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Friday, October 20, 2006
Une feuille morte en automne et une délicieuse tarte au nutella

[A dead autumn leaf and a delicious nutella tart]

I am deeply in love with my origins.
Each year, around mid-October I remember the enchanting autumn I spent years and years ago in Unchio di Verbania, a small village just 4 kilometres north to the beautiful lago Maggiore, where my paternal grand parents were from.

There, in Piemonte, autumns are like golden ice – I walk on this small path. The dark-brown hearth, enriched with organic matter, is covered with dead leaves. The cold wind that comes from the montagna hits my face with such violence I almost faint.
This place exudes death and mystery. But at the same time it makes me alive and aware of every centimetre of my body.
This very unusual feeling haunts me.
Golden ice. Ghiaccio dorato.
Vibrant colours. Colori luminosi.

After a short moment, it’s difficult for the light to pierce the dense leafage of the hazelnut trees.
I suddenly remember my mother gave me a small basket to pick these small and perfectly round nuts. She wants to make a torta di nocciole – a fragrant hazelnut cake, cherished by every mamma italiana.
I accelerate my moves. Soon my wicker basket lined with a striped red tea towel is full.

Then, filled with the prospect of inhaling the aromatic fumes of the cake, fresh from the oven, I hasten.
I run as fast as possible. The leaves flutter under my steps. The wind, which seemed hostile a few moments ago, is now carrying me.
I arrive to the village, relieved to finally see the pale-blue shutters. I rush inside the house and immediately feel the warmth growing on my cheeks – both from heat and excitement!

Nutella tart
These sweet memories exalt the lusciousness of hazelnuts.
But though I love hazelnuts, I love even more hazelnuts with chocolate.

The pastry and filling are straightforward and turned out perfectly.
I made a 20cm tart, so there definitely was some ganache (can you really call a mix of butter/chocolate a ganache?) left.
I also used less hazelnut and didn't toast them before baking as I reckon 11 minutes in the oven would allow them to develop the nice nutty flavour you look after when roasting them first.
And as it was for my little sister - who doesn't like the bitterness of high cocoa percentage chocolate - I used a 60% cocoa solid chocolate for the ganache.

I could have made my proper gianduja but as Patrick said: “I, on the other hand, find Nutella to be completely delicious, far better than any homemade hazelnut chocolate spread I've made.” While I’m feeling confessional I have to admit that I do too.


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17 sweets:
Anonymous $ha said something sweet:

je découvre ton blog!
moi qui adore l'anglais, la cuisine et la photo je suis servie!
et bien sûr, ne pas oublier le nutella!
que de plaisirs

20 October, 2006 22:53 

Anonymous Grignote said something sweet:

Elle est terrible. Avec une font de pate à la noisette ça doit être.....je trouve pas le mots ;-)

21 October, 2006 01:30 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Que dire d'autre, c'est très très très dur à soutenir comme vision. Comment vais-je pouvoir me concentrer sur autre chose ? J'en veux tout de suuuuuuuuuuuuuite !

21 October, 2006 09:45 

Blogger Alhya said something sweet:

la photo est magnifique.... très très belle, et terriblement attirante!

21 October, 2006 10:03 

Blogger milie said something sweet:

Comme toujours les photos sont superbes et donnent réellement envie de croquer l'écran.
Mais là, tu me prends par les sentiments avec ta tarte au nutella... j'en veux moi!

21 October, 2006 18:23 

Blogger Anali said something sweet:

I love this story and the pictures are wonderful too! And the tart looks so delicious!

21 October, 2006 19:24 

Anonymous peabody said something sweet:

A Nutella tart....fabulous!

21 October, 2006 20:14 

Blogger J said something sweet:

oh fanny, another divine p.h. creation...i am a total nutella addict, so i am truly swooning at the sight of your perfect tart!

22 October, 2006 16:10 

Blogger ooishigal said something sweet:

le piémont, une région magnifique!
Ils ont le Nutella et la truffe blanche, serait-ce la bas le paradis?

23 October, 2006 10:04 

Anonymous Mlle E said something sweet:

Mmmmuuummmmm....
Ca à l'air délicieux en tous cas...

24 October, 2006 10:34 

Blogger Julie said something sweet:

That tart is so simple and perfect. Great photos too!

25 October, 2006 16:38 

Blogger catalepticat said something sweet:

Glorious as usual, fanny!
I love the Nutella tart.
And I love Nutella.
And I'm not ashamed to admit it!

Patrick

26 October, 2006 02:16 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Fanny, this tart nearly made me fall over, just because I absolutely love nutella and just how it reminds me of my childhood. I love the kind of food that brings back memories!

27 October, 2006 13:33 

Anonymous Duane said something sweet:

That looks tasty. And those pictures are wonderful.

27 October, 2006 23:21 

Blogger Fanny said something sweet:

Coucou $ha - je crois qu'on va bien s'entendre, on a exactement les memes passions...

Coucou Grignote - en effet elle est délicieuse, vraiment bien équilibrée et tellement 'nutty'!

Coucou Sophie - j'ai bien ri en lisant tom commentaire. Allez courage!

Coucou Alhya - merci beaucoup.

Coucou Milie - je ne pensais pas que le nutella aurait autant de succès.

Hi Anali - thank you for dropping by and leaving this sweet comment.

Hi Peabody - isn't Pierre Hermé considered as a genius?

Hi J - you always find the nicest words. Thank you.

Coucou Oishi - c'ets vrai que si ce n'est pas le paradis ça y ressemble beaucoup!

Coucou Mlle E - merci.

Hi Julie - thank you. That's so so nice.

Hi Patrick - you made me realise how much i loved nutella and that i needn't be ashamed of it! Thanks.

Hi Jen - i am with you. Food that brings back memories = most delicious food ever! (even if it's not THAT good)...

Hi Duane - thanks for dropping by and for your nice words.


xoxo
- fanny

28 October, 2006 22:55 

Anonymous Mae said something sweet:

I love nutella...

Your story is a beautiful read and the photos are gorgeous as usual. :)

29 October, 2006 12:06 

Blogger Homesick Texan said something sweet:

I just returned from the Piedmonte, and one thing that struck me were how big the hazelnuts are there compared to here in the US. Amazing. I brought back all kinds of chocolate, including some crema cacao al peperoncino, which the chocolate shop staff informed me was like Nutella but with a kick. I'm going to have to try this with some of that!

02 November, 2006 04:06 

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