Happy New Year, friends! It’s been a *hot* minute since we last chatted, and I’m dying to know: how was your holiday? Were you able to rest? Celebrate? Love someone in big ways? Our Christmas was pretty routine, with the exception of my book release, and I gotta tell you- mundane felt good. We did a lot less of the Christmassy stuff this year, opting instead for movies, bowls of popcorn, and lots of pajamas. I’m not sure that my kids will remember a childhood filled with trips to visit Santa, gingerbread houses, and extra decorations, but they’ll definitely remember Mom plopping down next to them in her bathrobe. This year, that kind of quiet was just what we needed.
In the past, I’ve drummed up a whole bunch of expectations for myself this time of year: personal goals, marriage goals, work goals, and more than a few body-centric lists of ways I could do better. My personality is the kind that thrives wherever bullet points and checkmarks are concerned, and I’ve rarely met a benchmark I didn’t mind running towards. But this year, I’m at a loss. To be honest, I feel like I have very little direction and even fewer goals I want to pursue, so even though my inner drive is telling me to GO, my brain keeps responding with a, “but… where?”
For some reason, this troubles me. Not because I’m discontent with my own life or what I’ve achieved or the things I have to offer as a woman, mother, or writer, but because, in a lot of ways, I’ve trained myself to be ever on the move. Itfeels good to check off those lists. Ilike claiming those achievements as my own. Why can’t I do and have it all?
-“Being quiet, willing to learn, ready to question and wonder and think in new ways- this is how we grow. “
For me, the stillness of not knowing is uncharted territory. And while it’s not the kind that feels comfy cozy, I do think it could be precisely what I need. We don’t have to have the maps or lists or plans figured out to move forward, and there’s lots to learn in the waiting, too. Being quiet, willing to learn, ready to question and wonder and think in new ways- this is how we grow. It’s not a stagnant or backtracking thing, and taking a step in a new direction doesn’t mean that ground has been lost. And certainly a lack of resolutions doesn’t mean a lack of resolve. So that’s me right now. Nothing terribly exciting, and certainly not the kind of commentary you’d expect to find on a blog post about Nutella coffee, but it’s where I am and I thought I’d let you know. 🙂
So without further ado, here’s the first recipe of 2022- Nutella Coffee! This one is an offering from my book, and I love it for its ease and comfort. Here, strong coffee is made even more rich with the addition of chocolate hazelnut spread. A dollop (or two! or three!) of whipped cream rounds this out as the best little afternoon pick-me-up or dessert.
Also, not miss the top 10 recipes of 2021! Collectively, these recipes were viewed hundreds of thousands of times, and I gotta say- you all pick well! Out of these, my favorites are the cookies and cream rolls, the bourbon bundt cake, and the banana Nutella muffins, but I’ll let you decide! Give them a peep and let me know what you think! Happy Wednesday, Happy New Year, and Happy Baking, y’all!
In a large measuring liquid cup or oversized mug, use a milk frother or small whisk to stir the Nutella into the coffee until all the chocolate has melted and combined smoothly. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and enjoy!
I’m making a new rule. From here on out, Monday’s and doughnuts go together like Lucy and Ethel. No longer will we suffer at the hand of an abruptly short weekend or an agonizing case of the Monday’s. We deserve chocolate hazelnut doughnuts to help us make it through, and I’m here to bring them.
This past week Brett and I took the kids to the fair. It was approximately 347 degrees outside, but we couldn’t resist the allure of fried funnel cakes on a similarly hot and sticky day. With a bag full of cash (and hand sanitizer), we embraced the sweat and watched the kids have the time of their lives.
I’ve decided that kids visiting the fair require no normal sustenance. While mom and dad are dehydrated and weak from lack of nourishment, the kids are soaring high on overstimulation. I barely got through the door before I was ready to buy one of those paper cups full of salty french fries, but the kids had zero interest. Within minutes, George had hair and dirt matted to his forehead, and Aimee raced from the rides to the games and back to the rides again, never stopping once to consider the plethora of snacks available at her fingertips.
Finally, as we were dragging them out the gate, we grabbed a few corn dogs and called it a night, but when I got home I was really wanting some fair food. Where were the fried Oreos? The stuffed crust pizzas? Those hotdogs wrapped in curly fries? If there’s ever a time when you should be able to unbutton your pants and seriously let loose, it’s at the fair. Unfortunately, parents just don’t get to do their snack thing when the kids are fixated on seeing the sights.
