As promised, here is the recipe for the homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread I used in the Split Level Pudding from the other day. The texture of the homemade spread is rougher than Nutella, but, as much as this may come as sacrilege to the legions of Nutella lovers out there, I think the flavor is worlds better. After tasting the homemade stuff, and then tasting the Nutella again, honestly, I couldn’t taste the chocolate or the hazelnut as much as the additives in it. Plus, there is the added benefit of using really good chocolate that you love. If you want a smoother texture, just be less impatient than me and process the mixture for a bit longer. The mixture was also fairly runny when it was warm and took a while to set up into the thicker texture. (You can see the thinner texture below).
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and peeled
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 ounces good quality milk chocolate, chopped and melted
To toast and peel the hazelnuts, heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Toast the hazelnuts in one layer on a baking sheet for 12 to 15 minutes, until browned and the skins are slightly blistered. Wrap them in a clean tea towel and rub continuously for a few minutes to remove the loose skin. Not all the skin will loosen enough to come off, just do your best and that’s fine. Let the hazelnuts cool before grinding.
To melt the chocolate, chop it into small pieces. Place a heat proof bowl over barely simmering water (not deep enough to touch the bottom of the bowl) in a medium saucepan – about 1 inch should do it. Stir the chocolate a few times and let it melt slowly. Once it is mostly melted, remove it from the heat and let the residual heat finish melting the rest of the chocolate.
Grind the hazelnuts well in a food processor to make a paste. Add the oil, confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla and continue processing. Add the melted chocolate and blend well. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, to remove any large nut pieces. The mixture will be thin and a little warm. Pour it into a jar and let it cool and thicken slightly. The spread keeps for a month in an airtight container at room temperature.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
Delicious in crepes with some bananas!