As you’ve come to expect, here is OMG! Yummy’s Saturday edition of French Fridays with Dorie.
How could I resist? Page 414 of Around My French Table displays a picture of toasted brioche dripping with nutella, scattered with toasted, chopped nuts. The fork is dripping with the chocolate hazelnut confection and in the background is a jar of orange marmalade and two small bowls of chopped nuts and sea salt. If any of these delectable ingredients is not your cup of tea, then by all means, click onward. But if you are in the same mindset as me that anything with bread, chocolate, sea salt, and toasted nuts must be worth a try, then read on.
Nutella Tartine from Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook Around My French Table opens with “It is impossible to overestimate the French love of Nutella, the chocolate and hazelnut spread invented in Italy about seventy years ago and eaten with gusto all over most of Europe.” The photo was enough to hook me, the headnote just sealed the deal.
I envisioned many ways I could turn this from a simple snack to a major undertaking — make the orange marmalade myself, bake the brioche from scratch, find a recipe for chocolate hazelnut spread instead of using the purchased jar. But really, if I can’t even complete the recipe in time for the Friday post, that line of thinking was just going nowhere. So instead, I found some brioche buns I had in the freezer, stopped at our new grocery store (yippee!) and purchased a jar of organic marmalade and some fresh hazelnuts.
This morning I took the buns out to defrost, toasted the hazelnuts, opened a new jar of nutella from the pantry, snapped some photos and the preparation began. It is quite simple – once you’ve gathered your ingredients including toasting and chopping the hazelnuts and slicing the bread if necessary (challah would also be yummy), you just brush the brioche with the melted butter and slide them under the broiler to brown. When you pull them out, be ready to slather with the bitter sweet orange marmalade, drip the nutella on with the tines of a fork, scatter some sea salt and lots of toasted, chopped hazelnuts and eat it as quickly as you can. My daughter and I found the juxtaposition of the bitter marmalade, the sweet nutella, the chunky hazelnuts, and the crunchy, buttery bread intoxicating.
Dorie explains in a side note that in France, a chocolate sandwich is a common after-school snack – the French version of milk and cookies. I recall Molly Wizenberg in her book A Homemade Life writes a whole chapter about the first time her parents took her to Paris and the food she most remembered was a chocolate sandwich. Sometimes it is really just the simple things…
To read more renditions of this recipe, check out the French Fridays with Dorie web site and buy Dorie Greenspan’s award-winning cookbook Around My French Table. You will cherish the purchase and learn from each recipe and story that she shares.