Chocolate Hazelnut Doughnuts
Because I didn’t overindulge at the fair, I’m diving in deep today with these chocolate hazelnut doughnuts. Although I’m no stranger to a traditional fried doughnut, I love making these baked ones. They’re WAY easier to prepare in my home. Fried food at the fair is amazing, but a house that smells like hot grease… less amazing.
To make these chocolate hazelnut doughnuts, we start with the batter. The dry ingredients of flour, sugar, and cocoa, mix together first. Next, milk and just the right amount of melted Kerrygold butter to make a thick, fudgy mixture. Prepare your favorite doughnut pan with cooking spray and spoon the batter into a piping bag or large plastic bag with the end snipped off. Pipe the batter into the pan and bake them until they’ve puffed slightly and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
The topping for these chocolate hazelnut doughnuts is a simple shiny glaze that sets up firm and will stick to all of the chopped hazelnuts or chocolate shavings that you to sprinkle on top. While I prefer to nibble on these fresh from the oven, absolutely no one complained when I served them for breakfast on day 2. They were positively destroyed.
Kerrygold is my go-to butter in all circumstances, and I’m thrilled to find that it performs well in these baked chocolate hazelnut doughnuts. The pastries stay moist and flavorful even on day 2 and 3 of consuming, and I have no doubt that choosing a quality butter had something to do with that. Pick some up for yourself next time you’re at the store and let me know what you think. In the meantime, I hope you get the try these chocolate hazelnut doughnuts in your own kitchens! Happy baking!
If you like these chocolate hazelnut doughnuts you should try:
These chocolate hazelnut doughnuts are rich chocolate baked pastries topped with a simple chocolate hazelnut glaze.
Total Time:35 minutes
For the donuts:
6 tablespoons (85 gm) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 cup (240 gm) sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1–1/2 cups (210 gm) bread flour
2/3 cup (50 gm) cocoa powder
1 cup (200 gm) brown sugar
1–1/2 teaspoons espresso powder or instant coffee
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2–1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
¼ cup chocolate hazelnut spread
¼ cup milk
To prepare the donuts:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a donut baking pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine the butter, eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, espresso powder baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine. The mixture is thick, so be sure to incorporate the ingredients well. Pour the batter into a piping bag or a quart-sized plastic bag with the end snipped off. Pipe the mixture into the wells of the donut pan, filling each about ¾ of the way full. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Repeat the process with the remaining batter until all the donuts are cooked. Set aside to cool.
To prepare the glaze:
Whisk all of the ingredients together. Add additional milk to thin out the mixture if desired. Dip the cooled donuts in the glaze and allow to set. Feel free to sprinkle with chopped toasted hazelnuts prior to glaze setting if desired.
There are a few recipes that every home baker needs to know like the back of their hand. Ganache, with only two ingredients and two steps to create it, is one of a few baking fundamentals that can elevate homemade dishes to sweet, chocolatey bliss. Despite its simplicity, ganache often scares bakers away from attempting to make it themselves at home. Today, in an effort to conquer this Everest, we are going to cover the basics on ganache so that you can create decadent, chocolate dishes with ease from here on out. We’re also going to learn how to make 4 different types of homemade chocolate truffles from a single ganache base, so if you’re interested in making some treats for your valentine (or yourself, no judgement here!), this is a post you’ll want to listen in on. Let’s get started!
What Is It?
Ganache is the mixture of warmed cream and chocolate. It can be used to glaze, fill, coat, or whip into baked goods and desserts. Ganache can take on a variety of forms depending on the cream to chocolate ratio; the concentration and preparation of these two ingredients will alter the final product.
How Do You Make It?
All ganaches begin by heating heavy whipping cream until hot but not boiling. The warm cream is poured over finely chopped chocolate and allowed to rest for a few minutes. Once the chocolate has melted enough to be stirred into the cream. When combined, the chocolate and cream transform into a smooth and rich liquid that we know as ganache.
What Are the Different Types of Ganache?
The proportion of cream to chocolate will determine how viscous your final product will be. A higher cream:chocolate weight ratio will land you a more thin chocolate glaze. Likewise, a ganache with more chocolate than cream will result in a thick, fudgy texture. Here are three basic cream:chocolate ratios that you need to know.
