Thursday, 30 May 2013

Chocolate and know where I'm going with this

A few months ago, I was reading about France's plans to increase taxes on palm oil, a key ingredient of Nutella and the fury this was causing among the citoyens. It's enough to bring them all out on strike, I shouldn't wonder. During the Olympics, the glorious Daily Mash ran a funny story about how European athletes in the Olympic Village were rioting because of a Nutella shortage. The articles made me think about a couple of things.

 Most of these big global brands have managed to cross boundaries fairly seamlessly, but there are a few, such as Nutella, that have maintained a kind of foreignness on UK supermarket shelves. Kinder eggs are another. And Hershey's. M&Ms used to seem terribly exotic and American when they first arrived here, but they've managed to blend into the confectionary counter now, whereas Reece's Pieces still scream 'U.S.A! U.S.A!' to me. Nutella makes me think of children with sharp bobs who don't have to wear school uniforms eating a tartine and a big bowl of hot chocolate before they trot off in the dark to their 11-hour school day.

Branding is a strange old business.

The article also reveals that the same people that make Nutella also make Ferrero Rocher. So now we know. Wafer balls filled with nutella. That's it. Not really spoiling us at all, Monsieur.

And more soberly, it got me thinking about palm oil. So, for the past few months I've been buying an alternative palm oil-free hazelnut-chocolate spread that I found in Whole Foods Market. It actually tastes much better, more hazelnutty, and the breakfastboys didn't put up any resistance, so I've been happy to spend a little more for something that I think is probably a little better for them. But imagine my delight when I saw a link to this recipe today for a home-made version. Me and the biggest b-boy hot-footed it up to Sainsbos to acquire the necessaries and within 30 minutes, here it is, a great big pot of chocolate-hazelnut goo, whizzed up in the Magimix. Frankly, it takes quite a lot to persuade me to haul the food processor out of its cave and faff about with all the putting together and subsequent washing up of bits. Does anybody actually use food processors in the way that cookery programmes suggest they do - 'oh, I 'll just whizz this up in the food processor'? No, they do not.

A couple of tablespoons of sunflower oil and a great big pile of Green & Blacks' finest. I know, I know, really, for something the children will eat, I should have gone for regular cheapo chocolate, but, well, you know. It apparently lasts two weeks (and good luck with that), so may not prove to be an economically sustainable breakfast item in the long run, but for now, hurrah.

I'll bring you the verdict once the minibeasts have taste-tested it, because obviously I haven't licked the processor blade clean. Obviously. I'll also post a picture when MrB gets back from his Iron John weekend wild camping and drinking whisky on Jura with my camera.


  1. OMG.

    I cannot;

    a) wait for your photo and
    b) wait to give the ambassador a piece of my mind about the fodder at his receptions

    1. Ha! That ambassador was *totally* at it. You'd think he could at least afford a decent pastry chef.

      Biggest b-boy was taste tester this morning, and says 'it's OK'. The fool. I bet if I'd just used Dairy Milk he'd be all over it. It's *really* good. Trust me. Don't listen to him. He's 7.

  2. Yummy, we are Nutella fans and I sometimes feel a little bad about sending my daughter to school with a breakkie of Nutella on toast, but on the other hand I get to lick the knife.

    1. I'm not really, but the boys both love it. And this version is most definitely spoon-lickingly good - I highly recommend it.

  3. I am quite sure that the hazelnut-chocolate spread will encourage others to proceed with healthy breakfast recipes and cook something special at home.