Nutella is a very popular Italian hazelnut and chocolate spread with many uses. In my house, my grandkids love to spread it on their toast when they visit (a special treat!), and we make a great Nutella pizza for dessert. Personally though, I find the Nutella brand too sweet for my taste so I decided to make my own.
I prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate, and I used both a little cocoa powder as well as melted dark chocolate in my version. I also found that the finished spread ended up a little too thick and rather than add additional oil, I used a small quantity of heavy cream which created a really nice smooth and creamy spread. The only problem with adding cream means that the spread cannot be kept as long and must be refrigerated, but that really won’t be a problem in my house! Roasting the hazelnuts really does bring out the flavor so is really a step you shouldn’t skip. I prefer my spread to be less sweet so I used just a little honey, but feel free to add additional honey if you prefer a sweeter spread. This spread would be a great hostess gift to someone who loves chocolate, presented in an elegant glass jar and tied with a pretty bow.
Deborah Mele 2011
- 2 Cups Raw Hazelnuts
- 1/3 Cup Unsweetened Dark Cocoa Powder
- 1/4 to 1/2 Cup Honey
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 8 Ounces Dark Chocolate, Chopped
- 3 Tablespoons Hazelnut Oil
- 1/4 to 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream (Optional)
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Spread the hazelnuts evenly over a cookie sheet and roast for 10 minutes.
- Transfer the hazelnuts to a damp towel and rub them together to remove the skins.
- In a food processor, grind the hazelnuts until smooth, scraping the sides as needed so they process evenly, about 5 minutes.
- Melt the chopped chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler.
- Add the cocoa, honey, melted chocolate, vanilla, and oil to the food processor and continue to process until well blended, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- The finished spread should have the texture of creamy peanut butter; if it is too dry, process in a little heavy cream, or extra hazelnut oil until the desired consistency is achieved.
- Remove the spread to a container, cover and refrigerate until needed.
- Allow the spread to come to room temperature before using, as it thickens considerably when refrigerated.
- The spread will keep for a week in the refrigerator if cream is added, 2 to 3 weeks if cream has not been used.