Thursday, May 31, 2012

Homemade Nutella


My love affair with Nutella® started when I was introduced to it when I was living in Francophone Africa as a child. It was available at the local french supermarket that we shopped at and I do not know what my mom was thinking but she bought it for us. The rest is history. I would slap that heavenly spread on toast for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I was allowed. As an adult and as I got older and had to start to watch my weight I did not have it near as often but would buy it once in a while as a treat for myself and the kids. Well it is not authorized on the Feingold diet (probably because it has vanillin instead of vanilla) so we have not had it in the house since we put my eldest on the Feingold diet. So I have been bound and determined to find a good recipe to home make it. I have tried a few different recipes which have all been okay but so far I like this one the best. http://www.ohnuts.com/blog/2011/01/homemade_nutella_recipe_1.html     It tastes great, spreads well, and is fairly simple to make. I will probably tweak it a bit the next time I make it, just because that is what I do, but it works great just the way it is.

Ingredients

2/3 cup unsalted, skinless, hazelnuts (in an ideal world you can find these pre-packaged, but I do not live in an ideal world and could not find them in my neck of the woods, so had to settle with ones with the skin on them. This link gives a great way to quickly and easily get the skin off. peel / skin hazelnuts )     

3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk (recipe for making your own sweetened condensed milk )

3 oz. or 1/2 cup unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped. ( I used 3 Baker's squares)

3 tbsp honey, agave nectar, Lyle's golden syrup, or other syrupy liquid sweetener (I used golden syrup)

Directions

1. Pre-heat oven to 350.  Place the hazelnuts on a cookie sheet and toast them in the oven for about 10 to 12 minutes, rotating them every 3-4 minutes so as not to scorch them. Then set them aside until cooled.

 2. Once they are cooled place them in the food processor and process until as liquified as possible. This will take a little bit, at least five minutes. You may need to stop periodically to scrape the sides. 

3. Melt the chocolate along with the sweetened condensed milk and honey or whatever you chose to use in its place (I used golden syrup). You can either melt it using the double boiler method, or microwave. I do not have a double boiler so I used the microwave. I put the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and microwaved it at 50% power in 20 second increments stirring in between until it was melted.

4. Add the chocolate mixture to the food processor with the liquified hazelnuts and process until it smooths out. Do not over process though or it will get too stiff and not spread as well. 

There you have it! Homemade nutella®!! There goes any thoughts whatsoever of me going on a diet!

Toast the hazelnuts. If you bought already pre-packaged toasted hazelnuts this step may not be necessary.


Liquify hazelnuts in food processor, may take awhile.




Melt chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, and  honey in microwaveable bowl or double boiler on stovetop, and mix well



Add chocolate mixture to liquified hazelnuts

Process together until mixture smooths out and is somewhat shiny. Do not over process or it may get too stiff. Place in storage container of choice (or eat it!) and you are done. The uses for it are endless!!

Sweetened Condensed Milk


I often don't realize I am out of sweetened condensed milk until I am getting ready to make a recipe. Then I cannot make the recipe and by the time I have it, the inclination to make what I was going to make has passed. However a short while ago I found this super easy recipe to make it myself and I love it. It turned out great and I have used it in a few recipes so far with no issues. Here is the link to the recipe I used http://dessertnowdinnerlater.blogspot.com/2012/03/sweetened-condensed-milk.html

Ingredients

1 cup sugar

1 cup dry powdered milk

1/2 cup water

1 Tbsp butter

Directions

1. Put sugar and powdered milk in a blender (I already had my food processor out so used it instead)

2. Put water and butter into a microwaveable dish and let it come to a boil in your microwave; about 45-60 seconds.

3. Add water/butter mixture to blender or food processor and mix until combined.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups


Add the powdered milk and sugar to food processor

Process until you have a fine powder. Then add the water/butter mixture, process until combined, pour into storage container of choice, and store in fridge. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Homemade Marshmallows


