I’m not sure how many of you are going to read this post in full. In my experience, baking blogs are often an exercise in unashamed food pornography, and I’ve pretty much provided you with the money-shot right here. In fact, I can already picture people scrolling straight down to the recipe and racing off to grab a jar of Nutella from the kitchen cupboard so they can get started straight away.
You know what? I wouldn’t blame them. This recipe really is that good
That’s not to say it’s not just a little bit naff, but surely that’s the joy of a Ferrero Rocher? Turn up to a dinner party with a box of them and your host may well turn up their nose (these aren’t quite quite Earl-Grey-infused single estate cocoa truffles), but I can think of few people who can resist the guilty pleasure of unwrapping the golden foil, popping one (or three) of these little treats in their mouth, and biting into their smooth, crispy crunch.
The Ferrero Rocher came into the world in 1982, just a couple of years before I did. While I was learning to walk and talk, these chocolates were establishing themselves as the height of eighties sophistication; pyramids of golden balls sitting proudly alongside hedgehogs of tin-foiled grapefruit pierced with cheese on a stick. Nowadays we might smirk at what passed for chic in those distant shoulder-padded days, but with over 3.6 billion Ferrero Rocher produced worldwide in 2010, I think the Ambassador might just be having the last laugh.
If you’ve read this blog recently, you’ll know I’ve become slightly obsessed by hazelnuts; from cupcakes to frosting, ice cream to brownies and everything in between, incorporating a sprinkle of nuts here and a dollop of Nutella there. A couple of weeks ago, one reader (aka the incredibly talented Procrastobaker) mentioned her addiction to Ferrero Rocher, and the idea of a homemade version started to take seed.
Head online and you’ll find a number of different recipes for Ferrero Rocher. Two of the highest ranking results are in Serbian (although they substitute Nutella with the less appetisingly named Eurocrem) but even armed with my Google translator I couldn’t quite make sense of the detail; a shame as the accompanying photos are truly gorgeous. Recipes from My Food Obsession and Almost Bourdain proved a little easier to follow, although the latter incorporates a few too many chopped nuts for my liking, losing the creamy swirl of Nutella against the whole nut centre. My version below is a combination of the two, but have a play around to find the ratio of ingredients you like the most; this recipe is fairly forgiving and pretty much any combination of Nutella, chocolate and nut will taste good.
Making your own sweets is so much fun, and looks impressive for very little effort. There’s no baking involved in this recipe – just a little chopping, rolling and melting – and the process is pretty therapeutic. Once you’ve got the hang of it you can experiment a little too – try coating or drizzling them with dark chocolate as in the photo above.The quantities provided below should make about thirty chocolates, taking into consideration the fact that a fair amount of mixture may disappear as you make them up . . .Homemade Ferrero Rocher(makes 25 – 30 generous sized chocolates)Ingredients:120g hazelnuts
70g ice cream wafers
250g good quality milk chocolateMethod:Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking tray and toast for 10 minutes, shaking once half way through. Remove from the oven, leave to cool then rub vigorously in a kitchen towel to remove as much of the papery skins as possible.Put 30 whole hazelnuts to one side, then finely chop the rest. Put the Nutella in a small bowl and stir in half of the chopped nuts. Pop in the fridge to firm up – around one hour.Line a plate with baking parchment or tinfoil. Chop the ice cream wafers and mix with the remaining chopped nuts. Remove the Nutella mixture from the fridge and, working quickly, roll small teaspoons of the mixture into balls, pushing a whole hazelnut to the centre of each one. Roll each ball in the mixture of chopped nuts and wafer til fully coated then pop onto your prepared plate and freeze until firm – around one hour.Melt the milk chocolate gently in a bain marie then allow to cool to room temperature. Remove your chocolate balls from the freezer and, working quickly, drop a ball into the melted chocolate, coating completely. Because the balls are part frozen, the chocolate should firm up around them almost instantly. Repeat with the remaining balls then transfer to the fridge to set completely.Once set, place the chocolates in individual gold wrappers, stack into a pyramid and give the Ambassador a call.