The past couple of times I've been to Costco I was tempted by a 2 lb. bag of hazelnuts. I frequently run in to recipes that call for hazelnuts that I blow off because hazelnuts are expensive. But 2lb for $11? That's a decent price for almonds, a good price for walnuts, and a great price for pecans, all of which I keep on hand. And I like hazelnuts more than walnuts and pecans. So I was looking for an innagural treat to make with hazelnuts and I went for the obvious choice: homemade Nutella. There are a lot of recipes out there, some call for loads of butter (which is completely unnecessary with the richness that comes from hazelnut butter and melted chocolate, some call for heavy cream (which honestly I avoided because I didn't have any), some called for condensed or evaporated milk (see previous comment). None of these were what I wanted. It's chocolate and hazelnuts, it doesn't need complications and it doesn't need extra fat. Finally I found this recipe. While I wasn't opposed to putting a little skim milk in it (Nutella does), this one didn't even do that! Perhaps the canola oil could have been eliminated or subbed with milk, but there was so little it didn't matter. This recipe was exactly what I wanted: simple and delicious. And the perfect thing to go in one of my jars of wonderful things. I will say that I get pretty impatient because my food processor is super loud, so it wasn't as creamy and smooth as possible. The key is to get the hazelnuts creamy before adding anything else. But somehow my food processor is loudest when there are only nuts in it, and I just wanted to make it stop. And what makes mine completely dairy free is that I used all dark chocolate chips because I see no reason to cut the chocolaty goodness with milk chocolate.
- 1 cup raw hazelnuts
- 2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more as needed
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the oven until the nuts have darkened and the skins have blistered, about 12-14 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
- Wrap the nuts in a kitchen towel and rub the hazelnuts to remove as much of the skin as possible. (Small bits of skin will remain.) Let cool completely.
- Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring until completely melted and smooth. Let cool slightly.
- In a high-speed blender or a food processor, grind the hazelnuts until they form a paste. Add the oil, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt. Continue to process the mixture until the mixture is as smooth as possible. You may need to scrape down the sides occasionally.
- Add the melted chocolate and continue to blend until smooth and well combined.
- The mixture may be thin and a bit runny but it will thicken as it cools. If the mixture is very thick, add a drizzle of oil to keep the mixture more spreadable.
- Transfer the mixture to a jar and let cool to room temperature. Cover and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator. If stored in the refrigerator, you will need to bring it to room temperature to return to a spreadable consistency.