Remember when I got all uppity about the marginal taste of that-chocolate-hazelnut-stuff in the jar and spent a week researching and testing to creating two of the best Nutellas in the entire universe?
After all, peanut butter and chocolate have a long and illustrious history—almost as long as the history of peanut butter itself–which was invented in the late 1800’s, but didn’t capture much interest until 1920.
Not until Reese’s invented Peanut Butter Cups and sealed the union between chocolate and peanut butter for all eternity.
Today, if you ask 10 people to name the first chocolate and peanut butter combo that comes to mind, in unison they’ll scream Peanut Butter Cups.
So this year, for All Chocolate All Month on LunaCafe, I was determined to create an unparalleled roasted peanut and bittersweet chocolate spread. In other words, Peanut Nutella—or as I like to call it, Peanutella.
To recap my earlier research, I discovered FIVE basic options for making homemade Nutella. Every option begins with nut butter.
1. Nut butter + unsweetened cocoa.
2. Nut butter + melted bar chocolate.
3. Nut butter + melted bar chocolate + unsweetened cocoa.
4. Nut butter + chocolate ganache.
5. Nut butter + chocolate ganache + unsweetened cocoa.
For the Hazelnut Nutella post, I developed recipes for two extremes: hazelnut butter with unsweetened cocoa (#1) and hazelnut butter with chocolate ganache (#4). And then naturally, I couldn’t decide which one I liked best. For the record, they are very different nut spreads.
Another difference of note with this round of testing is the Vitamix blender sitting high and proud on the countertop. I put that bad boy to use to get the smoothest peanut butter possible.
Peanut Butter Bash Party
This post is part of the Peanut Butter Bash party. The first Thursday of the month, each member of Peanut Butter Bash gang post a dessert featuring peanut butter and a mystery ingredient. For February 2015, it’s Nutella. Check out the Peanut Butter Bash Facebook Group and the Peanut Butter Bash Page for more information. Oh yeah, and the hashtag is #peanutbutterbash.
Homemade Peanutella (Peanut Butter & Chocolate Spread)
This hybrid approach to making Peanutella—combining both chocolate ganache and unsweetened cocoa powder–yields an especially deep, complex chocolate flavor. It may be my favorite Nutella ever.
Technique Note For an extra-creamy spread, after Step 1, press the hazelnut butter through a triple mesh sieve. Return the hazelnut butter to a clean work bowl, and then proceed with Step 2. (This isn’t necessary if you use a Vitamix blender.)
Ingredient Note The best roasted peanuts I’ve found are from Trader Joe’s. So fresh, so crisp, so nicely roasted. I love the “lightly salted” variety and snack on them almost daily.
Serving Note The spread is very firm when cold. Bring to cool room temperature before attempting to spread it.
2 cups (8 ounces) roasted, skinned, unsalted or lightly salted peanuts (makes ¾ cup peanut butter)
7 ounces premium-quality, 70% cacao bar chocolate, chopped or broken into small pieces
¾ cup heavy cream, room temperature
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon fine sea salt, or more to taste (only if using unsalted peanuts)
1. In a processor fitted with the steel knife (or in a Vitamix blender), process peanuts, scraping down the work bowl periodically, until the nuts release their oil and a smooth, almost liquid paste forms. This typically takes 5-6 full minutes. (It takes 2-3 minutes with a Vitamix blender, and the peanut butter is completely smooth.) Reserve.
2. In a glass bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave for 40-60 seconds. Stir with a dry, wooden chopstick to encourage the chocolate to melt. If necessary, microwave further in 15 second bursts, stirring after each burst. Be very careful not to introduce even a speck of moisture into the chocolate or it will seize. What does that look like? Don’t worry, you’ll know. J
3. To the processor (or Vitamix blender), add melted chocolate, and pulse to combine.
4. Add room temperature cream, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt, and process for about 1 minute to combine. Mixture should look smooth and creamy. (On occasion (probably when the cream is added cold), the spread will look grainy at this point. But when you taste it, it’s completely smooth. In this case, no worries. It will set in the fridge.)
5. Transfer spread to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.
6. Store in the fridge for 3-4 weeks. (I doubt it will last that long.)
Makes about 1½ cups.
More Chocolate Goodness from LunaCafe
- All Chocolate All Month (Inspired Chocolate Recipes)
- Homemade Nutella: Two Ways (Chocolate Hazelnut Spread)
- Bittersweet Chocolate & Cabernet Butter Cake
- Chocolate Almond Pound Cake
- Chocolate Ginger Chipotle Stout Cake
- Heavenly Chocolate Beet Tea Loaf & 3 Variations
- Mad Dash Chocolate Cake (Fast & Easy)
- Mexicano Chocolate Pudding Cake (Hot, Easy & Good)
- Spicy Chocolate, Banana & Fresh Ginger Tea Loaf
- Warm-Spiced Molten Chocolate Cake
Cookin’ with Gas (inspiration from around the web)
- Why Do American’s Love Peanut Butter? | Slate
- Not TCHO Mama’s Chocolate: San Francisco Pastry Crawl (Part 3½) | Stellini Sweets
- The History of the Peanut Butter Cup | Nibble
- Bon Appetite: Better Than Nutella (Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread)
- Brown Eyed Baker: DIY: Homemade Nutella
- David Lebovitz: Homemade Nutella
- DIY Boston: Easy Homemade Nutella from America’s Test Kitchen’s DIY Cookbook
- Erin’s Food Files: Nutella Cookies
- Food Politics: Mon Dieu. The French “Nutella Tax.”
- Gimme Some Oven: Nutella Hot Chocolate
- Leite’s Culinaria: Homemade Nutella
- Reclaiming Provincial: Homemade Nutella
- Sally’s Baking Addiction: Nutella Swirl Cheesecake Bars
- Sally’s Baking Addiction: Nutella Swirled Peanut Butter Banana Bread
- Savory Sweet Life: Nutella Brownies
- Smitten Kitchen: Chocolate-Peanut Spread
- Sweet and Crunchy: Homemade Nutella
- Tasty Kitchen: Nutella Pecan Pie
- The Kitchn: It’s World Nutella Day! Here’s How to Eat Nutella All Day Long
- The Splendid Table: Homemade Nutella
Copyright 2014 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.