I remember the moment. I was 10 years old. I was staying over at a friend's house and woke up to a different routine. Instead of squinting and rubbing my eyes and smelling bacon drifting from the kitchen, I smelled toast and chocolate. Did I sleep through the day? Did I wake up in parallel universe where dessert was served after every meal, including breakfast?
We went downstairs and I saw the jar. And the plate with chocolate-covered toast. My world would never be the same again. The taste has stayed with me all those years. There was an alternative to bacon and eggs and I was a fan.
Up until that moment in time Nutella was a foreign word to me. I had never heard of it, never tasted it. I'm as big a chocolate fan as the next person but it didn't dawn on me that it worked on toast as well. In hindsight, how could it not? Chocolate rolls with everything. Waking up that day to a cup of juice with chocolate and hazelnut on a crispy piece of bread changed the way I looked at food. It no longer was something resigned to the forms you grew up knowing.
There are countless memories formed because of food. I can remember moments in time and places in time based on something I ate or tried for the first time. Food helps lift back the curtain so we can see again, remember again.
Although Nutella was seen one way for a long time, that soon began to change. There are countless ways to make something and even more ways to deconstruct it. I used to see Nutella as a lovely spread and not much more. I realize now how wrong I was. This is one of those rare moments when I love being wrong.
Today is World Nutella Day. Some of you know this, some don't. Either way, this is just one more way to make something using Nutella as your starting point. In my case, it was an opportunity to make Nutella Caramel Squares, the third in a series of recipes featuring chocolate.
The result is nothing short of fantastic. Rich and dense, Much like that morning when I was a kid, I had discovered something I had never tried before. Melting Nutella to help create this layered treat.
From my kitchen to yours, happy world Nutella day!
Nutella Caramel Squares
- 1 1/2 cups of butter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cans of condensed milk
- 1 cup butter
- 3 tbsp. golden syrup
- 5 cups Nutella
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Using a mixing bowl and electric mixer, cream 1 1/2 cups of butter. Add in the flour and sugar slowly and mix until you have a loose dough.
- Push down and pack the dough into an 8"x8" baking pan and bake for 25 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
- Mix 1 cup of butter, syrup and condensed milk over a double boiler. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon until golden brown. Then, using a whisk, vigorously stir until fluffy. Remove from heat.
- Spread over the baked shortbread layer and refrigerate until solid, about an hour.
- Melt the Nutella over a double boiler and pour over the caramel layer.
- Return to the fridge and cool to set.
- Once the squares are slightly set, score with a knife to make it easier to cut later.
Labels: afternoon tea, caramel sauce, chocolate, dessert, Nutella, shortbread, sweets