If you go into one of those new hipster pastry shops, you will find a variety of crazy flavors. From bacon cupcakes to ham and chocolate croissants, it seems that the world will never run out of ideas when it comes to making delicious desserts. However, when it comes to creating sweet culinary delights, the more traditional, classic of ingredients will always have a soft spot in people’s hearts.
One such ingredient is the humble yet fantastic Nutella spread. This sweet spread that we munch with our toast for breakfast has an interesting origin. After the Second World War, there was rationing and so cocoa was in short supply. As a result, people could not satisfy their sweet tooth and children wept (along with the world’s dentists, who had a shortage of high paying wailing kids that year). Fortunately, an unlikely savior emerged from the ashes of the war. Pietro Ferrero, a pastry chef from Italy, created a sweet paste made from sugar, hazelnut, and just a small amount of cocoa. Nutella was born and dentist’s chairs were once again filled with remorseful little children.
Nutella is almost a staple in everyone’s kitchen. Kids and adult love it, and pastry makers have incorporated it in various ways. I can’t begin to tell you how many Nutella cakes, brownies, and pies I have encountered in my lifetime. From your grandma’s kitchen to social media, Nutella is always a consistent superstar in the culinary world.
One of the favorite ways to utilize Nutella is to melt it down into a glaze consistency, as melted Nutella is perfect as a cake glazing and a chocolate ganache. However, melting a glob of Nutella is not that simple because you need to heat it at the right temperature to achieve a high level of creaminess and texture.
So here is an excellent guide to help you achieve perfectly melted Nutella. I hope this helps you on your culinary journey!
The Three Best Ways To Perfectly Melt Nutella
1. Hot Water Is Your New Best Friend
The classic way to melt Nutella is by using boiling water. So start off by boiling some hot water in a pan and carefully pour it into a large metal bowl. Do not fill all of the bowl; just a little will do the trick. This is to avoid any boiling water spilling over and causing a nasty accident.
Get a smaller bowl (something that will fit into the large metal bowl) and put a spoonful of Nutella in it (or however much you need). Wait for about five minutes and then gently stir the softened Nutella. If you are still not happy with the consistency, let the small bowl of Nutella sit longer in the hot water to soften it further and don’t forget to keep stirring!
This is one of the gentlest ways that you can melt a glob of Nutella, ensuring that you do not overcook or overheat it. This is a highly recommended technique for those who want to make pie fillings and chocolate ganache with Nutella.
- Pro Tip: Avoid using a plastic spoon to stir the softened Nutella. Some chemicals from the plastic might melt into the Nutella which could be hazardous once ingested. Use a metal spoon when stirring to avoid any problems.
2. Microwave It!
The microwave is something that most snobbish chefs would scoff at. While it is true that nuking food in this way robs it off it of its flavor, texture, and juiciness, a microwave can be useful if it is applied in the right way, and it is very good at melting Nutella.
The procedure is very convenient and quite simple. Scoop your desired quantity of Nutella into a microwave safe bowl and then microwave it at medium power. Heat it for 15 seconds and immediately take out the bowl for some gentle stirring. Pop it back into the microwave for another 15 seconds and gently stir it once again. Do this one last time, and you should have a perfectly creamy melted Nutella.
It is hard to be precise with any microwave preparation, especially if this is your first try. Check for clumps every time you stir and just pop it back in the microwave if it is not the desired consistency yet. When you finally get the result that you want, make sure you record the microwave times to make it easy on you in future.
- Pro Tip: As tempting as it may sound, blasting the microwave on its highest power setting to melt the Nutella is a big no-no. Microwaves tend to be harsh and so the risk of overcooking your Nutella will increase. Just keep the microwave on a low, gentle setting to avoid any Nutella disasters. Slow and steady is the name of the game when it comes to melting an immaculate Nutella.
3. Anyone Up For A Hot Blade?
If, for some reason, you don’t have access to a microwave and the boiling water technique is just too “unmanly” for you, then the hot knife technique might just be what you need.
The process is quite simple. Boil a pot of hot water and put a metal knife in it. Let that knife sit in there for at least a minute before pulling it out. Carefully wipe the blade with a clean cloth or some kitchen napkins. Next, while the metal is still hot (make sure to carefully lift the knife by the handle), open a jar of Nutella and grab a chunk of hazelnut goodness using the knife.
Voila! Instant melted Nutella! Keep in mind that you should use a knife with a heat-resistant handle as you don’t want any burns in the morning!
- Pro Tip: While the hot knife technique is very convenient and easy to do, it produces inconsistent results (which are clumpy and less smooth). This makes this technique less ideal for those velvety smooth pie fillings and chocolate ganache. However, if you are pressed for time and just want a toasted Nutella sandwich or a quick topping for your breakfast muffin, then grab a hot knife and spread all of the hazelnut joy that you can!
Nutella Is Here To Stay!
Despite its somewhat grim origins, Nutella’s popularity has soared to unbelievable heights over the years. Most dessert ingredients fade quickly from the limelight (I’m looking at you Chipwich and kiwi fruit!), but Nutella has that certain pizzazz that gives it a timeless appeal. Walk into your neighbourhood bakery and you are bound to find a pastry or two that needs Nutella.
This list has been great fun to do because Nutella has been a staple of mine for many, many years. In fact, since I was a child. It was always there, through pleasant and bad childhood memories alike, and it has stayed with me throughout my adulthood. So I would love to help others create their very own Nutella moments by making melted Nutella, which will surely rekindle fond memories for you and your loved ones.
An excellent creamy Nutella is great for various desserts you might want to make in future. Nutella brownies are always a big hit in potlucks, as kids and adults are suckers for these treats. Nutella pies are also a godsend if you need a lovely recipe for your reunions. There are hundreds of recipes that call for melted Nutella, and it might be a good idea to keep this knowledge in your back pocket for future use.
If you have just loved this article, please feel free to share it with anyone who might also be interested in what we have discussed. I love talking about food, so don’t forget to write your comments about my list in the space below. It’s time for Nutella lovers to unite and spread the word about the merits of this tasty spread!