When you’re a kid, you have to search outside your home for candy. If you were anything like Phoebe or me, your pantry wasn’t exactly bursting at the seams with fruit roll-ups and Pepperidge Farm goldfish and other elementary-school goodies, and Halloween–today!–was the moment to go out and stuff yourself silly on the Tootsie Rolls, Twix Bars, and Peppermint Patties that generous neighbors doled out.
I think there’s a moment of awakening for most of us, around the time we first leave home for college, when we realize that if we wanted to, we could eat candy and ice cream for breakfast. Not just on Halloween, but any day, any time of year. In the end, we usually choose not to. But not always.
In the winter of my sophomore year of college, I went to visit Jordana, who had just started studying abroad in Florence. We walked around the cold, damp city (January = not the best time to visit Italy), looking at art and eating panini, pasta, and gelato along the way.
As if we weren’t getting our fill on all that, we decided it was important to start our day right: with breakfast. And what was on the menu?
We spent our morning hours (and some afternoons, when we needed a snack) dipping these little biscuits Jor had found at the supermarket into a jar of nutella. For all intents and purposes, we were eating candy for breakfast.
So as you celebrate Halloween today, or recover from this weekend’s candy or alcohol intake, consider this homemade, candy-like dessert (or, ahem, breakfast) the kind of indulgent sweet you now get to make, and eat, on your terms, being the grown-up twentysomething you are.
From my kitchen, where I do what I want, to yours,
Cara, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
- About 1 teaspoon softened butter
- 3 tablespoons sugar plus extra for the ramekins
- 1/3 cup nutella
- 2 egg yolks
- 4 egg whites
- pinch salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter (optional; helps make sure you don’t overbeat your egg whites)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Butter the ramekins or big soufflé dish. Sprinkle the bottoms and sides with sugar, then dump out any extra.
- In a medium bowl, combine the nutella with the egg yolks.
- The mixture will be a little bit thick and hard to stir, but you shouldn’t have a real problem incorporating them. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt and the cream of tarter, using a handheld mixer on medium speed. When they hold soft peaks (about 2-3 minutes), add the 3 tablespoons of sugar in a slow, steady stream, beating the whole time. Increase to high speed and beat until the egg whites hold stiff peaks. (That means when you raise your beaters out of the bowl, they leave behind a sturdy-looking mountain.) Pour about 1/3 of the whites into the nutella and stir to combine. Then, working very gently, pour the nutella mixture into the remaining whites and fold until thoroughly combined.
- Pour 1/4 of the batter into each ramekin, then bake until puffed and crusted on top, about 12 minutes. The soufflé should still jiggle a bit when you touch the pan. Serve immediately, before they deflate! Dollop some unsweetened whipped cream on top if you like.