May 11, 2007

Today we’re tasting eight different chocolate-hazelnut spreads. You got it. Eight versions of Nutella. (Sometimes my job is SO hard.) Last weekend, I came across an ingenious use of Nutella: In the book Cupcakes Galore, author Gail Wagman employs it as a cake frosting. I’ve seen the spread blended into buttercreams but never used so unapologetically straight out of the jar and onto the cake. I’m rarely one to advocate prepackaged icing, but perhaps Nutella’s Piedmont origin makes this somehow acceptable. I mean, great wines like Barolo are made there, right? The slightly frightening ingredient list, with the now taboo partially-hydrogenated peanut oil, didn’t stop me from spreading half a container of the stuff on my batch of chocolate-hazelnut cupcakes. While it’s a little alarmingly glossy and quite sticky for a frosting, it’s as divine as any buttercream, without the dirty beaters.

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