If you scratched your head at the words "chocolate hazelnut spread" let me turn it into a phrase that you'll understand: homemade Nutella! This rich, addictive spread that's wildly popular in Europe makes for a luxurious and slightly rustic edible gift. It's absolutely delicious to eat and surprisingly uncomplicated to make. To turn the hazelnuts into a butter, you will need a food processor, but other than that the ingredients are common and the technique easy. Although the recipe calls for hazelnut oil, I didn't feel like buying a whole bottle of the specialty item, so I used canola oil instead. And my Nutella came out scrumptious! Look at the recipe after the break.
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, more as needed
- 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.
- In a food processor, grind the hazelnuts to a smooth butter, scraping the sides as needed so they process evenly, about 5 minutes.
- 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, process in a little extra hazelnut oil until the desired consistency is achieved.
- Remove to a container, cover and refrigerate until needed. Allow the spread to come to room temperature before using, as it thickens considerably when refrigerated. It will keep for at least a week.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
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