Everyone has different reasons for making food (like Nutella) at home which they can buy off of the shelf; it might be economic or for health reasons. Since the first time I tried Nutella, I never had the desire to make it. But, when the day came that my darling dairy-free daughter could no longer partake because of the milk in it, I considered it.
I had seen a recipe for the hazelnut spread in my high-powered blender but assumed it was hard. I decided one day to take a look and was very happy to find that 1. it was not that hard (1 hour start to finish with time in between when you don’t have to do anything), 2. I had most of the ingredients in my cabinet with the exception of the hazelnuts (aka filberts), and 3. the recipe did not have any dairy in it. Ok, time to shift the paradigm again.
So here is what I found: the amount of time and effort it took was less than (from helping with third grade math, I believe I could have said “<“) the 2 cups of deliciousness that was produced. Here’s the recipe along with some tips. Enjoy and make it for someone special or just yourself! Uhm, “enjoy” doesn’t even begin to describe this experience.
Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
Makes 2 cups
1 cup hazelnuts or filberts
1/4-1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
Optional: 1 teaspoon or more of mild oil like sunflower or safflower, if needed
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup or a little more confectioner’s sugar
- You could probably also use blanched almonds instead of hazelnuts. I did not try this but saw a recipe.
- Add a few extra hazelnuts when measuring to account for those that might not shed their skin and for those that end up in your mouth.
- Do not use “virgin” coconut oil unless you want a coconut flavor; the non-virgin is tasteless.
- The original recipe called for only 1/4 cup of coconut oil but the blender started making an awful sound so I added more until it began to form a paste. I also added some oil. The result is a thinner paste but I liked that.
- Use a high quality cocoa powder that isn’t Dutch-process, meaning it has not been alkanized. I used Ghirardelli.
- I tasted the spread and decided to add more confectioner’s sugar. Start with 1 cup and then decide for yourself.
1. Pre-heat oven to 350F. Place nuts on a baking sheet and bake 8-10 minutes, shaking the pan once to make sure they toast evenly. Bake until the skins darken.
2. Cool the hazelnuts. Wrap them in a clean kitchen towel and rub towel back and forth to remove most of the skins. Discard skins (careful, it’s messy).
3. Add melted (but not hot) coconut oil and hazelnuts to a high-powered blender (e.g. BlendTec, Vitamix) and secure lid. Press “Speed Up” to speed 1 for 15 seconds then increase to speed 9 for a full cycle. Add more coconut oil or vegetable oil if you think the nuts are not forming a proper paste. Scrape down with a spatula and move hazelnut meal toward the center.
4. Press “Speed Up” to speed 5 and run a full cycle. Scrape down the sides and move the meal toward the center. Repeat two more times.
5. Add remaining ingredients. Press “Speed Up” to speed 5 (or lower), scraping down the sides. Taste and add more sugar if necessary. The “spread” might be liquidy and warm at first but will firm up and cool down. I placed mine in a 2 cup mason jar and let it come to room temp before placing in the fridge.
6. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-6 weeks. Bring to room temp before serving or take a small amount out and microwave for 5 seconds to soften.