November 27, 2010

Nutella Trilogy – Part II and Daring Bakers Challenge: Crostatine alla Nutella

I promised you guys I was going to have part II of my Nutella Trilogy ready by today. When I saw that the Daring Bakers’ Challenge for this month was crostata and, incidentally around that time, I started to have some serious Nutella cravings, I put the two things together: I had to make a Crostata alla Nutella.

Then, going back to my childhood memories I decided to make crostatine, which is nothing else than a small, single portion crostata. As many other Italian kids, I grew up eating crostatine alla nutella (ok, some times crostatine alla marmellata – jam- were acceptable!) as merenda (afternoon snack). My mom, as many other Italian full time working moms did not make them herself (plus, she really does not like baking, go figure!). But even the store-bought crostatine were fine with me. That much was my nutella cravings, since when I was a little kid.

As a grown up, I still love them. Come on, they are cute and, as any other small dessert, they are portion control. You wrap them up individually and you can bring them with you to work for an energy snack or to a picnic. Who doesn’t like portion control these days? So, without further ado, I leave you with the recipe.

Of course, the blogger who chose Crostata for this month DB Challenge is Italian: the amazing Simona @Briciole (btw, check out her blog, it really is fantastic, patriotism aside!) As you know, I like doing things by hand, so I’m reporting the instructions to make the crostata by hands. But please, go ahead and check what the other Daring Bakers did! Some yummy stuff, you’ll see!

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

Crostatine alla Nutella

100 gr (3 ½ oz or 1/c cup minus 1 tbsp) superfine sugar
235 gr (8 1/4 oz. or 1 ¾ cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
113 gr (4 oz or 8 tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
grated zest of half a lemon
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl

Nutella (or other fillings, but really, do you want to choose another?)

Whisk together the sugar, the flours and the salt in a bowl.

Rub or cut the butter into the sugar and flour mixture until it has the consistency of coarse crumbs. You can do this in the bowl or on your work surface, using your fingertips or an implement of choice.

Make a well in the center of the flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten egg and the lemon zest.

Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into mixture and then use your fingertips.
Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.

Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. You can refrigerate the dough overnight.

Heat the oven to 375ºF degrees.

Take the pasta frolla out of the fridge, unwrap it and cut away ¼ of the dough (or less if you are making crostatine). Reserve this dough to make the lattice top of the crostata. Refrigerate this dough while you work on the tart base.

To help roll the crostata dough, keep the dough on top of the plastic wrap that you had it wrapped in. This can help rolling the dough and can also help when transferring the dough to your pan. You can also use parchment paper for this. However, you can also roll the dough directly on a work surface if you prefer.

Lightly dust the top of the dough and your work surface (if you’re rolling directly on a work surface) with flour. Keep some flour handy to dust the dough as you go along.

If the dough is very firm, start by pressing the dough with the rolling pin from the middle to each end, moving the rolling pin by a pin's width each time; turn the dough 180 degrees and repeat; when it softens, start rolling.

Roll the dough into a circle about 1/8th inch (3 mm) thick (or into 4-6 circles if you are making crostatine),

If you used the plastic wrap or parchment paper as rolling surface, flip dough over the pan, centering it, and delicately press it all around so the corners are well covered. Peel away the plastic wrap.

Trim the excess dough hanging over the edges of the pan. Press the remaining dough around the border into the sides of the pan making sure the border is an even thickness all the way around.

Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork in several places.

Take out of the fridge the reserved pasta frolla you had cut away earlier. Roll it with your pin and cut into strips or use cookie cutters to make small shapes (this is not traditional, but it looks cute); or roll with your hands into ropes.

Spread the Nutella evenly over the bottom of the crostata.
Use the prepared strips or rolls of dough to make a lattice over the surface, or decorate with the cut shapes.

Brush the border and strips of dough with the reserved beaten eggs. You can add a drop or two of water to the beaten eggs if you don’t have enough liquid. [I always skip this step!]

Put the tart in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the tart is golden.

After 25 minutes, check the tart and continue baking until the tart is of a nice golden hue. (Note: if you are making crostatine you should check after 20 minutes because they will take less total time to be ready!)

When done, remove the tart from the oven and let cool. If you have used a tart pan with a removable bottom, then release the tart base from the fluted tart ring. Make sure the tart is completely cool before slicing and serving…..well, if you can resist the temptation to take a bite!

Have a sweet day!


  1. yay! more Nutella... I have to give this a try. yum. This and a glass of cold milk... perfect.
    Enjoy your weekend. Michael

  2. I know some people who would kill for this one! Lovely job and great filling.

  3. delicious filled with nutella who can resist :)

  4. Beautiful job Sara. I am so happy I joined Daring Bakers. I really enjoyed the first challenge. Can't wait to see part 3 of your trilogy;0)

  5. e vabbè...facciamo del male!!! Che goduria Sara! Queste crostatine sono perfette ed altamente pericolose :-D

  6. Nutella filling!? I love this.. I'm with Lora I can't wait to see part three of your triology. Mind sending me one of these tarts?

