Chocolate Hazelnut Spread... or Homemade "Nutella" I realize making your own homemade "nutella" isn't anything new. If you've made your own nutella, you know it's totally worth making. Normally, the homemade nutella is made with just toasted hazelnuts, cocoa, sugar and oil... and maybe a bit of vanilla. This version is simple to make... and can make wonderful hostess gifts.
I'll admit the homemade version doesn't taste exactly like the store-bought version. The homemade has more of a pronounced chocolate and hazelnut flavor, it's also a bit thicker and not as smooth. But that's ok by me. Actually, I like the tiny bits of hazelnuts that give the spread character. However, if you use a super powerful blender, such as a Vitamix, you'll actually get a pretty smooth spread... and you'll hardly notice the "roughness". I used a Vitamix... and you can see in the photos how smooth the spread turned out.
This homemade chocolate-hazelnut spread is a bit different than the cocoa version because it uses chocolate instead. You can make a dark chocolate version by adjusting the cocoa percentage to your liking and even adjust sugar to preference. Sometimes it's nice to combine milk and dark chocolate... or even use bits of chocolate you may have around. Of course, the better chocolate you use, the better the outcome. If you don't care for hazelnuts, you can opt to use another nut of choice, even peanuts, or some toasted sesame seed paste(tahini) or sunflower seed butter.
This simple spread goes well in crepes, on toast, used as part of a frosting, mixed in cookie dough, or even in ice cream. I'm thinking it would be great as a filling in cinnamon rolls as well... even as a filling for beignets or Romanian gogosi. How about warming the spread and glazing baked doughnuts? I think I may just do that next time:). Recently I made a pumpkin roll... skipped the normal cream cheese filling and spread some of this chocolate hazelnut spread. Yum! Thinking ahead, it would also make a wonderful hot chocolate for the winter months. Possibilities are endless:). Hope you enjoy...
Note: The resulting chocolate spread will be quite thin and runny, but it will thicken as it cools. If you refrigerate it, it gets quite hard... so bring back to room temperature if storing in the fridge. Otherwise, keep on the counter for up to 2 weeks.
You will need:
12 oz chopped chocolate( I used 60 %)
1 cup toasted hazelnuts
2 TBS coconut oil
3 TBS icing sugar
2 tsps vanilla extract
1/4-1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1. You will need to toast/peel your hazelnuts, if not already toasted/peeled... I had some already in my freezer, so I used that instead.
~But if you need to toast the hazelnuts:
Preheat oven to 350 deg F.
Lay hazelnuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
Toast for 10-12 minutes, watching carefully so as not to burn. You want them to have the skins blistering and the nuts lightly toasted.
Wrap nuts in a kitchen towel and rub vigorously so skins fall off... some will be stubborn:)
2. Place nuts in a high power blender(Vitamix) or a food processor. I have a Vitamix and it does an amazing job!
3. Blend/Grind hazelnuts to a very fine paste.... similar to making peanut butter.
4. Melt the chocolate in a saucepan bain marie-style... or in the microwave. Stir until smooth.
5. Stir in the coconut oil, sugar, vanilla, and salt.
6. Add the melted chocolate mixture to the ground hazelnut paste and continue blending/processing until the mixture is as smooth as possible. You can leave it chunkier if you prefer.
7. You have the option of straining the "nutella"... but I didn't bother as it was quite smooth.
8. Pour the chocolate/hazelnut mixture into a jar and let it cool to room temperature. You can speed this up by placing it in the fridge until it hardens a bit.