The internet is a weird and wonderful place. At times, it can be overwhelming, almost scary in its vast size and reach. But if you can carve out your own little niche and find like minds, it can become something of a community and support system. Seven or eight years ago, had you told me that some of my closest friends would be people I met over the internet, I would have laughed in your face. It just seemed like such a creepy way to meet people. But after my experience with online mothers support groups and parenting forums, I now know just what an asset the internet can be in our sometimes isolating society. And this point has been driven home to me numerous times as a food blogger. Even more so now as I go through a very hectic, somewhat overwhelming time in my life.
I am very fortunate to be a part of some amazing foodblogging support groups. Some of these are organized entities, like Foodbuzz, Boston Food Bloggers, and Foodblogs.com. Others are smaller, informal collections of foodbloggers who make a concerted effort to support each others’ posts. There is no doubt in my mind that each and every one of these groups has help me grow my blog exponentially. But these groups require my effort too, and I usually pride myself in being an active member of the foodblogging community, supporting my fellow bloggers wherever I can. Over the past few months, however, I’ve found myself falling further and further behind. With some personal and professional issues to attend to, I’ve had less time, energy and motivation for my own blog, let alone supporting other people’s.
I was feeling mighty guilty about this fact and struggling to keep up, when I finally hit the breaking point. I knew something had to give. So I quietly informed some of my blogging friends of my struggles, and asked them to forgive my absence and lack of support. I simply cannot tell you the wonderful, warm, caring response I received. Everyone has offered their sympathies, their support and their help. And without my asking, everyone has made an effort to promote my less frequent posts, to the point where my blog has suffered little to no slip in readership. All without asking anything of me in return. I cannot tell you how much this means to me. I was beginning to feel like my blog was a huge burden and that I would not be able to continue. Now I know I can weather this storm with the help of my friends and keep on doing what I love. What an amazing feeling.
So this recipe goes out to all my beloved blogging friends – you know who you are! I created it a couple of weeks ago but hadn’t had the time to do anything with it. Nutella is adored in the foodblogging world, so what better way to toast my fellow bloggers. Of course, I can’t eat real Nutella, but I do make my own low carb version and it is delicious. I decided to work it into a delectable truffle and was very pleased with the results.
Thanks to all of you. You are wonderful!
Homemade Nutella Truffles
8 tbsp butter
6 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup homemade nutella (recipe below)
1/3 cup powdered erythritol
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp hazelnut or vanilla extract
25 drops stevia extract
1/2 cup chopped, toasted hazelnuts
In medium saucepan over low heat, melt together butter, unsweetened chocolate, nutella and erythritol, stirring until smooth. Add cocoa powder and stir until fully combined. Off heat, stir in hazelnut or vanilla extract and stevia.
Chill mixture until firm but still scoopable, about 2 to 3 hours. Scoop into 1 inch balls, rolling between palms to form. Roll balls in chopped hazelnuts.
3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and husked
3 tbsp vegetable or nut oil
3 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp erythritol, preferably powdered
1/2 tsp vanilla
For the nutella, grind hazelnuts in a food processor or high-powered blender until finely ground and beginning to clump together. Add remaining nutella ingredients and continue to process until creamy and smooth, scraping down sides of processor with a rubber spatula as needed. If you find it continues to clump together, add more oil, a little at a time, until a spreadable consistency is achieved.