What a world without Nutella!

The biggest Ferrero success, not only for Italian families!

Nutella  is the brand name of a hazelnut-based sweet spread registered by the Italian company Ferrero at the end of 1963. The recipe was developed from an earlier Ferrero spread released in 1949. Nutella is sold in over 75 countries.

Gianduja is a type of chocolate containing approximately 50% almond and hazelnut paste. It was developed in Piedmont,  after taxes on cocoa beans hindered the diffusion of conventional chocolate.

Pietro Ferrero, who owned a patisserie in Alba, in the Langhe district of Piedmont, an area known for the production of hazelnuts, sold an initial batch of 300 kilograms of “Pasta Gianduja” in 1946. This was originally a solid block, but in 1949, Pietro started to sell a creamy version in 1951 as “Supercrema“.

In 1963, Pietro’s son Michele revamped Supercrema with the intention of marketing it across Europe. Its composition was modified and it was renamed “Nutella.” The first jar of Nutella left the Ferrero factory in Alba on 20 April 1964. The product was an instant success and remains widely popular. The estimated Italian production of Nutella averages 179,000 tons per year.

Composition: Nutella is a modified form of gianduja. The exact recipe is a secret closely guarded by Ferrero. According to the product label, the main ingredients of Nutella are sugar and vegetable oils, followed by hazelnut, cocoa solids and skimmed milk, which together comprise at most 28% of the ingredients. The recipe for Nutella varies in different countries: for example, the Italian formulation uses less sugar than the product sold in France. Nutella is marketed as “hazelnut cream” in many countries. Under Italian law, it cannot be labeled as a chocolate cream, as it does not meet minimum cocoa solids concentration criteria.

Nutella is marketed in a variety of packages: its typical containers have always been made of glass, though plastic containers are more common in the USA, Canada, and Mexico. Some of the most popular glass containers are quite small, the size of a standard water glass; they can be used as normal table glasses once the product has been consumed. They have a simple white lid on the top that is disposed of when the product is finished.

Just look at that photo and….Choose YOUR size!

What makes Nutella special is

– its traditional recipe

– it is timeless

– it is suitable for everybody…except those who are alergic to hazelnuts 😉

– you can eat it at breakfast or better whenever you want!

…and finally, but I could go on until tomorrow, you can put it whereever you want!  This is just a deliciuos example:

Summarizing: Big company, Huge Success, International Product, Many People, Many Sizes, Many Uses…

What a world without Nutella!

Published in: on maggio 30, 2010 at 10:39 am  Comments (17)  

Innovation for a small group: Chocolight!

Interview to Chiara Boscolo: part 3

– I see “Chocolight” overthere, tempting and healthy at the same time is it possible?

Yes, the research of Venchi focused exactly on that aspect: creating a chocolate with the perfect taste of the normal chocolate but with less calories and sugar in order to be appreciateb by diabetics, caeliacs and silhouette fans. The product has to be healthy but not frustrating, that doesn’ t taste of renounciation but that indulgingly gratifies and satisfies the palate.

– How is this light chocolate created?

When choosing No Added Sugar Chocolate it is essencial not only to check ingredients but above all to evaluate and compare the taste. A shelf covered with brands of No Added Sugar products to offer to the customer is not what counts; what matters is customer satisfaction, because it is huge added value to be able to offer people with dietary restriction a product that not only is good for their health, but that also tastes great. In accordance with this princuple, Venchi’ s goal is to work on the countless quality of chocolate, thus increasing its healthiness but not only: the objective on the research, trying to stand out among the many brands producing sugar free chocolate to the disadvantage of flavour, has been to create a healthy but not frustrating product, which gratifies the palate.  After several years of study Choccolight started to be distributed only in specialist shops and in the pharmaceutical sector. This chocolate contains no addes sugar as it is sweeted with maltitol, a completely natural sustances extracted by processing the maltose contained in maize, which gives the palate a taste very similar to sugar but doesn’ t have any of its contraindications. Maltitol is slowly absorbed by the organism and drastically reduces the presence of glucose and allows people with diabetic problems to maintain a low glicemy index.  It is recommended by the American Dental Assocition as it combates the formation of caries.

– What does “light” mean in terms of calories?

All chocolight products are gluten free, thus suitable for caeliacs and are low calorie: 2.1 calories per gramm against 4.0 in sugar. Other favourable caracteristics are that thery are free of chemical and syntesis sweeteners such as Aspartame. Lastly these products are all dark chocolate and are rich in mineral salt such as potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium and phosphor. They are ideal for sportspeople and contain less sodium than a bottle of Lete water.

