Every Christmas my Mum would buy a box of Ferraro Rocher chocolates for an evening treat. Us kids would anticipate the moment when she would reach up on to the high shelf in our kitchen cupboard and bring down the hazelnut delights. Savoring every bite I would eat mine off in layers, eating the outer chocolate-nut coating, gently nibbling the wafer-like interior to get to the rich hazelnut cream that has my mouth watering now! Ohh did I love that interior gooeyness!! I wished for just a spoonful of just that alone! Little did I know that Nutella was essentially just that!
Nutella is undoubtedly the best tasting and marketed hazelnut spread on the market. Traditionally Italians spread this on bread or toast for breakfast but these days people make ice cream, cakes, cookies, serve it on crepes, sandwiches, you name it. My husband discovered Nutella while we honeymooned in Italy having it every morning with his cappuccinos. While delicious, Nutella is dessert-like, high in sugar, vegetable oils and fillers that may not be ideal to start your day on. Once we got back home from Italy, I got to work on a healthier version for this European treat.
Hazelnuts are loaded with vitamin E and B which are important for healthy nails, skin and hair and proper cell and energy metabolism. They lend a distinct and different tasting nut butter to have on hand when you want something different and a little more decadent. Great on bread, crepes, drizzled over ice-cream, yogurt or used as a fruit dip.