Category Archives: unbaked

homemade nutella

Today my blog is 1 year old! This also happens to be the same week as my own birthday, so instead of making two cakes this week (which I strongly considered) I wanted to make something I’ve been thinking about for a long time- homemade nutella. I also just got a brand new hot pink food processor this week (thanks credit card rewards!) and finally could make this dream of mine come true. I never really liked Nutella, but after I lived in Germany for two years I was smitten and I nearly forgot about my original spread of choice- peanut butter. That’s mostly because peanut butter isn’t so popular there and Nutella was cheaper and more abundant. I don’t really know why it took me so long to realize that Nutella is the gateway into eating chocolate for breakfast. Well now that I live back in the states, peanut butter is easier to come by and Nutella not so much. I am back in love with peanut butter for sure by now, but I still think of Nutella often. This homemade kind has a grainer texture than the packaged stuff, and I can’t really make up my mind which I like better, but I do believe it was a good choice for breaking in my new kitchen gadget.

based on this recipe from one of my favorite blogs

makes enough for 1 small jar

ingredients:

  • 2/3 c. bittersweet chocolate (or whatever you like)
  • 2/3 c. hazelnuts
  • 1/3 c. almonds
  • 2/3 c. powdered sugar (use maybe 1/2 cup if you are using milk chocolate)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 1-2 tsp. canola oil (add one at a time)
  • 1/4 tsp. honey

directions:

Roast nuts on a cookie sheet at 400° F for 7-8 minutes. Watch carefully because they will burn very quickly! Let cool, then remove skins, as far as possible. This part was tricky, so if anyone knows an easy way to do this, please let me know. Next time I may try to buy the nuts without skins so I can skip this task. (P.S buy the nuts in the bulk section at the store to save money!). Melt chocolate in the microwave in a bowl, and then set aside. In a food processor, grind almonds and hazelnuts together until it becomes smeary when the fats are released. Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder and salt and blend again. Add melted chocolate and blend again. Blend well. Then add canola oil, one teaspoon at a time. The batch I made only needed one teaspoon, but if yours seems a little too thick, go ahead and add two. Make sure to blend well after each addition. Fill nutella into jars or other resealable container. Can be stored on the counter or in the fridge, for 1-2 weeks.

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Filed under breakfast, dessert, recipes, unbaked

homemade crème fraîche

believe me, you need creme fraiche in your life. and once you realize how ridiculously easy it is, your life is officially altered. when i lived in germany, creme fraiche (“krem fresh”) was something i bought very often. it’s originally a french product, but i think it’s very common all over europe. it makes almost everything taste better in both baking and cooking, and at the grocery stores there it cost less than 50 cents for a small tub normally. i was in wegmans the other day and took a peek at their creme fraiche prices and i became so sad, although i didn’t expect it to be cheap here. it’s not really popular this side of the pond, so i guess they can get away with charging a stupid price for it (the tub i saw was about 5 dollars). i really wish that america would open it’s eyes to this precious ingredient, but until then homemade will do. actually now that i think about it, even if creme fraiche was cheap here i might just continue making it on my own because it’s super simple. and it’s sort of like a little chemistry experiment in your kitchen that makes you feel smart even though you barely did anything. this recipe i found in a new cookbook i have from flour bakery, and i was really happy to see it in there. i never knew how easy it was to make it on my own.

like i said before, creme fraiche goes with so many things. it can be used in baking, or added to sauces and baked savory things. you can also whip it with some sugar and dip some fruit in it. oh the versatility! one of my favorite ways to use it is as a pizza topping. when it’s baked it becomes so creamy and dreamy. just add it on top of the crust under some mozzarella cheese and whatever toppings you like and then bake it. i know, you’re welcome.

ingredients:

1/2 pint of heavy cream

1 tbsp. buttermilk

directions:

in a bowl or tub you can cover, stir together the heavy cream and buttermilk. cover and let sit at room temperature overnight, or for at least 10 hours. after that, stir it and it should be thicker. the consistency should be somewhat similar to sour cream. it will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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Filed under recipes, savory, unbaked

zucchini patties

 i still had half a zucchini left after making the really tasty zucchinibirthdaycake. so i made these little patties which are an adaption from another smitten kitchen recipe. sometimes when i say recipes are adapted, it means that either i did not have all of the required ingredients so i improvised, or i somehow messed up the recipe and it doesn’t look like it does in the official recipe but i still like my results.

ingredients:

1 zucchini grated

1 egg beaten

1/2 c. flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

salt and pepper

spices like garlic powder, thyme, herbes de provence (optional)

oil for frying (i used olive oil)

directions:

stir together the zucchini, egg, salt and pepper (however much you like), and any spices you prefer. i added some garlic powder and herbes de provence (a mixture of  things like thyme, oregano, rosemary, basil…). you can pretty much add whatever spices your like. also, if you’d like you can add some chopped onions or scallions. in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder, then stir this into the zucchini and egg mixture.

in a large skillet, heat up a couple tablespoons of the oil until it’s hot, then drop spoonfuls of the zucchini mixture onto it. after about 3 minutes or so one side, flip them over. cook on that side for another 3 or 4 minutes. both sides should be golden brown. transfer them to a paper towel covered plate and let them drain off some of the oil. to keep them warm, you can pop them in a warmed oven until ready to serve.

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Filed under recipes, savory, summer, unbaked, vegetable