread on a fresh persian baguette every morning for barely a week before we ran out of it.
In my twenties, my relationship with nutella became rather dysfonctional. I’d buy – or receive as a poisonous gift – a jar and would eat it in less than 48 hours, not even bothering to spread it on any kind of bread or to eat anything else.
After I turned 30 (yeah, I’m that old), I became preoccupied with health and waistline issues. I therefore decided to end this love and hate rather destructive relationship. Nutella and I broke up. For good.
For a whille, I had to look the other way every time we crossed paths at the grocery store. My heart would beat out of my chest everytime the 750 g jar went on sale. Then, one friday night, as I was breastfeeding the little king to sleep on the couch while drooling over à la di stasio’s christmas special, I forgot all about nutella and never looked back.
Josée was cooking homemade chocolate hazelnut spread to offer as a christmas gift (I must say that I don’t quite understand the gift offering part of the recipe). Four ingredients. No oil. No sugar. No need for a food processor.
It was as if good ol’ nutella had gotten a stunning makeover topped with plastic surgery and intense psychanalitic therapy.
But this ain’t no good ol’ nutella. This is a brand new friend. It is rich and creamy and chocolaty. We meet almost every week over bread, or pancakes, or crepes, or bread pudding. We have a healthy relationship. When we spend some time apart, we don’t miss each other that much. But when we meet again, we’re simply happy to spend time together and have lots to talk about. Now that is true friendship!
chocolate hazelnut spread (print)
recipe adapted from à la di stasio
2 cups pitted dates
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 pound hazelnut butter*
a splash of vanilla extract
Put the dates in a small pan and barely cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer until most of the water has been absorbed. Transfer the dates to a food processor**. Add the cocoa, the hazelnut butter and the vanilla extract. Mix until it reaches a smooth consistancy. If necessary, add a little warm water to smoothen it up.
* Half of a 500 g jar of the Nuts to your nut butter kind.
** You may also use a hand blender or a potato masher. You’ll then have to chop up the dates before boiling them.
nutrition facts per heaping tablespoon (22 g) : 86 calories; 4.9 g fat; 2,3 g dietary fibers; 7.9 g sugars; 1.8 g protein
tartinade à la noisette et au cacao (imprimer)
recette adaptée de à la di stasio
2 tasses de dattes dénoyautées
3/4 tasse de cacao
1/2 livre de beurre de noisette*
quelques gouttes d’essence de vanille
Mettre les dattes dans une casserole et couvrir à peine d’eau. Porter à ébullition, puis laisser mijoter jusqu’à ce que l’eau soit plus ou moins absorbée. Transférer les dattes dans un robot culinaire**. Ajouter le cacao, le beurre de noisette et la vanille. Mixer jusqu’à l’obtention d’une consistance lisse et homogène. Si nécessaire, ajouter un peu d’eau chaude pour obtenir la texture désirée. Se conserve au réfrigérateur plusieurs semaines.
* La moitié d’un pot de 500 g de marque Nuts to your nut butter.
** Il est possible d’utiliser un pilon à pommes de terre ou un mélangeur à mains. Il faudra cependant hacher les dattes avant la cuisson.
valeur nutritive par grosse cuillerée à soupe (22 g) : 86 calories; 4.9 g de lipides; 2,3 g de fibres; 7.9 g de sucres; 1.8 g de protéines