A Dessert To Die For: Nutellino

Friday, August 20, 2010

Oh ya. It tastes even better than it looks. It's...in one word...orgasmic. And extremely simple and low maintenance to do! All you need is some store-bought pizza dough, nutella, fresh strawberries and chocolate syrup. That's it. And it's the most satisfying, amazing dessert when you have a chocolate craving that you will go to again and again. You can think of it as a chocolate calzone. My favorite time to make it is on a cold, rainy or snowy night. Brings back memories...

Back when Andrew and I lived in Connecticut we used to stop by this small Italian cafe down the street where we lived called Capriccio. It was a tiny cafe -- a small counter in the back, providing a window into the even smaller kitchen in the back with one small oven. The dark tiled floor held ten tables...maybe...max -- modern metal tables with metal chairs so comfortable. And if a game was on, you were sure to be able to cheer on Italian soccer from the corner of the room. The front of the cafe was all glass -- in summer they'd open up the glass windows all the way, tripling the cafe's size; in winter you had full view of the snow coming down outside.

Here I had my first Limonatta. And they made the best fresh pizza and tomato soup I'd ever had. And this insanely good dessert, nutellino. Andrew and I would sit in the small cafe for hours, talking about our day and planning trips to Europe over a piping hot margherita pizza and soup, sharing slices and spoonfuls of hot tomato-garlic-basil goodness. Then we'd top it off with this special dessert.

I'm so looking forward to making it again this winter with my kids as we watch the snow come down outside. And pizza and tomato soup for dinner for sure.

1 plain store-bought pizza dough
nutella or your favorite chocolate-hazelnut spread
1 egg, lightly beaten
kosher salt or other sea salt
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
confectioner's sugar
chocolate syrup (recommended: Hershey's)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut the pizza dough into 4 equal parts. Roll one piece out into a disk, about 1/2 inch thick. Spoon about 2 heaping tablespoons of nutella into the center of the lower half of dough, leaving about 1/4 inch border. Brush that border with the egg, then fold the other half of the disk over the nutella, matching up the borders. You want to create a half-moon, or traditional calzone shape. Then using your thumb or a fork, firmly crimp the sides of the calzone to seal it together. Repeat this with the other pieces of dough until you have 4 nutella-filled calzones.

Place the calzones on the parchment-lined baking sheet, evenly spacing them out. Brush them each with some of the egg, then sprinkle a small amount of the salt on top. The salt will give a nice contrast to the sweetness of the dessert, and bring out the chocolately flavor. Bake in oven 13-15 minutes or until they're puffed up and golden brown. Remove and let stand to cool 2 minutes.

To serve, place each calzone on a plate. Top with strawberries (it's ok if some fall off to the side). Dust the calzones with some confectioner's sugar, then give a generous drizzle of the chocolate syrup. Serve hot.

My Notes:
This combination of nutella-strawberry-pizza dough is really perfection. I actually caution you this time to deviate from this recipe. Just stick with it. You cannot improve on it. It is perfect and you will love it. I promise you.

Some similar recipes have you make a nutella-ricotta cheese mixture for inside. This is tasty too, but I really prefer this recipe. I love nutella and this is unabashed, in-your-face nutella flavor that is uncompromised. I feel ricotta cheese sort of waters it down. But if you love it then go ahead and mix the nutella with some drained ricotta cheese.

If you have to, you can garnish with a small sprig of mint. If you must..

1 comment:

Amanda Ebner said...

Makin' this tonight with biscuit dough since I have some left over. Will issue report on success rate. :)