The latest instalment in the Coop Knits sock club to go on general release is Noisette. A delicious cocoa-coloured yarn dyed by The Knitting Goddess combined with a nutty motif in the pattern by Rachel make these a lovely wintery knit. For the accompanying recipe I chose to embrace one of the more illicit food stuffs which occasionally sneaks into our kitchen cupboard; Nutella.
I remember this hazelnut chocolate spread appearing for the first time in packed-lunch sandwiches whilst at primary school. Could it be true, a chocolate flavoured spread? It was firmly off Mum’s shopping list but we got to taste it every Christmas where it appears as the filling in Ferrero Rocher – she was really spoiling us!
Whilst working at Loop I remember Meghan advising us that a jar of Nutella and packet of salted pretzels made a rather delicious treat and you know what, she was right! Unfortunately Mr K is allergic to hazelnuts so any Nutella which makes it’s way into our house gets eaten by me and me alone, which isn’t necessarily a good thing.
The recipe is a twist on the Raspberry Buns from a favourite baking book of mine Cakes; Regional and Traditional by Julie Duff. These are a delightful, not overly sweet, inside-out scone and it occurred to me that the only way this recipe could be improved upon was by the addition of Nutella…
225g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
75g cold unsalted butter cut into smallish pieces
75g caster sugar + a little extra for topping
1 large egg, lightly beaten
A little bit of milk (full fat if possible) for binding and washing the tops
Nutella – I used approximately 75g
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven) and grease a couple of baking sheets or line with baking paper.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and rub in the butter, working the mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, then stir the sugar through.
Beat in the egg and then gradually add milk to bring the mixture together and form a soft dough taking care not to over-wet it – it should be holding together but not sticky.
Divide the mixture into 12 equal pieces and place on a lightly floured surface. Without overworking the dough, shape each piece into a ball then using the heel of your hand, flatten it out to a circle approximately 7cm in diameter. Pop a good half teaspoon of Nutella at the centre of the circle (don’t be tempted to overfill as I have learnt from this mistake!), use your thumb to flatten the outside of the disc a little more and dampen the very edges with a tiny bit of milk. Pick up the dough and carefully gather the edges up into the centre, encasing the Nutella and forming a ball – the dough should be sticking to itself and the Nutella hidden inside. The mixture is equally happy being spilt into 16 to create slightly smaller nibbles – adjust the amount of Nutella inside each one as necessary.
Turn the bun over so the gathered point is facing downwards, and place on the baking tray spacing them slightly apart. Brush with a little milk and sprinkle caster sugar over each one then pop in the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes until a light golden brown.
Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. DO NOT be tempted to pop one in your mouth! The filling will be very hot, so hold you horses and wait for them to become a more edible temperature then eat accompanied by a mug of tea!
Once cool stack them into a Ferrero Rocher style pyramid and serve at the Ambassador’s party. Enjoy…