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If you have Nutella but no chocolate mousse, dnt panic. We can fix that right away. All you need is a brilliant recipe for Nutella mousse like this one from Purewow. To use what I had on hand, I substituted the cream cheese for a tub of mascarpone and used only a quarter of the amount of sugar stated. I can imagine that you can totally go without any added sweetener as the Nutella should be enough for any seasoned sweet tooth. If you are patient enough, leave it to set in the fridge for a couple of hours to achieve the distinctive mousse-like texture but if you cannot keep yourself waiting for so long, grab a dessert spoon and simply dig in after topping with fresh cream and chocolate shavings [from the photos you can guess this is exactly what I did!]

NUTELLA MOUSSE

Ingredients:

250g mascarpone, room temperature

3/4 cup Nutella hazelnut spread

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 cup heavy cream, chilled

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts

2 tablespoons chopped dark chocolate

Whipped cream, for topping

Method:

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese with the Nutella.

  • Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until light and fluffy for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer it to a medium bowl.

  • Wipe out the bowl. In the bowl of the electric mixer, fitted with whip attachment, whip cream to soft peaks.

  • Add sugar and vanilla extract, and whip to medium peaks. Add a third of whipped cream to Nutella mixture.

  • Fold with a rubber spatula to combine. Add another third of cream and repeat, folding it until incorporated.

  • Add the final third and fold to combine. Divide mousse among serving dishes and chill for 30 to 45 minutes.

  • Top mousse with a dollop of whipped cream, garnish with chopped hazelnuts and dark chocolate. Serves 4.

With the festive season closing in, I felt it was time for me to revisit my cookie repertoire in search of something festive to kick start my Christmas baking. The heavenly Nutella and hazelnut combination in this soft textured cookie from Bake or Break may remind you of a Ferrero Rocher minus the hazelnut centre. It looks good in any Christmas hamper when packed in clear cellophane bags with a fancy ribbon. Its rugged nutty appearance makes sure this cookie has a distinctive ‘homemade’ look that conveys the feeling of extra effort and love to the recipient.

NUTELLA HAZELNUT CRINKLE COOKIES

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups finely chopped hazelnuts

180g Nutella hazelnut spread

1/4 cup butter or shortening

1/3 cup white granulated sugar

1/3 cup light muscovado sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kitchen salt

3 tablespoons full cream milk

Sifted confectioner’s sugar

Method:

  • Toast chopped hazelnuts in shallow pan at 350 degree in oven for about 5 minutes until fragrant.

  • Next, beat together Nutella and butter or shortening. Gradually add the sugars and then add eggs.

  • Stir in vanilla extract. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add to the Nutella mixture.

  • Alternate with milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stir in 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts.

  • At this point, put the dough in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to make it easier to work with.

  • Shape into 1-inch diameter balls. Roll in finely chopped hazelnuts, then in the confectioner’s sugar.

  • The cookies should be placed about 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets or lined baking sheets.

  • Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Cool on wire racks. Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Let the Festive Mood Begin!

My first ‘summer’ dessert for this season is this light yet indulgent white chocolate panna cotta paired with hazelnut spread from Sweetest KitchenPanna cotta is a soft pudding made out of dairy thickened with gelatin [I use agar-agar which is a jelling agent made of out seaweed and, therefore, vegetarian]. Originally from Italy, its name literally means “cooked cream” and it has a remarkably creamy, melt-in-the-mouth texture. The aim is to achieve a balance between the jelling agent and the fat in the dairy ingredients so that it results in a firm set but is still delicate and wobbly. Any combination of milk including coconut milk, soy milk and almond milk can be used bearing in mind that the lesser fat content of the milk, the softer will be the panna cotta. After chilling, the dessert is typically unmolded and served with fruit coulis or drizzled with chocolate/caramel sauce or topped with chopped nuts and chocolate curls.

WHITE CHOCOLATE PANNA COTTA

Ingredients:

1/2 cup thickened cream

1/2 cup full cream milk

11/2 tablespoons caster sugar

25 g white chocolate, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon powdered agar-agar

2-3 tablespoons hazelnuts, chopped

1/3 cup chocolate hazelnut spread

25 g white chocolate, shaved

Method:

  • Place the thickened cream, milk and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
  • Cook, stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes or until almost simmering but do not let mixture boil.

  • Remove from heat and add finely chopped white chocolate. Stir until chocolate melts.
  • Pour mixture into a heatproof bowl. Sprinkle agar-agar over and whisk until dissolved.

  • Cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, stir chopped hazelnuts through the hazelnut spread.
  • Layer 1 tablespoon of spread onto bottom of 100ml capacity serving bowls and smooth.

  • Carefully pour cream mixture, over the back of a metal teaspoon, into each serving glass.
  • Tap the bowls on the counter-top to help even it out and eliminate any large air bubble.

  • Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate for 4 hours or until set. Remove 10 minutes before.
  • Decorate with remaining 25g shaved white chocolate. Serve immediately. For 4 persons.

White Chocolate Panna Cotta

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PrerrnaMirchi
Mauritius

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