Saturday, February 25, 2012

Homemade chocolate hazelnut spread (nutella!)

This recipe is more satisfying both in taste and fun than the store bought one! It is also better since it does not contain partially hydrogentated oils or palm oil, both of which are bad! (from the LA Times) plus, this only takes around 20 minutes. 

2 cups raw hazelnuts
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons hazelnut oil (if needed)

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the hazelnuts evenly over a cookie sheet and roast until they darken and become aromatic, about 10 minutes. Transfer the hazelnuts to a damp towel and rub to remove the skins.  Not all will come off perfectly, but most is good enough.
2. In a food processor, grind the hazelnuts to a smooth butter, scraping the sides as needed so they process evenly, about 5 minutes. (depends on blade sharpness)
warning: when you blend roasted hazelnuts it is going to smell heavenly!

3. Add the cocoa, sugar, vanilla, salt and oil to the food processor and continue to process until well blended, about 1 minute. The finished spread should have the consistency of creamy peanut butter; if it is too dry, add a little extra hazelnut oil until it's blended to a good consistency.
Remove to a jar or air tight container, cover and either refrigerate or not - before using just let it warm up so it's spreadable if you do refrigerate. It will keep for 2 weeks or longer (I store mine out of the fridge and its fine since it's dairy free).
tips*get good quality cocoa like Scharffen Berger, or a fair trade one like I used :)

-You can probably find hazelnut oil at somewhere like Whole Foods, but if you can't, I used Almond oil and it worked great. You also may not need to use any oil at all. I've done it recently and the nuts themselves were oily enough! 

-You can also experiment and use melted bitter chocolate and heated milk (instead of cocoa powder and oil) but this one seems easier and it is dairy free so it will last longer!

-For all your nut allergic people, here is a link to a nut-free one.  I made this one for my friend, using sunflower seeds - brilliant! (do need to add quite a lot of oil to get the texture right; but can always experiment, my friend said maybe making one with soy-nut butter would be good!)
Enjoy! xo

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