Friday, January 21, 2011

I was clicking through Tastespotting the other day and came across this recipe for hazelnut chocolate spread (aka homemade Nutella.) With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching (oh dread), I thought this would be a tasty way to tell my friends “Hey! You are great!”
I found some small jelly jars at Cheap Charlie’s on Manhattan Ave, and used some vintage curtain fabric and simple ribbon to decorate them.

The recipe makes about a cup, so I quadrupled it. I knew this would be in high demand.

Hazelnut Chocolate Spread (adapted from In Jennie’s Kitchen)

1 cup shelled, toasted hazelnuts, skins removed4 ounces bittersweet chocolate discs, melted (I used semi-sweet chocolate)2 tablespoon cocoa (I used Droste Cocoa)1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar1/2 split vanilla beana few drops, vegetable oil (optional)Bourbon (optional) 

Add hazelnuts to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until it becomes a smooth peanut butter-like consistency (no joke! You want this as smooth as possible.) Add the melted chocolate (double boiler!), cocoa, sugar and vanilla. Process until smooth and well-mixed. Add bourbon slowly. This’ll change the texture, so the vegetable oil will be essential to ensure a smooth, shiny consistency. Add vegetable oil one drop at a time, and pulse to a smooth, spreadable consistency, if necessary. Store in a tightly sealed glass jar and use as desired.

Colleen and Patty arrived from North Carolina yesterday and I greeted them with “Welcome to Greenpoint” care packages – Polish chocolates, a packet of red borscht, a Zywiec beer and a jar of “Nutella.” They brought me sugar cookies, Southern dumplings, chocolate from Germany and Hush Puppy mix. Let’s just say that all three of us were happy with our gifts.

We got to attend a taping of The Daily Show yesterday and then spent the rest of the evening exploring the neighborhood and catching up. Tomorrow we plan on visiting the American Museum of Photography and taking some pictures of our own around Chinatown.

I’ll be DJing Digital DUMBO with my friend Ian next week. If you want to come network with other tech nerds, have some drinks and listen to me play late 90’s indie rock, RSVP here!

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