scones from "Baked Explorations," by Matt
Lewis and Renato Poliafito.
there is any person in the United States who understands how
much Americans — or really, people all over the world —
love Nutella, it is Allison Robicelli, who along with her
husband, Matt, owns the New York bakery Robicelli’s.
Robicelli created Nutelasagna, the Nutella dessert heard
round the world. It was a dish they made as a joke last
summer and brought back for the holidays, when the craziness
ensued. Lines formed at 8 a.m. Pans and slices sold out
quickly. Stories appeared in New York, Great Britain, the
Balkans, even Italy — the home of the company that makes
the beloved chocolate hazelnut spread. Last Thursday, the
Ferrero company president traveled to Brooklyn to meet the
president says it became a media phenomenon," Allison
Robicelli said last week during a phone interview. She
added: "I’m a god in Italy."
chocolate-hazelnut spread was a popular snack food in Europe
and elsewhere before being exported to the United States 25
years ago. Our love affair with this sweet treat has only
grown. Case in point: Jif introduced its own version three
chef Jossie Perlmutter, at Charlotte, N.C.’s fine dining
restaurant The Asbury, realized the power of Nutella several
years ago when she added a Nutella cupcake to a restaurant
menu. (The Asbury’s menu currently features a chocolate,
hazelnut and mango dessert.)
I combine chocolate and hazelnuts, people just went
nuts," Perlmutter said. "Those were the
inspiration for Nutelasagna was Allison Robicelli’s
frustration with the media declaring every dessert as
"the new cupcake." So she and her staff decided to
hold an eight-week "Jump the Shark" summer when
they would promote other desserts as the "new
cupcake," like green Jell-o, Norwegian waffles and
noodle kugel. The last one inspired Nutelasagna. Her version
combines layers of fresh lasagna noodles, cannoli cream,
toasted hazelnuts, Nutella ganache and homemade
best thing about making Nutelasagna is you can make it your
own. Like the savory version, Robicelli says, "There’s
not many hard rules with lasagna."
does Robicelli think we are so fascinated by this
chocolate-hazelnut treat? She says: "It’s peanut
butter for grown-ups."
author Alice Medrich has a great tip for removing hazelnut
skins. Bring a pot full of water to a boil, add 3
tablespoons baking soda and then 1 cup hazelnuts. Let simmer
for 3 minutes. Drain water. Place hazelnuts in an ice bath.
Rub nuts together to remove skins. Preheat oven to 350
degrees. Spread hazelnuts in a single layer on a rimmed
baking sheet. Place in oven and cook for 12-15 minutes,
rotating the pan halfway through the cooking time. Remove
from oven and let cool. Adapted from Leite’s Culinaria.
ounces milk chocolate, chopped
peeled, toasted hazelnuts
tablespoons mild vegetable oil, such as canola
tablespoons powdered sugar
tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
teaspoon vanilla extract
chocolate in a small glass or metal bowl. Set bowl over a
saucepan of gently simmering water to melt, or melt in the
microwave. Stir until smooth. Let cool completely.
hazelnuts in a food processor until they form a paste. Add
oil, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt. Continue
processing until the mixture is as smooth as possible or as
smooth as you like. Add melted chocolate, blend well. If you
like a smoother spread, strain the mixture using a fine mesh
strainer or sieve to remove any chucks of hazelnuts that
spread into a jar or other resealable container and let it
cool to room temperature. The spread will keep for up to 2
"Baked Explorations," by Matt Lewis and Renato
Poliafito (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2010).
unbleached all-purpose flour
cup granulated sugar
dark unsweetened cocoa powder
tablespoon baking powder
tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
cup heavy cream
cup (2.25-ounce) toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
cup Nutella, divided
oven to 375 and place the rack in the center. Line a baking
sheet with parchment paper.
flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a
large bowl, until combined.
butter. Use fingertips or a biscuit cutter to rub it into
the flour until the butter is pea size and mixture is
together egg and cream in a separate bowl. Slowly pour wet
ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until the
dough just comes together. Gently and briefly knead dough
with your hands. Add toasted hazelnuts and knead gently to
incorporate. Flatten the dough into a rectangle
approximately 6 by 12 inches (it does not need to be
precise) and spread 1/4 cup Nutella on top in a crisscross
pattern. Roll the dough up to make a cylinder about 6 inches
long, turn it on its end, and gently flatten it into a disk
about 1 3/4 inches high. Do not overwork the dough.
dough into 6 or 8 wedges and place them on a prepared baking
sheet. Bake scones for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking
sheet halfway through, or until a toothpick inserted into
the center of a scone comes out clean. Do not overbake.
scones to a wire rack to cool completely. Place the baking
sheet with parchment still on it underneath the rack.
1/4 cup Nutella in a microwave until pourable, about 10
seconds on high. Pierce the tops of the scones a few times
with a fork. Use a spoon to drip the warm Nutella in a
zigzag pattern over the tops of the hot scones. Transfer
them to a refrigerator to set for 5 minutes, then serve
6 to 8 scones.
version is adapted from Alison Robicelli of Robicelli’s
bakery in Brooklyn, N.Y. If you have the time and feel
inspired to make a more authentic version of Robicelli’s,
use homemade lasagna noodles and marshmallows. To see a
video on how to make marshmallows, go to
sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, divided
16-ounce containers ricotta cheese
cup powdered sugar
cups heavy cream, divided
(10-ounce) bag of marshmallows
1/2 sticks butter in a small skillet over medium heat for 3
to 5 minutes, until the fat solids turn brown and the butter
smells nutty. Watch carefully so it does not burn. Set
pasta, per package directions. Once cooked and drained,
return to pot and toss with browned butter.
tablespoons butter in a small skillet over medium heat and
then add hazelnuts. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from
heat and sprinkle with sea salt. Place in bowl. Set aside.
oven to 350 degrees.
ricotta cheese and powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Whip 3/4
cup heavy cream until fairly stiff in a bowl with handheld
mixers or in the bowl of a standing mixer. Fold whipped
cream into ricotta. Set aside.
Nutella ganache: Bring 1/2 cup heavy cream in a small pot to
a simmer over medium heat. Pour over Nutella in a small bowl
and stir to fully incorporate. Set aside.
lasagna in a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish. Start with a
bottom layer of noodles, spread thin layer of ricotta,
sprinkle with hazelnuts and drizzle with Nutella ganache.
Repeat until down to last three noodles. Top with a layer of
noodles. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove
foil and let bake for another 15 minutes.
lasagna from oven. Top with marshmallows evenly across the
lasagna. Either use a creme brulee kitchen torch to brown
the marshmallows or broil in the oven for 3 to 4 minutes.
Either way, watch carefully so the marshmallows do not burn.
Sprinkle with remaining hazelnuts and drizzle with ganache.
Serve warm or cold.