Studying abroad in Italy taught me many things. It was there where I learned how to haggle with feisty Italians over leather goods, how to gesture swear words with my hands and how cool you are when you celebrate your 21st birthday at a bar aptly called “21.” Upon reflection though, I think the most important thing I learned in my travels was how to properly battle an addiction with the worlds greatest invention : nutella.
We ate so much nutella in Florence it’s not even funny. We ate it for breakfast with apples, for lunch on toasted bread, for dinner on more bread with a side of pasta and for fifth meal, in our bedrooms eating out of the jumbo jar with tablespoons. Italian nutella is magical, I swear. It’s less sugary, more hazelnutty, if you catch my drift. I remember days leading up to my departure from Florence, my roommates and I went to the grocery store and literally bought 20+ jars of nutella to take home to the States because we knew we couldn’t get Italian nutella anywhere else.
One of my fondest memories of nutella & Florence was the night we all went out to some bar for a nutella-themed-drink night. All I will tell you is that they had nutella shots lined up when we walked inside and served little nutella crostini as appetizers. After spending a few hours gorging on nutella, a bunch of us went to some local Italian club and danced our troubles away until the wee hours of the morning. Turns out, I still have that nights album saved on FB (cleverly titled, “Nutella addiction : it’s a very serious disease.). Below are a few favorites.
Looking back now, four years (!!!!) later, I wish I had saved the nutella shot recipe or at least asked the bartender how he created such a masterpiece. It’d be a perfect hit for summer parties or really for any occasion you want an excuse to drink liquid nutella. Instead, I’m sharing with you today a recipe for something a bit more classy and just as (if not more) delicious.
This nutella mousse recipe is adapted from Food & Wine’s “Gianduja Mousse.” When we make it at home, we (sometimes) omit the liqueur, which adds richness and quite a bite to the mousse as a whole. It comes together in minutes and is better than any chocolate mousse I’ve ever had. Topped with a few dollops of whipped cream and you’ve got yourself a hearty and sweet dessert you and your foodie friends will love.
- 1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut paste (nutella)
- 1/4 cup creme fraiche
- 1 1/2 teaspoons brandy or hazelnut liqueur
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- raspberries, whipped cream for garnish
In a medium bowl fitted with a stand mixer (or electric mixer) beat the nutella with the creme fraiche (and brandy if using) at a low speed until smooth. In another small bowl, beat the heavy cream with a whisk until firm peaks appear, about 1-2 minutes. Using a spatula, fold the whipped cream into the nutella mixture until well combined. Spoon into bowls (or small teacups like we did) and garnish with whipped cream & a raspberry.