“I’m not a chef, I’m Italian”- David Rocco

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Sweets of Roma: Tortine di Nutella

Ciao a tutti!! When you’re in Italy, you can’t NOT have candy and pastries. I mean, it’s kind of a law. Well, it’s not, but still. It really should be. Something I love about Italian sweets is how different the flavors are from the ones we have in America. In America it’s all about cookie dough and cookies and cream, in Italy, nut and fruit flavors are very popular. 

I've never seen a Chestnut Torta in a bakery, except when I’m in Italy. I’m a big fan of nutty flavors, so everything topped with pistachios, walnuts, almonds, pignolis and chestnuts is a nice surprise for me. I’m telling you….just looking in the windows of the bakeries was a treat. So, I thought it would be fun to post a Pastry Photo Tour of Roma!! I've also added recipes that I've tried and tested that were the closest to the actual experience. I'll be posting a new pastry recipes/photo every few days inspired by the beautiful pastries I enjoyed while in Roma. And in a few days, a Pastry/Gelato Photo Tour of Firenze! 

But for today....Tortine di Nutella. That's right. Nutella. Who doesn't love nutella? I'm not sure I should tell you how many of these babies I ate while in Italy. Honestly....I had one almost every night. I'm not even kidding. Clearly, I love nutella, as you may recall from my Nutella Chronicle Post. Every bakery has their own take on this classic tart, so I figured it was only fair to try everyone's version!! Right?!?! These are little flaky shortbread tartlets filled with a deep and rich nutella ganache. 

They. Are. Amazing. No lie. Enjoy and please let me know what you think!! 

Tortine di Nutella

Buttery Shortbread Pastry Crust

2 cups all purpose flour
14 tbsp. chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. chilled heavy cream
1 tsp. salt

In a food processor, combine the flour, butter, egg, sugar, heavy cream and salt and pulse until the dough gathers into big clumps.  Put the dough on a clean counter surface that is lightly floured and gather it together. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough. You can use whatever size tart pans you like, piccolo, medio or grande. Press the tart pans into the dough for your crust. Put them in the oven on 300 degrees and cook for 6 minutes. They will not be completely done, but you will be baking them again when filled with the nutella. Now prepare your nutella ganache...

Nutella Ganache 

1 cup of nutella
4 ounces of good quality milk chocolate, I like to use Perugina chocolate bars
1/2 cup heavy cream
Chopped Hazelnuts to top the tarts

Prepare the nutella and chocolate in a small mixing bowl. Bring the heavy cream to a simmer. Add the nutella and chocolate to the heavy cream and mix until silky and smooth. Now get the tart/tartlet crusts (whatever size you picked) and carefully spoon the nutella into the crust. Put back in the oven on 300 degrees and bake for another 6 minutes. Take out and add the chopped hazelnuts to top of the tarts. Boun Appetito!!