As European governments rationed cocoa during World War II, Italian pastry maker Pietro Ferraro refused to let his baked goods suffer. He began mixing hazelnuts with chocolate to compensate for the lack of cocoa. The result was a sweet and savoury spread known as Nutella. With the exception of packaging, Nutella's ingredients have remained the same, although its uses have expanded beyond a simple chocolate spread for bread.
The spreadable quality of Nutella lends itself to a variety of sandwiches. Spread Nutella on a slice of bread and lay several banana slices on top. Then grill this fruit and chocolate combination so the bananas and chocolate melt together instead of flopping out of the side. For the protein fiend, spread peanut butter and Nutella on bread for a filling snack.
Melted Nutella makes a creamy and flavourful topping for ice cream or yoghurt. Microwave a few spoonfuls of Nutella in a microwave-safe bowl for approximately 30 seconds. Stir the Nutella and continue heating until the consistency is smooth, but not entirely liquid. Pour the Nutella over ice cream or mix a few spoonfuls into a cup of plain Greek yoghurt.
Nutella's consistency lends itself well to dipping and freezing almost any fruit or bread. Start with a few bananas, some dried fruit or crackers. Microwave 1/2 cup of Nutella for approximately 45 seconds and stir until smooth. Dip your food into the Nutella, remove and lay carefully on a sheet of waxed paper over a baking tray. Freeze for 45 minutes or until the Nutella is hard. Enjoy immediately.
Nutella offers a surprising burst of chocolate inside pastries, cakes and bread. Swirl Nutella in raw bread dough just before baking for a chocolate accented wonder. Place a spoonful of Nutella inside a croissant for a chocolate-hazelnut filling or spread Nutella deep inside the spiralled edges of homemade Chelsea buns. Keep the Nutella away from the surface or exterior of the dough to prevent burning.