Nutella frangipane empanadas

Empanadas4-2Did you know today was World Nutella Day? Yup! It’s that one day when you can eat all the Nutella you want, any way you want it, and no one can tell you anything! Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

And guess what? I’m not even kidding (OK, maybe about the all-the-Nutella-you-can-eat part). You can thank Sara from Ms. Adventures in Italy and Michelle from Bleeding Espresso for today.

I’m quite happy having the blog this year because it allows me to take part in a more official manner.

I love chocolate, and I grew up eating Nutella, but these last few years, I have taken up to making my own (or buying another brand in case of emergency). So sharing my recipe with you seemed like a logical choice. But I didn’t want to do something logical. I wanted to come up with something different, that would stay with the theme of the blog. So I went the Latin route, with sweet empanadas.

Empanadas3-2Empanadas are usually made with savoury filling, usually cheese, vegetables or meat, and are either baked or fried. There are maybe as many empanada dough recipes are there are families making them. I found some using olive oil, butter, lard, wheat flour, corn flour … For my recipe, I decided to go with a sweet hazelnut short pastry.

The recipe for frangipane, on the other hand, does not vary much. It is normally made of butter, sugar, eggs and ground almonds. Other nuts can be used, such as pistachios, as well as almond extract, vanilla bean or alcohol of choice (usually brandy). Frangipane is mostly used in the French King’s Cake (galette des rois), which we eat on Epiphany. A special bean (fève) is hidden inside and whoever finds it crowned king. Galette des rois is supposed to be made in commemoration of the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child, although it has a very clear source in the Roman Saturnalia celebrations.

Because it’s Nutella Day, I made my frangipane with Nutella (what else?) and ground hazelnuts. I hope you enjoy them🙂

Makes 6-8 empanadas

For the empanada dough

  • 170g / 5.9 oz. / 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 20g / 0.7 oz. / 1½ tbsp corn flour/corn starch
  • 100g / 3.5 oz. soft butter (1 stick minus 1 tbsp)
  • 50g / 1.7 oz. / 1/3 cup icing/confectioner’s sugar
  • 40g / 1.4 oz. / 1/3 cup ground hazelnuts
  • 1 egg
  • A pinch of salt

For the frangipane

  • 120g / 4.2 oz./ ½ cup Nutella
  • 50g / 1.7 oz. / ½ stick butter
  • 120g / 4.2 oz. / 1¼ cup ground hazelnuts
  • 2 eggs

For the egg wash

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1-1½ teaspoon milk

Prepare the empanada dough: in a bowl, sift the flour and corn flour. In a separate bowl, sift the sugar and hazelnuts. Using your hands or in a food processor, rub the flour and butter together until you get a sand-like texture. Combine with the sugar and hazelnuts. Once incorporated, crack the egg and mix until the dough comes together. Tip the dough onto a piece of Clingfilm, shape into a flat disk, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Prepare the frangipane filling: in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter and Nutella together, stirring often so the Nutella doesn’t burn and stick to the bottom of the pan. In a bowl, beat the eggs, then fold in the ground hazelnuts. Add to the Nutella mixture, stir well to combine and set aside to cool.

Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F.

Take the dough out of the fridge and allow it to soften for a few minutes.

Put the dough between two pieces of baking paper and carefully roll it out to about 0.3cm/ 1/8in thickness.

Using a 12cm/6in cookie cutter or bowl, cut 6 to 8 circles into the dough.

Put about 1½ tsp filling in the centre of each disk (you will have more filling than you need). Dampen the edges of each circle with a little water and close them in half-moon-shaped parcels.

Seal each parcel by pressing a fork lightly around the outer edge.

Line the empanadas on a baking paper-lined baking sheet.

Beat the egg yolk and milk and brush over the empanadas.

Bake for about 30-minutes, or until golden.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

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