Discovering Nutella

I took my grandchildren food shopping the other day (clothes shopping being too stressful) and watched with delight as they swooped round the shelves like greedy sparrows, only pausing at the cart to confirm that I did indeed have the money.

One of their treasures was a jar of Nutella – never before on my kitchen radar. However, faced with the half empty jar, I couldn’t bear to throw it away and looked on Google for ways of using it up. I couldn’t believe my eyes when at least fifty recipes leapt from the screen. Many of them are for brownies, cupcakes, buttercream filling for cakes, pancake and profiterole fillings etc., but here are three that caught my imagination especially with Easter round the corner.

Nutella banana croissant pudding

Halve four croissants horizontally and lay half of them on the bottom of a buttered oven dish. Spoon over some generous dollops of Nutella and lay 2 or 3 sliced bananas on top. Whisk up a cup of cream, half a cup of milk, quarter of a cup of sugar and 4 eggs. Pour half of this over the pudding and then lay the remaining croissants on top. Pour over the remaining mixture and bake in a hot oven for about 30 minutes.

Nutella pots

Gently melt 150g dark chocolate in a bowl over simmering water, stir in 350g of Nutella and then 600g. of crème fraiche. Pour into wee pots and chill.

Nutella hazelnut meringue cake

Draw round the base of two 8”cake tins placed on an oiled tray (or on parchment). Roast half a cup of hazelnuts for 12”, rub off the skins in a tea towel and bash with a rolling pin. Gently whisk 6 egg whites to soft peaks before turning up to high and adding a pinch of salt, a teaspoon each of vanilla essence and cornflour and half a cup of sugar bit by bit until stiff and really glossy. Fold in the nuts and 12 oz. melted plain chocolate and Nutella. Spread inside the circles and bake in a really really low oven for 2 hours (turning round halfway through) and then turn off the heat and leave the oven door open till cooled. Spread each round with Nutella whipped into cream. Chill in the freezer before cutting into luscious professional slices.

Finally the best – especially for children

Banana nutella french toasties

Take 8 thick slices of white bread and carefully slit a pocket inside each from one edge. Slip in some Nutella and some sliced bananas. Whisk three-quarters cup of cream, 4 eggs, 1 tbls. sugar and a pinch of cinnamon. Liberally dip each slice into the mixture and then fry 3” on each side. Serve with maple syrup. Yum.

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