1:1 – One part cream to one part chocolate
Using the same weight of cream and chocolate will result in a thick fudge sauce consistency. When warm, this ganache can be poured thickly over cakes, breads, and ice cream. When chilled, the ganache can be used to fill cakes, pastries, and tarts. If whipped, this ganache ratio will transform into a hardening frosting that is perfect for cakes to be covered in fondant. You might remember this ganache from marble loaf pound cake .
1:2 – One part cream to two parts chocolate
Ganache will become thick and viscous as you increase the amount of chocolate to cream. The more chocolate, the thicker it will be. We will use this ratio later today to prepare homemade truffles, but you might remember a similarly rich ganache from the mint chocolate sandwich cookies.
2:1 – Two parts cream to one part chocolate
When warm, this ganache will be a thin, pourable glaze that can be used to coat baked goods, but when allowed to cool, this ganache ratio will whip into a light and fluffy frosting that will stay soft upon setting.
What Else Do I Need to Know About Ganache?
There’s a few other things that will affect your final ganache. First: time and temperature. A warm, freshly made ganache will be a bit more loose than one that has been resting at room temperature or chilled overnight in the fridge. Given enough time and cool temperatures, all ganaches will firm up somewhat from their warm state. For example, if you’ve prepared a thick ganache with more chocolate than cream, you’ll find the ganache is pourable and saucy while warm, but will harden up to a firm, malleable consistency after some time in the fridge. Cold ganache will always be more firm than a warm one, so if you find that your final outcome is not as thick as you anticipated, it may be that you just need to let it rest a bit more.
The type of chocolate that you choose to use will also affect your final ganache. While most recipes call for bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, ganache can be made with white or milk chocolate as well. The type of chocolate you choose will affect the flavor and texture of your ganache, so be sure to use chocolate that you would normally enjoy eating on its own.
Finally, ganache can be flavored with a few simple add-ins. Extracts, liquors, and even nut butters can be whisked into a warm ganache to to add flavor the the chocolate base. I’ll share a few simple variations below, but be sure to tell me if you have any favorites that I need to try!
Homemade Chocolate Truffles
Let’s be honest. There’s nothing sweeter than romance via chocolate on Valentine’s Day and no better way to share that love than by making homemade chocolate truffles. Now that you’ve mastered ganache, you can easily prepare 4 different homemade chocolate truffles to show love to your boo thang. Of course there’s a million other options, but here are a few rich candies to get started with:
Simple Chocolate Truffles
The gold standard for chocolate candies, these babies are the most basic form of truffle, prepared by scooping firm rounds of chilled ganache and rolling it in cocoa powder. These are perfect for the more-is-more kind of chocolate lover in your life.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Truffles
Here, peanut butter is stirred into the warm ganache before it’s chilled to a thick consistency. Once firm, simply scoop small mounds of chocolate to roll and refrigerate until cold. The chilled balls are then dipped in a coating of melted chocolate and sprinkled with chopped peanuts.
Dark Chocolate Truffles with Sea Salt
Simple, rich, and decadent are these truffles, made by preparing a dark chocolate ganache with the addition of sea salt. Once chilled, balls of ganache are dipped in dark chocolate, and a sprinkle of sea salt gives these little guys a sophisticated look with that sweet and salty taste.
Hazelnut Chocolate Truffles
Similar to the peanut butter truffles, these hazelnut truffles are made by stirring chocolate hazelnut spread into the warm ganache. I like to roll the chilled truffles in chopped hazelnuts, but certainly you could dip these in chocolate as well.
A Few Other Chocolate Truffle Filling Variations:
Boozy Truffles: Add 1 tablespoon of rum, bourbon, coffee or orange liqueur into the warm chocolate ganache recipe.
Vanilla Truffles: Add 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract to the warm chocolate ganache. Roll the finished balls in powdered sugar.
Coconut Truffles: Add 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract to the warm chocolate ganache and roll the finished balls in toasted sweetened coconut.
Peppermint Truffles: Add 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract to the warm chocolate ganache and roll the finished balls in crushed candy canes.
Ok, I’m Obsessed with Ganache. How Do I Get Started?!
