Strike 4 (For Nutella Lovers)

It’s been far too long since I created something with the best (and yes, extremely unhealthy) ingredient: Nutella. My not so secret love affair. There are quite a few palm oil free “substitutes” around, but let’s be honest, none are as good as the original. When it comes to sweets, Italians know what they are doing.
With a trip to Italy in close vicinity, inspired by my Nutella recipe book, I thought I would attempt a twist on an Italian classic – Panna cotta. Funnily enough, I have never made Panna cotta before. One could tell. I knew it would be tricky. The consistency was more like pudding. Oops…… Nevertheless, it still passed as Nutella infused heaven and was an acceptable dessert for a girls’ games night. Regarding the games, it sadly didn’t give me a winning hand.

Nutella Pudding



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Hazelnut Rolls

T-2 days until I am officially unemployed for 2 months! Scary! Anyone have a guide to leading the life of a pensioner?
In my hospital, tradition calls for junior doctors to spoil their co-workers with a sweet breakfast sometime around their last day of work. Another compulsory “cake baking” moment in the life of a junior doctor, respectively surgeon in training, is after being allowed to operate something for the first time. There is an unwritten rule stating one has to bring a cake after each new surgical achievement. Sneaky, sneaky surgeons. Now, instead of always bringing cake, I figured I could be creative and bring rolls. Who doesn’t like rolls? My personal favorite – cinnamon rolls – would be a tad too intense for my Swiss colleagues to digest at 8 am. So I decided to stay on the safe side and made these hazelnut rolls – NOM. Secret ingredient: a hint of cinnamon, obvs.

Nussschnecken – Hazelnut Rolls


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Hazelnut Inspiration

So, as I previously mentioned, I have recently started taking one ingredient and basing a menu around it. Reasoning behind this new approach is an open house I attended one evening at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School. It was amazing and inspired me to up my game until I maybe one day decide to rob a bank of £30’000 for LCB’s educational fees. Until then I shall follow my own syllabus and teach myself the basics of classical cuisine. Today’s choice: Hazelnut. Why? NUTELLA, obviously! The best ever invented chocolate spread is based on hazelnuts. So….. anything made with hazelnuts must be good, right? With that in mind, I took a recipe from LCB for the main and once again attempted to be all master-chefy 🙂

P.S. For all you Nutella freaks – check this article out for inspiration on some crazy things you can do with Nutella. I’m tempted to try the Nutella, peanut butter and bacon sandwich….nom!


Sautéed Beef Fillet, Butternut Squash Purée and Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnut Vinaigrette


taken from Le Cordon Bleu

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Nutella Cheesecake Deconstruction

After having finished all 10 seasons of Friends I needed something new to watch….. what better foodie-suited brainless TV-show is there than MasterChef? I was up-to-date with the new season within just over a week….. waiting for a new episode to be aired is AWFUL!!! I WANT TO SEE MORE AMAZING FOOD AND KITCHEN DRAMA.

Anyways, regarding my cheesecake. I have never really been a fan of cheesecake or plain cream cheese icing until a couple weeks back, when I ordered a baked peanut butter cheesecake at a local pub (my reasoning behind this daring order: anything with peanut butter must be good and it was the only thing on the dessert menu I had never before made myself). It was amazing! So I thought to myself, it must taste even more amazing with Nutella. After a rather disappointing attempt of trying to bake a Nutella cheesecake, MasterChef inspiration struck: How about a no-bake cheesecake with an almost 1:1 Nutella : cream cheese ratio? And why not deconstruct it to lighten the whole dish up, make it look all fancy and pretend one day I could be on MasterChef? Using Nigella Lawson’s recipe as guidance, this is what I came up with. OMG it has taken cheesecake to a new level for me. No-bake and deconstruction is the way to go. Everyone loved it.

It also made me think whether or not to try the recipe with peanut butter instead…… I shall keep you updated.

Deconstructed Nutella Cheesecake


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Martha’s Linzer Torte

Birthdays are funny things. The hype around celebrating them seems to come in two phases. The first one starts with birth and lasts probably until 25. At 25, after having (hopefully) graduated and joined the real working world, every reminder of age is given the evil eye and subconsciously creates internal stress: career-wise, relationships, friendships, financially, where to go in life, aaaahhhh….! Recently I saw a 15 page CV….. how am I ever going to fill so many pages in the next few years? Too much to do and so little time. Also, if you’re female, mid twenties-thirties and single, I’m sure you can relate to this dialogue from When Harry Met Sally:

Sally: AND, I’m gonna be forty.
Harry: When?
Sally: Someday
Harry: In eight years.
Sally: But it’s there. It’s just sitting there, like some big dead end. And it’s not the same for men.

The second phase of celebratory hypes starts round about retirement age, 60 years, and lasts for the rest of your life (YAY some celebrations at the end of the 40 year working tunnel). Last week we celebrated a very special birthday within the family. Planning for the 3 day weekend (apparently the older one gets, the longer one wants to celebrate, one day isn’t enough) had begun months before. The closer we came, the only thing on the birthday boy’s mind was the party. The excitement was comparable to that of a 4 year old eating chocolate cake for the first time. Being 23, I didn’t quite understand how one could be sooooo excited about getting older, but I guess the older one gets the more appreciative one becomes of age and life (oooooo words of wisdom…. :-P). Let me get back to you about that when I turn 60.

With a guest list close to 50 and a Sunday morning plan of coffee, tea and cakes, no more needed to be said. I successfully took on my first cake marathon and baked 5. Luckily some cakes, like the one below, are best baked 2 days in advance. This made life a little easier, however with the additional skiing, small-talking and remaining birthday madness, sleep deprivation was to be expected.

Finally, about this first cake: my mother grew up with a nanny/maid called “Martha”. She joined the family when my mother was born and stayed for 50 years. Martha was like a grandmother to me. She could also bake like a goddess; her cakes were divine. The Linzer Torte (swiss style, not Austrian and overly spiced) is one of her recipes. Deciphering her jumbled handwriting and trying to follow her thoughts wasn’t the easiest, but definitely worth it. Sadly she passed away a few years ago, but she is always remembered when one of us decides to whip up a cake for a special occasion. The Linzer has become somewhat of a family tradition. With its special almond paste filling and generous layer of jam, it’s always a winner.

Martha’s Linzer Torte


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Strike 2

The best hazelnut chocolate spread strikes again. Yes, I am talking about Nutella. At last years Salon du Chocolat (an absolute must for chocolate lovers! Three whole days dedicated to the most innovative chocolate creations…. no wonder we felt slightly nauseous by the end of it), one chocolatier created a chocolate-hazelnut paste, which actually came out of a tube like face cream. It was deceptively advertised as tasting better than Nutella. Those are daringly big words carrying huge expectations! Honestly, why did they think they could create something superior to Nutella……? The paste was tasty, but definitely miles from the all time favorite.

Needless to say, it shouldn’t be a surprise to you that Nutella is the one item never missing from my kitchen. With an upcoming dinner invitation and a newly bought jar of chocolate goodness, I decided to attempt making a bring along gift instead of buying one. The result: tiny yet devilishly satisfying post-dinner delights:

Nutella Truffles


Taken from the most epic recipe book created

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Nutella Cupcakes

In my last post I mentioned baking 72 cupcakes in an extremely hungover state, which is admittedly the second best cure to recover from intoxication. These cupcakes are truly a MUST for Nutella lovers. A Nutella filled center and Nutella based icing…. what more can a Nutella monster ask for?

A small bonus for all Nutella fans amongst you: check this out. It is even shaped like the jar!

Nutella Cupcakes


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