As those of you that have read any of my food blog posts know we are on a special diet called Feingold because of my eldest child's sensitivity to food dyes and other chemicals in foods. So I home make a lot of our food and we eat a lot of organic foods because of them not having some of those chemicals. Well it is camping and smores time in our neck of the woods and I did not want our son to be left out of the fun. Among other things store bought marshmallows have blue food dye in them. Really!!!! Is that really necessary??!! Apparently so. Last summer I tried a couple of different recipes that were okay but I was not thrilled with and just melted when trying to roast them. Also a lot of recipes call for corn syrup which is not restricted on the Feingold diet but we still try not to use it. After asking around a friend of mine suggested a recipe she found and used from this blog. http://looksgoodinpolkadots.wordpress.com/2008/01/02/homemade-marshmallows-yum/    All I can say is AWESOME recipe!! I made it for our last camping trip and they tasted great and could be roasted over the campfire. Some of the other kids at the campsite were asking for the homemade ones over the store bought ones. Success!! I have copied and pasted the recipe below, the only change I made is adding that you can use Lyle's Golden Syrup instead of the Agave Nectar. I happened to have the Lyle's Golden Syrup on hand so I tried it and it worked great.

Step 1- make corn syrup replacement (or skip this step and use Agave Nectar or Lyle's Golden Syrup).
2 c. organic cane sugar
3/4 c. filtered water
1/4 tsp. cream of tarter
Dash of kosher salt
  • Combine ingredients in heavy saucepan, bring to a low boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, cover and allow to simmer for about 3 minutes, scrape down sides of pan to incorporate all sugar.
  • Remove lid and allow to simmer until reaches soft ball stage (about 235 degrees F).
  • Cool, store in airtight container at room temp.
  • Makes 2 C.
Now for the marshmallows-
3 T. of unflavored Gelatin (or sub Agar Agar Powder, most recommendations I’m finding state equal amounts, though I’ve found one that says 1 tsp per cup of liquid).
1 c. chilled filtered water
1.5 c. organic cane sugar
1 c. corn syrup replacement (cane sugar recipe above or agave nectar or Lyle's golden syrup)
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. real vanilla extract
1/4 c. powder sugar (or process cane sugar until fine and powdery, add a bit of starch to achieve same consistency)
1/4 c. corn starch/tapioca flour/potato starch/arrowroot powder
  • Chill your metal mixing bowl and whisk attachment(s).
  • Place chilled bowl on base of stand mixer and attach whisk.
  • Start by putting gelatin (or replacement) into bowl.
  • Add 1/2 c. chilled water
  • In medium saucepan combine remaining water, cane sugar, corn syrup replacement and salt. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook until mixture reaches about 235-240 degrees F (soft ball stage). Once temperature is reached remove from heat.
  • Now, turn your stand mixer on low. Slowly add hot mixture to gelatin. When all syrup is added, put mixer on high. Continue to whip until mixture becomes thick and temp cools. Add the vanilla and whip for about a minute longer.
  • This mixture will whip for 10-15 minutes. So, prepare your pans while it is mixing.
  • Spray a 13 x 9 inch rectangular pan with non-stick cooking spray (I just oiled it using FG approved oil). Combine powder sugar and corn (tapioca or potatoe if corn is out) starch in a small bowl. Sprinkle mixture in pan (saving some for sprinkling on top of marshmallows), cover pan and shake to fully coat.
  • Now you can add the mixture to the pan. It is difficult to spread. Use a rubber spatula coated with non stick spray (or oil). Once spread out in the pan, sprinkle the top with more of the sugar/cornstarch mixture, cover w/ foil and allow to set up over night. Cut into 1 inch pieces, roll in powdered sugar / corn starch mixture  and store in zip top bag at room temp.                     Again so glad that I found this recipe on this blog!!  http://looksgoodinpolkadots.wordpress.com/2008/01/02/homemade-marshmallows-yum/