Ganache and homemade truffles are one of the easiest recipes you’ll make all year. Once you know how to make a base ganache you can make a ton of different treats like peanut butter chocolate cheesecake, mint brownie ice cream cake, and pretzel millionaire bars. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you’ll be glad to have this technique in your pocket, and you honey booboo will be even more thrilled. Give these homemade chocolate truffles a try and let me know what you think! #MonthofChocolate will continue next week, so stay tuned for more milky cocoa goodness!
Making homemade ganache is simple and only requires two ingredients. Use some basic ratios to learn how to make the perfect ganache your recipe needs!
Total Time:10 minutes
Dark Chocolate, finely chopped
Heavy Whipping Cream
Place the chocolate in a bowl and set aside while you prepare the cream.Warm the cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat until cream is hot and beginning to steam. Do not boil.
Pour the warm cream over the chopped chocolate and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Allow it to rest about 5 minutes, and then use a spoon or spatula to stir the chocolate and cream together. If the chocolate is not completely melted you can microwave the chocolate and cream together in 15 second increments, stirring until the two have combined.
Allow the ganache to cool to your desired consistency. You can expedite this process by placing the bowl in the refrigerator. Stir it regularly to keep it uniform in consistency.
For a thick glaze/ cake or pie filling:
Use a 1:1 chocolate to cream ratio.
Weigh equal amounts of cream and chocolate. For example, you may use 2 ounces of heavy whipping cream and 2 ounces of chocolate to make 4 ounces of ganache.
If you plan to frost a cake with this ganache, allow it to cool and then whip with a paddle attachment until fluffy in the bowl of a stand mixer.
For truffle thick ganache:
Use a 1:2 cream to chocolate ratio.
Weigh out double the amount of chocolate to cream. For example, you might combine 2 ounces of cream and 4 ounces of chocolate to make 6 ounces of truffle thick ganache.
If you plan to use this ganache to make truffles, chill the ganache until it is firm enough to scoop.
For a thin glaze/ whipped ganache:
Use a 2:1 cream to chocolate ratio.
Weigh out double the amount of cream than chocolate. For example, you might combine 4 ounces of cream and 2 ounces of chocolate to prepare 6 ounces of thin ganache.
For whipped ganache, allow the cream to set out or chill in the fridge until slightly thickened and viscous. Place in the bowl of a stand mixer and use the whisk attachment to beat until light and fluffy. Be sure to not overbeat- you may make butter!
1 cup (180 gm) chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate for dipping, optional
Toasted peanuts or hazelnuts, finely chopped, optional
Place the chopped chocolate in a small mixing bowl
Heat the heavy whipping cream until hot. Pour over the chocolate, stir to combine, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow to rest 5 minutes and then stir to combine until smooth. Microwave in 15 second increments if the chocolate is not thoroughly melted. If you plan to make classic truffles, refrigerate this mixture until firmed but still malleable. Scoop out 2 teaspoon sized balls and roll them in cocoa powder. Refrigerate to firm and then serve at room temperature.
For peanut butter truffles:
Stir the peanut butter into the warm ganache and place in the fridge to chill. Once the ganache is set but still scoopable, spoon 2 teaspoon sized balls (I use a small cookie scoop) of ganache and roll gently in your hands. Place the balls back in the fridge to cool. In the meantime, melt the additional chocolate in a double boiler set over medium-low heat. Roll each chilled ball in the melted chocolate and place on a piece of parchment or wax paper to set. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and cool completely in the fridge.
For hazelnut truffles:
Stir the chocolate hazelnut spread into the warm ganache and place in the fridge to chill. Once the ganache is set but still scoopable, spoon 2 teaspoon sized balls (I use a small cookie scoop) of ganache and roll gently in your hands. Roll each ball in the finely chopped hazelnuts and place in the fridge to set.
For sea salt truffles:
Sprinkle in a small pinch of salt and stir to combine. Place in the fridge to chill. Once the ganache is set but still scoopable, spoon 2 teaspoon sized balls (I use a small cookie scoop) of ganache and roll gently in your hands. In the meantime, melt the additional chocolate in a double boiler set over medium-low heat. Roll each chilled ball in the melted chocolate and place on a piece of parchment or wax paper to set. Sprinkle with sea salt and allow to firm up at room temperature or in the fridge.
Guess what!? It’s still the month of chocolate around these parts, so you’re getting hit with another decadent, chocolatey treat today. This hazelnut mocha cream pie is a simple, cool and creamy treat that is so good, I think it might make your heart skip a beat.
