10 Things to Make with Nutella- Just for Fun!

nutella

Nutella is a popular chocolate and hazelnut spread that many people across the globe adore. While most people serve this on hot, buttered toast, there are a surprising number of ways that you can use this spread as an ingredient. Just for fun, here are some things you can make with Nutella. 

  1. Chocolate and Nutella cake– Add two heaped spoons of Nutella to your chocolate cake mix before baking. When your cake has cooled, slice in half horizontally and add a layer of Nutella to the centre.
  2. Banana and Nutella sandwiches– Nutella is delicious on a sandwich and sliced bananas just add extra tastiness.
  3. Nutella filled pancakes– An alternative to traditional pancake fillings is to spread on a layer of Nutella.
  4. Nutella cheesecake– Add three heaped tablespoons of Nutella into your usual cheesecake mix for a completely new taste.
  5. Nutella topped cupcakes– If you enjoy baking cupcakes, trying icing Nutella onto the top and adding colourful sprinkles or mini marshmallows. 
  6. Nutella crispy cakes– This is one to make with the kids. Stir either cornflakes or rice crispies into a mix of melted cooking chocolate and Nutella. Separate into fairy cake cases and leave to set.
  7. Nutella dipped fruit–  Chop fruit into large pieces and dip one half of each piece into Nutella. This works particularly well with bananas and strawberries.
  8. Nutella and yogurt dip– Create a mixture of yogurt and Nutella to make a dip. Serve this with pieces of fruit, chopped cake, and biscuits for dipping.
  9. Nutella sundaes– Layer vanilla ice cream, chocolate ice cream, and large blobs of Nutella. Top with whipped cream, drizzle with chocolate sauce and sprinkle with chopped nuts.
  10. Nutella pizza– Sweet pizzas are a relatively new concept but they are becoming very fashionable at the moment. Make a pizza base, or use a ready bought one, and add Nutella. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. 

 

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Cooking Conversions Confusion

scales

One of the things that I find the most confusing about following recipes from the Internet is the different measurements used. Some are imperial, some in metric and others in cups.  I always want to ask if it is a big cup or a small cup?

This isn’t something that bothers me too much as I am not a strict follower of recipes. I have more of a tendency to use my senses, such as taste, sight and touch, to decide if a recipe is going well or not. I also have enough cooking experience to tell if the processes look right and if the quantities will do what they are supposed to be doing in a dish, whether this is adding flavour, thickening a sauce or changing the colour. 

To make things easier for other people who use recipes off the Internet, I thought I would add in this simple guide for cooking conversions.

Volume

  • 250 ml = 8 fl oz = 1 cup
  • 180 ml = 6 fl oz = 3/4 cup
  • 150 ml =5 fl oz = 2/3 cup
  • 120 ml=4 fl oz =1/2 cup
  • 75 ml = 2 1/2 fl oz = 1/3 cup
  • 60 ml = 2 1/4 fl oz = 1/4 cup
  • 30 ml = 1 fl oz = 1/8 cup
  • 15 ml = 1/2 fl oz = 1 tablespoon

Weights

  • 1/2 oz = 15 g
  • 1 oz = 30 g
  • 2 oz = 60g
  • 3 oz = 90 g
  • 4 oz = 110 g
  • 5 oz = 140 g
  • 6 oz = 170 g
  • 7 oz = 200 g
  • 8 oz = 225 g
  • 9 oz = 255 g
  • 10 oz = 280 g
  • 11 oz = 310 g
  • 12 oz = 340 g
  • 13 oz = 370 g
  • 14 oz = 400g
  • 15 oz = 425 g
  • 1 lb = 450g

The US cup measurements are more complex for weights as it depends on the ingredient. You can find an easy online guide here: http://allrecipes.co.uk/how-to/44/cooking-conversions.aspx

RECIPE: Shortcrust Pastry

pastry 1

It never ceases to amaze me that people do not make their own pastry when it is such a simple thing to make. Here is how to make shortcrust pastry with the ingredients, instructions, and some helpful tips. 

flour and butter

Ingredients for Shortcrust Pastry

  • 8 oz/ 225 g plain flour
  • 2 oz/ 60 g butter
  • 2 oz/ 20 g lard
  • Good pinch of salt

rolling pin

Instructions

  1. Weigh out the ingredients.
  2. Sieve the flour and the salt into a bowl.
  3. Chop the lard and the butter into the bowl.
  4. Rub the flour and the fat between your fingers to form a crumb.
  5. Add a small amount of water to the bowl and stir the crumbs with your hand to bind them together. Continue to add small amounts of water until you have a firm pastry dough.
  6. Wrap the pastry and put in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  7. Dust the work surface with a little flour and rub some flour into a rolling pin.
  8. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator, remove cling film and place on the floured surface.
  9. Take the rolling pin and roll backward and forwards on the pastry, pressing down firmly.
  10. Turn the pastry 90 degrees and repeat.

Tips

  • Vegetarians– Replace the lard with an extra 2 oz of butter or use margarine.
  • Sweet Pastry– Add 1 oz of caster sugar and do not add the salt.
  • Sticking pastry– If the pastry is sticking to the rolling pin, simply sprinkle a little flour over the pastry and rub some flour into the rolling pin.
  • Lifting the pastry– If you are finding it tricky to lift the pastry without breaking it, then use your rolling pin. Lie the rolling pin across the centre of the pastry. Take the edge furthest away from yourself and lift over the rolling pin until the back edge meets the front edge. Use the rolling pin to lift the pastry.
  • Glaze- If you are using the pastry for a pie crust, you should add a glaze. Use a pastry brush to cover the pastry with either milk or a whisked egg.

 

 

Recipe Follower or Experimental Cook?

ingredients

I am interested to know whether other people prefer to follow recipes or they enjoy experimenting in the kitchen.

Personally, I am a combination of both types of cook. When it comes to baking cakes and biscuits, I always stick to the recipe religiously. A slight deviation one way or another can completely change the results and not always for the better. I see baking as a science with a strict methodology that must be followed.

On the other hand, in all other areas of cooking, I rarely follow a recipe exactly and would describe myself as an experimental cook. If I use a recipe at all, and this is rare, then I will usually deviate from it. I will either add in extra ingredients or take out an ingredient to suit the tastes of myself and my family. 

Other times, I will simply use a recipe for inspiration. What I actually make may not resemble the meal that inspired me in the first place because I have just taken the basic concept and made it my own. 

More often than not, the meals I cook for the family are completely of my own creation using the ingredients that we like. I am quite adept at looking what we have in the fridge, freezer, or cupboard and making an interesting and tasty meal that everyone will enjoy.

I will gradually add more recipes to this blog and any followers will see that they are predominantly simple, tasty dishes for all the family rather than complicated, fine-dining type dishes. They are also of my own creation or adapted from other recipes.

Feel free to comment on what type of cook you are below.