And this is how the most sumptuosus food of all has become a source of health too!

Published in: on maggio 26, 2010 at 9:24 pm  Comments (15)  

Choco-egges: which is better? It’s up to you!

Industrial Process:

Chocolate Easter eggs have become inseparable from the image of Easter. Almost every child,  and most grown-ups, enjoys a chocolate egg or two at this time of year.

But how are they made?

It all begins in the basement of the factory where the ingredients are crushed and mixed. Melted chocolate is then pumped to different work stations through heated pipes. Melted chocolate is pumped out of a machine and into plastic moulds. Identical moulds are placed on top and then the moulds are shaken so the chocolate is distributed evenly and forms a hollow shell.

The eggs are put onto a conveyor belt and go through a cooler to make the shell hard. The top mould is removed and holes are made to make room for candy.

Thereafter the conveyor belt brings the eggs to a different room where they are filled with candy,eventually  decorated, wrapped up in plastic and packed into card board boxes.

The Easter egg production begins as soon as the production of assorted chocolates is finished after Christmas.

Chocolate Easter eggs are known in many countries, but each country has its own customs. It has become a family tradition to discuss and interpret the sayings.


Candymakers perfection:

Just some photos to understand the difference…




Home-made process:

The funny thing is that the hollowness seem­s to actually give choco-eggs a different taste or texture somehow.

­There are two common ways to make a hollow egg:

  • If you are using a mold that is open at one end – Fill a mold full of melted chocolate, let it sit for a moment or two and then pour the liquid chocolate out. Some of the chocolate will have solidified on the inside of the mold. This is also a common technique for making filled chocolates (for example, chocolate covered cherries or cremes). It works well if there can be a hole in the figure (usually on the bottom) when you get done.

  • If you are using a complete mold – Open the mold, fill it with some melted chocolate, close the mold and turn it so that the liquid chocolate coats the entire inside of the mold. Then open the mold after the chocolate has solidified.

­You can try the second approach if you have some chocolate and a plastic Easter egg that opens at the middle. Melt the chocolate and pour some into the plastic egg. Close the egg and rotate it in all directions to coat the interior evenly. Open the plastic egg and remove the chocolate — cooling in the refrigerator may make things easier. If you find it sticks, coat the inside of the plastic egg with a bit of oil or butter first­.­

You can also decorate them according to your taste:

So…What do you think? Which is your favourite?

Let me know!

Published in: on aprile 6, 2010 at 8:51 pm  Comments (1)  

Just for myself

This photo clearly shows what I’m going to speak about today: pudding!

It is one of the easiest delight that you can do with chocolate, and of course one of my favourite: the simplicity of the ingredients, of its form and its taste conquers the palate of the young and the adults and can be proposed in many different recipes.

Pudding reminds me when I was a chils and my mother, in a raining cold Sunday, prepared either hot chocolate or pudding for the whole family. It was a moment of union and happyness which I remember with pleasure. Now, when I’m sad or its a grey winter day, I make pudding on my own, just for myself, like if it was a way to make the past overrun the present and with it the tranquillity of my childhood with biscuits soaked into chocolate!

Of course the result is more like this photo, not the one at the top of the page, but the simbolic value that I give to it doesn’ t change! What do you need? Only a spoon!

My favourite taste is chocolate, but many variants are available to satisty everybody: vanilla version, with strawberries, with amaretti and bayles, waffels, caramel…

Let’ s watch how a good pudding can be made at home, on your own , to taste as a medicine for loneliness or with the company of some friends.


Published in: on marzo 20, 2010 at 12:22 pm  Comments (3)  

One cake, many occasions and…many children!

If industrial chocobars and candymakers’ pastries are not enough to satisfy your chocolate desire there is only one thing you cannot resist to: Sachertorte!! 

The Sachertorte is probably the most famous chocolate cake in the world and was firstly made in Austria in 1832, from that moment it pleased an uncountable number of palates, probably yours too.

The reason why I consider this cake special is not only because it is the emblem of the chocolate triumph, but in particular because it is suitable for many different occasions: from a prestigious dinner with your employer to a more informal meeting with collegues, from a small talk with an old friend to the birthday party of your little brother… one cake for many circumstances!

As a matter of fact I’ve chosen exactly this cake because it was the one done by my mother for my birthday party! She was sure that with a such amount of chocolate, she would have pleased all children who participated. She started to prepare it carefully in the morning and she told me that the biggest satisfaction for her was the smile of my friends when they ate their slice. Although the preparation needed time, the awareness that she was working for making many children happy, made her more patient.