My heart already had its fair share of excitement this week, given that we celebrated Valentine’s Day on Tuesday. Brett and I drove to Birmingham to attend a pop-up dinner hosted by our good friend Mac Russell of Shindigs Catering. Shindigs turns fresh, local food into tastebud spankin’ Southern inspired dishes, and I knew this special dinner wouldn’t disappoint. While there were multiple highlights throughout the six courses of dining, you have to know my heart exploded during the dessert course: tiramisu with Nutella coffee. Even just typing the words makes my mouth water.
Lucky for me, I get a coffee and Nutella fix with this week’s #monthofchocolate dessert. This hazelnut mocha cream pie is officially my new BFF. A cinch to make and inspired by my favorite peanut butter pie, this little fancy has a chocolate graham cracker crust, a hazelnut and espresso cream cheese filling, and is all topped off with espresso whipped cream and crunchy toasted hazelnuts. This pie is cloud-like with layers of fluffy whipped filling, and the rich, creamy flavors of the chocolate hazelnut spread is offset perfectly by the tangy cream cheese and bite from the espresso.
To whip up this pie, we start with a quick bake of the chocolate graham cracker crust. You can skip this part and go straight for a store-bought chocolate cookie crust, but it’s so easy to whip one up- why bother!? While the crust cools, we beat together cream cheese, Nutella, and a bit of sugar, and then fold in some whipped cream that we’ve already dissolved a bit of espresso in. The filling gets topped with a few more dollops of espresso whipped cream, a drizzle more of Nutella, and some toasted hazelnuts before chilling to completion in the fridge.
Hazelnut mocha cream pie takes less than 30 minutes to prepare from start to finish, but you wouldn’t believe it by the taste or looks of it. This pie is easy to beautify and even easier to love, as the coffee and Nutella flavors are a favorite to most these days. You can try different variations of this pie by omitting the espresso, using a pastry crust instead of a cookie crust, or even by opting for cookie butter or peanut butter chocolate spread in place of the Nutella. I love testing out different versions of this pie as it almost always turns out rich, fluffy, and sweetened to perfection. If you try out any versions that are especially delicious, let me know in the comments section below!
Next week is a super special week for me, as it will be my one year blogiversary! I could not be more thrilled to celebrate a year writing to you all, and I have just the thing to celebrate with. (Hint: it has to do with chocolate. Shocking, right?) Stay tuned until next week and have a terrific Thursday! Cheers to you!
Stir all of the crust ingredients together in a bowl, or whiz together in a food processor. Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a standard 9″ pie plate (note: this recipe will not fill a deep dish pie pan- use the standard sized pan). Bake in the preheated oven for 7 minutes or until the crumbs are set. Set aside to cool completely.
To prepare the pie filling
Combine the heavy cream and espresso powder to allow the powder to dissolve while you prepare the filling.
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, hazelnut spread, and confectioner’s sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
In a separate medium sized bowl, beat the espresso and cream mixture on low speed until the cream froths. Increase the speed to medium-high, adding the granulated sugar once soft peaks form. Continuing beating just until stiff peaks form.
Fold half of the whipped cream mixture into the cream cheese mixture. Once combined, fold in the remaining whipped cream. Spread the filling into the cooled pie crust.
To prepare the topping
Combine 1 cup of the heavy cream and the espresso powder and allow the powder to dissolve, just as you did before. Once dissolved, whip until stiff peaks form, adding the sugar again at the soft peak stage. Spread the coffee whipped cream on top of the pie filling. If desired, combine the hazelnut spread and 1 teaspoon of cream in a small bowl and then microwave for 8-10 second to melt. Drizzle all over the pie as a garnish and top with the optional toasted hazelnuts.
Be sure your cream cheese is room temp, otherwise you will have cream cheese clumps in your pie! In a pinch, I slice my cream cheese up into 1 ounce slices and microwave briefly for 10-15 second intervals until it is soft enough. Take care not to cook the cream cheese in the microwave.
Espresso powder can be found in the coffee aisle of the grocery store. A high quality instant coffee can be used as well.
To toast hazelnuts, put the nuts in a small fry pan over medium low heat. Toss them occasionally. Nuts are toasted when they become fragrant and lightly golden brown.