The rich, creamy spread which has helped many a mom finally conquer their picky breakfast eater, Nutella, was originally created by Pietro Ferrero in 1964.
During WWII, chocolate was scarce due to food rationing, so the Italian pastry-maker added hazelnut to it to extend his supply.
But neither Carol Watts nor Audrey Oswalt, both local bakery owners, had heard of Nutella before last year, which is featured in a new cookbook.
Watts, who owns the Mad Hatter Cakes and Cupcake Shop in Jacksonville, said she first discovered Nutella after her daughter brought it home from school.
Oswalt, the owner of Too Nice to Slice in Oxford, first saw the product while watching television.
“I saw how popular it was for breakfast foods on commercials,” Oswalt recalled.
Last fall, Too Nice to Slice introduced a Nutella-frosted cupcake, which Oswalt appropriately calls the “Nutella cupcake.”
“A lot of people like it with everything and I thought it would go good with cake,” Oswalt said. “Nutella brings out the chocolate flavor.”
Watts also created variations of Nutella cupcakes which she also calls “Nutella cupcakes.” All of Watts’ cupcakes are vanilla with Nutella spread across the top. One comes with chocolate ganache and chopped nuts and another comes with marshmallow fluff on the inside. Mad Hatter also offers a “Nutella parfait” which consists of vanilla cake, marshmallow fluff and Nutella Swiss meringue.
Both Oswalt and Watts said they tried to make cupcakes with Nutella added to their cake batter — neither with much success.
“With the frosting, the Nutella overpowered the cupcake and the flavoring was too strong,” Oswalt said.
For Watts, Nutella ended up taking away the texture of the cake batter.
“We really can only add it to the frosting or straight on,” she said. “It takes a lot of Nutella to add flavor.”
With fall just around the corner, Watts and Oswalt will bring their creations back into the limelight. Both bakers say hazelnut is more of a fall-winter flavor, which is why the bakeries don’t offer the Nutella products year round.
“During the summertime people tend to lean toward a lighter, fruitier option,” Oswalt said.
Though Oswalt will be sticking to her Nutella cupcake, Watts said she doesn’t know what’s in store for her and Nutella in the future.
“We like to try new stuff and cross the line so there’s no telling,” she said.
Staff Writer Madasyn Czebiniak: 256-235-3553. On Twitter: @Mczebiniak_star
MINI NUTELLA CROISSANTS
Makes 16 mini croissants
8 ounces ready-rolled puff pastry
½ cup Nutella
1 egg yolk, to glaze
Preheat oven to 350 F. Unroll the pastry on the work surface. Spread with a thick layer of Nutella.
Cut the pastry into 16 equal-sized pieces. Roll each piece onto itself, starting at a long edge in order to form a mini croissant.
Brush with egg yolk and bake for 20 minutes.
— Nutella cookbook