Rumour is afoot that Nutella is changing their time-honoured recipe!
You may not be aware of this, but all hell has broken loose! Hang on though. Before you pack a bag and head for a bunker, I must add the caveat that in today’s twittery world, all hell breaks loose on a pretty regular basis.
In this case the culprit is the Nutella company. It seems they have gone and done it! They’ve changed their original recipe! Slightly. But noticeably. So I’m told. A bit more milk powder and a touch more sugar. “The change was first noticed by German consumer group, Hamburg Consumer Protection Centre, who revealed that Nutella now contains 8.7 percent powdered skimmed milk – up from 7.5 percent before – and has increased its sugar content from 55.9 percent to 56.3 percent.” The Ferraro company insists that there will be no change in taste or texture.
This may cause some to recall last year’s Toblerone scandal when suddenly, the distance between their iconic chocolatey peaks increased. Incrementally. But noticeably.
Peak distance is one thing. Sneaky downsizing is a fact of consumer life, and vigilance is required. Battlements must be stormed. There’s stuff to do! But messing with the Nutella recipe is a horse of an entirely different colour! The only person I know who remains unmoved is a friend who confused it with Marmite as a child because of the shape of the jar, and has been convinced all her life, that it is awful stuff. She is the exception.
Since its inception in Italy post WWII by the Ferraro company in an effort to extend scarce chocolate, it has become the beloved toast topper of children (and children at heart) everywhere! Wily cooks immediately found many ways to upcycle it into dinner party worthy desserts. Or simple emergency post dinner offerings. Time and again I have found pound cake lingering in the freezer, sliced it and toasted it while whipping up some cream. A toasted slice of store bought pound cake, a smear of Nutella, a blob of whipped cream, sprinkle with toasted almond slices or grated chocolate and you will get no tut tuts from even your most discriminating foodie guests!
But in our global community, ingredient shortages continue to be a looming threat. Post WWII, Nutella was facing a cocoa shortage which they solved with lots of hazelnuts Now, luck being what it is, the current problem is the hazelnuts that put the “nut” in Nutella. Seems that 80% of the world’s hazelnuts are produced in Turkey. And Turkey, you may have heard, is having its troubles, both natural and political. Eastern Ontario is being eyed as an ideal climate for hazelnut groves, but it does take a decade before those trees start paying their way. The University of Guelph is on it, researching a way to make this lucrative crop flourish in our back yard. And Nutella is keen to encourage. Necessity has been the mother of invention before. It may be again. The company, after all, uses 75% of the world’s hazelnuts, which tells us how popular Nutella is worldwide, and probably how few people these days consider these tasty nuts essential to a well-dressed Vodka Gimlet.
The bottom line, however, is that the original recipe has become an ingredient in a myriad of spinoff recipes in the years since WWII, so any messing with the recipe will have a serious ripple effect. There are Nutella cheesecakes, and brownies, tarts and tortes, blintzes and éclairs. The possibilities are apparently endless.
My personal favourite is a simple crepe filled, to taste, with Nutella and garnished with fresh fruit. Ok, and whipped cream. I like to make up a batch of crepes to have on hand in the freezer, separated by layers of waxed paper for those moments when resolutions have taken flight
From the horse’s mouth, nutella.com:
Strawberries, hulled and sliced
Make crepes. You can’t go wrong with these from marthastewart.com!
Ingredients for the crepes:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 4 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1. In a blender, combine flour, sugar, salt, milk, eggs, and butter.
2. Let batter sit at least 15 minutes at room temperature (or refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 1 day; whisk before using).
3. Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium. Lightly coat with butter. Add 1/3 cup batter and swirl to completely cover bottom of skillet. Cook until underside of crepe is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Loosen edge of crepe with a rubber spatula, then with your fingertips, quickly flip. Cook 1 minute more. Slide crepe out of skillet and repeat with remaining batter. (Coat pan with butter as needed.)
Definitely make these ahead. A quick reheat and you’re ready to assemble!
Place a single crepe on a plate. Spread some Nutella over one half of the crepe.
Arrange strawberry slices on top of the crepe over the Nutella.
Fold the crepe in half, then fold it one more time to form a triangle. Top with more sliced strawberries.
Don’t have strawberries handy? Toasted sliced almonds? Raspberries? Mango? There are those bags of frozen fruit in the freezer section should it be deep winter when the fancy strikes.
Should you have some heavy cream to whip up, even better! May as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb.
In these troubled times, some things should be sacred. The traditional Nutella recipe should definitely be one of them.