Our marketing team like to keep us on our toes so when they suggested we theme our blog recipes for February around something we know very well here in the SK kitchen, spice, we thought they were losing their touch. And then they said you need to come up with something to mark World Nutella Day (5th February).
Now, Nutella and spice are not two words you would normally put together, but the challenge was duly accepted and very shortly you will see what we have come up with and then we promise you will never look at this popular chocolate hazelnut spread the same way again. But more on this shortly.
Whilst our creation is definitely out of left field, chocolate and spice is definitely not a new combination, so there is a little method to our madness this week.
Because chocolate has a strong and unique flavour, i.e. it is creamy and sweet, spices and seasonings with sharp characteristics pair well with it, hence the reason why you now see salt in much of the chocolate we eat, e.g. salted caramel chocolate.
But spices pair well too. Chilli and chocolate have been a staple for a while but other spices such as cinnamon, cardamom and jalapenos (more on this in a moment) also compliment chocolate nicely.
Whether it’s sweet or savoury, it’s a proven fact that spices are good for your health, so why wouldn’t you want to use them as much as possible, even in Nutella (it’s coming we promise!)
Eating spicy food six or seven days a week — even just once a day — lowered mortality rates by 14%; certain spaces such as cumin, cinnamon and turmeric are great at speeding up your metabolism; turmeric and ginger can reduce inflammation; chilli peppers have been shown to slow and destroy cancer cells; and turmeric and cumin have been shown to have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.
So spices make things taste nice and are good for you, what more could you want?
Granted, the following recipe may not technically be classed as being good for you, but trust us, it’s delicious and World Nutella Day only comes round once a year after all!
Nutella and jalapeno French toast with candied bacon and cheese
Nutella and jalapeno bread:
- 500g strong bread flour
- 1 packet instant yeast
- 210g Nutella
- 7g salt
- 105g jalapeno rings (roughly chopped)
- 100g diced bacon (fried till crispy)
- 30g olive oil
- 250g warm water
In a kitchen mixer with dough hook attached add all ingredients and mix for 10 minutes till a firm silky dough is formed. Transfer to an oiled bowl cover with damp cloth and leave in a warm place to prove and double in size.
Once that has happened tip out onto floured work surface and knead to knock the dough back then divide between to medium bread loaf tins and leave again to prove, once doubled in volume again place in preheated oven at 180oc and bake for 40-45 minutes until a crispy outside and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
French toast batter:
- 3 eggs
- 40g milk
- 5g salt
- Few drops spicy sauce
- Whisk together and set aside till needed.
- Candied streaky bacon
- 12 rashers of unsmoked good quality streaky bacon
- 30g soft dark brown sugar
Lay out the rashers flat on a baking tray and sprinkle with the brown sugar, then cover with greaseproof paper and metal baking tray and bake at 180oc till the bacon is crispy and the brown sugar has caramelised. Take off the tray and leave to cool.
Melting cheese fill:
- 100g extra mature cheddar cheese
- 50g soft cheese
- 40g jalapeno rings
- Mix together and set as side till needed.
Place a frying pan on a medium to high heat. Slice the Nutella French toast and submerge in the French toast batter then place in the frying pan with a little butter and olive oil and fry till on both sides till the French toast is cooked.
Then top one slice with cheese fill and the candied bacon then place another slice on top. Transfer to a baking tray with another baking tray on top and bake at 180oc till the cheese is oozing. Serve with spicy sauce and toasted hazelnuts.