  7. How delicious! I sure would have LOVED one of these as an afternoon snack when I was a kid. :)

  8. Wow! Your tarts look delicious. I love being part of this group. So many cleaver ideas!

  9. I can almost taste the flaky, Nutella-y goodness of this crostata but sadly, almost doesn't cut it. The real thing would be so much better! Still, I bet it tastes awesome!

    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, Sara. :-)

  10. Yours and Cake Duchess' Nutella crostata are my favourite of the DB challenge this month! Looks delicious. And growing up in an Italian house, Nutella was our staple breakfast EVERY morning!

  11. It looks so delicious! Can't wait to bake it.

  12. Beautiful treats! The Nutella filling is a genius idea, especially with the buttery crust. Excellent work on this challenge!

  13. Sara
    What a perfect crostatine for the DB challenge! Seeing Nutella in baked goods takes me back to our holidays in Italy....I could sure go for one of those delicious little treats! I'm afraid you wouldn't see any bite marks because mine would be all gone! I can hardly wait for the next part of the trilogy!!

  14. Those are so cute and delicious looking. If I wasn't allergic to hazelnuts, I would devour those! They look incredible! You did a great job with the challenge.

  15. Gorgeous - I have seen a couple of crostata with Nutella so of course, this is making me crave it!

  16. Mmm...I love Nutella! Great job.

  17. Thank you for stopping by guys. I had a lot of fun with this challenge and I loved incorporating it in my Nutella Trilogy.
    Lindsey: I'm always very sad when somebody tells me he/she is allergic to hazelnut. Well, at least you like and can eat chocolate! I know it's different. I compensate by not liking chocolate. I am sad about that 'cause I feel I cannot appreciate many desserts!
    Chef: next time you come to Italy with me!

  18. Sara, I love it!! I'm still in Nutella Discovery phase, and these look just divine. I love the photo where you've had a bite of one... Nicely done!

  19. That looks incredible and I bet it tastes incredible. You already know how much I love nutella and how much I'm loving your nutella obsession. Keep it coming.

  20. That last picture has me thisclose to drooling. So gorgeous! I love that you used Nutella--that stuff is just plain fantastic. Great job on this challenge!

  21. Your pictures are stunning and I love the crust it looks so perfect well done on this challenge.

    I love nutella it would be so delicious in this crostata reecipe. Great work!!!

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  22. They are very cute! I love small, individual serving desserts and you don't have to be a kid to enjoy them!

  23. The shot of the tart with the bite is killing me over here!!

  24. yummmm! i die for nutella, sara! it looks absolutely perfect! the flakey crust and the creamy nutella're killing me!xoxo

  25. Your crostata looks fantastic! I love the individual portion and that thick layer of Nutella in the middle :)

  26. Perfect timing for your Nutella series, right? Glad you made this version, beloved by Italian kids. Reading your post sent me on a trip down memory lane regarding merendine: my favorite was Girella Motta. Oh my, I should write a post about this topic. Thank you so much for the kind words. Your crostatine look simply lovely.

  27. This sounds like my kind of challenge! I just stuffed myself with lasagna, but I feel like there is still enough room for one of these crostatine. Hope you had a relaxing holiday.

  28. oh-em-gee, nutella in a crostata! this is perfect for my sweet-tooth family dinner :) it looks so fantastic. the lattice is pretty too :)

  29. @Simona: it was indeed perfect timing! And I am also trying to explore Artusi's recipes more lately so it was even more perfect! Le girelle!! Oh mamma!!! You should write a post about it and now I'm craving about trying to make them! Great idea
    @Gina: there is always room in the oven for crostata/crostatine :) I make crostata so often! I had a relaxing holiday...crazy it's already over!
    @January: i wanted to do a different lattice for once...this one is so easy cause you just have to cut out strips and then twickle them. No skills required :)

  30. Oh Nutella, how I love thee! What could be easier and more wonderful than Nutella filling?

  31. Sara, this dessert is calling my name. Why have I missed the first challenge?? oh must go back and check. Lovely recipe. I sometimes eat nutella out of the jar. I bet you do too, eh?

  32. Nutella is so good! These tarts are cute and I know they've got to be delicious!

  33. omggg this looks sooo yummy!! your nutella trilogy is unbelievably tempting - and i always read your posts at night when I'm ready for a midnight snack haha! i dont have nutella, or the ingredients to make the tart - so i might just have to settle for dark chocolate brownies that i made a few nights ago :) nicely done!

  34. MMMMM!!!!davvero golose!!!mi riportano all'infanzia!!!!Complimenti per il blog!davvero bello!!!!

  35. Honestly I couldn't think of a better filling for this DB Challenge...Bellisimo!

  36. It was absolutely WRONG of you to show a bite taken out of that crostatine! It makes me want it even more and looks so wonderful. Geez.

  37. Oh wow this looks delicious!! I love Nutella, loving this series :)


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