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!
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.