As homage to my mom I show you the result and I give you the recipies; you can make a good impressionwith the next friend, who drinks a cup of tea with you and tastes it.



4 oz (120 g) semisweet dark chocolate (40-50% cocoa)
5 eggs
¾ cup (165 g) sugar
½ cup (1.2 dl) vegetable oil
1 cup (2.4 dl or 110 g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons (0.45 dl) water

Ingredients for Glace and Frosting

12 oz (350 g) apricot jam
2 tablespoons butter
7 oz (200 g) semisweet dark chocolate (40-50% cocoa)


1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F (Gas mark 4 or 180 deg C) and grease a 9 inch (23 cm) cake tin, lightly dust with flour.

2. Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt it with the water in a double boiler (over hot water).

3. Separate egg whites and egg yolks. With an electric mixer whisk the eggs whites until forming stiff peaks, add gradually half of the sugar while mixing.

4. In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar for one minute using the electric mixer. Add gradually the vegetable oil, one tablespoon at a time, whisk well between each time oil has been added. Add the melted chocolate and mix well. Transfer to the bowl containing the whisked egg whites.

5. Sift in the flour and baking powder, add vanilla extract. Fold everything carefully together using a spoon or a rubber spatula.

6. Transfer to the cake tin and bake at 350 degrees until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, approximately 45 to 60 minutes.

7. Leave the cake to cool in the tin, it is recommended to place it into a refrigerator for at least one hour before slicing. When completely cold, remove the top of the cake, and slice the cake through the middle to make two layers.

8. Use half of the jam to sandwich the two layers together. Coat the torte thinly with the remainder of the jam. If possible, wrap the cake with plastic and put it into the refrigerator for 1-3 days before adding the chocolate icing.

9. Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt it with butter in a double boiler (over hot water).

10. Let the mixture cool to room temperature, and spread it evenly over the torte.

11. Place the torte in the refrigerator to harden the frosting.

Probably the result is not like the industrial one:

 Or like the typical Sachertorte in Vienna:


But it is a success among children anyway!

…And it is hand-made! 

Published in: on marzo 16, 2010 at 5:55 pm  Comments (9)  

Industry vs. Candymakers


After having analised the industrial process of making chocholate, I think it would be interesting to know how a smaller reality works. I’ m curious to know how a pastry store makes the enticing chocolate cakes or pralines that we can see walking in font of a shop window. Different shapes and decorations attract our attention and make us stop starring at them, like if the only thing that we want in that moment was…TASTING!   

We have already focused on the several phases necessary to give birth to the common chocobars that we usually eat and it is important to underline that the amount of people who work in a factory is sizeable. Moreover, the presence of complex mashineries is essential: they produce chocobars or pralines on scale, with the attempt of minimizing costs and maximazing profits. The result is, of course, of good quality but all outputs have perfectly the same shape, the same size, the same taste…   

What about the contribute of human skills? I mean, industrial chocolate tastes good, but it cannot be compared with the hand-made one. The work of a candymaker or of a group of them makes unique creations which determine the satisfaction of many clients and their palate, and the taste is different from a pastry to another.   

Now, let’s admire the technique of this pastry chef while he is making choco pralines.       


Would you like to know how to make pralines? 

Step 1: What You’ll Need

Pralines Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided use
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  •  2 tablespoons butter
  •  1 tablespoon vanilla
  •  1 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped

Pralines Equipment  

  • 2 quart saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Cookie sheet, greased
  • Candy thermometer 

Step 2: How to Make Pralines

 1. Combine the granulated sugar and the brown sugar in a saucepan with the semi-sweet chocolate chips, and mix well.
 2. Blend in half-and-half.
 3. Clip candy thermometer to the side of the pan, making sure the guage is visible and the bulb is covered by the sugar and cream mixture.
 4. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally
 5. When the mixture reaches a boil, add the pecans and the butter, and mix well.
 6. Watch the candy thermometer, and remove from heat when the thermometer reads 236 degrees. Let the praline mixture stand for 4 minutes, then stir in the vanilla.
 7. Beat the mixture with a wooden spoon for about 2 minutes, until it begins to thicken.

 8. Drop tablespoons of the mixture onto a greased cookie sheet.      

 9. Cool completely before lifting off the cookie sheet and storing in an airtight container.

Published in: on marzo 12, 2010 at 9:57 am  Comments (4)