Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread

A (relatively) healthy version of Nutella, where you actually know what’s in it!  Not only will your whole house smell amazing while you’re roasting hazelnuts, but you’ll have tonight’s dessert covered too 😉  Fabulous on toast, or if you’re like me, straight out of the jar with a spoon – yum!

Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread

Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole raw hazelnuts
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (aka icing sugar)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • up to 1/4 cup vegetable or nut oil (I used 1/4 cup of almond oil)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 175 deg C (350 deg F). Place hazelnuts in a single layer on a shallow baking pan. Toast until the skins are almost black and the meat is dark brown, about 15 minutes. Stir the nuts halfway through baking to ensure an even colour.
  2. To get rid of the bitter skins, wrap the cooled hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. Rub until most of the skins come off, but don’t worry if some remain.
  3. Process nuts in a food processor, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until they have liquefied, about 5 minutes. First, you will get coarsely chopped nuts, then a fine meal. After a little while, the nuts will form a ball around the blade, and it will seem like you only have a solid mass. Keep processing. The heat and friction will extract the natural oils, and you will get hazelnut butter!
  4. When the nuts have liquefied, add the sugar, cocoa and vanilla. Slowly drizzle in enough oil to make a spreadable consistency. Since the mixture is warm, it will be more fluid now than at room temperature.
  5. Transfer the spread to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator for 1-2 months. For best results, stir the chocolate-hazelnut spread before using.

Variations: To make any standard nut butter, use this procedure but omit the powdered sugar, cocoa, vanilla and extra oil. Add 1/2 tsp salt and up to 2 tbsp granulated sugar. Try making your own cashew butter – you may never go back to peanut butter again!

Notes:

  • Please use whole raw nuts, and toast them yourself to intensify the flavour. Pre-toasted or pre-chopped nuts are often spoiled.
  • To further intensify the nut flavour, use unrefined nut oil, which is tan in colour. Peanut oil is especially cheap in Chinese supermarkets.
  • You really need a full-sized food processor to make nut butter, not a mini version or a blender.

Source: Unknown

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