Homemade Nutella: Two Ways (Chocolate Hazelnut Spread)

pinit fg en rect gray 28 Homemade Nutella: Two Ways (Chocolate Hazelnut Spread)

Green Bowl Homemade Nutella: Two Ways (Chocolate Hazelnut Spread)

I am suspect of food in jars—with one big exception: peanut butter. The very idea of messing around with the pure, unadulterated taste of roasted nuts of any kind is almost sacrilegious to me.

So that’s my lame excuse for sneering at the ubiquitous jar of Nutella on grocer’s shelves for too many decades to mention. It’s touting itself as a peanut butter substitute, albeit with hazelnuts. And well, there is NO substitute for peanut butter in my mind.

But just this year–influenced by all the Nutella Pinterest Boards no doubt–I buckled and bought the darned jar. I brought it home, twisted off the lid, dipped a big spoon into the creamy darkness, and plunged it into my mouth. Then I gagged and ran for WATER.

Nutella Homemade Nutella: Two Ways (Chocolate Hazelnut Spread)

I am treading on hallowed ground for those of you who LOVE Nutella. Probably a billion or so folks. Mea culpa! Mea culpa!

But to my palate, Nutella tastes like overly sweet, poor quality chocolate, with way too much vanilla and the lingering taste of stale powdered milk. I can barely taste the hazelnuts. As in, NOT AT ALL. I have no idea what to do with this—okay I’ll just say it– nasty jar of strangely plastic goop.

Baked hazel nuts Homemade Nutella: Two Ways (Chocolate Hazelnut Spread)

But this unfortunate experience makes me want to make Nutella myself. Immediately. As an antidote or an act of contrition for not trusting my intuition in the first place.

(PAUSE) Hold on, I’m running to Whole Foods to grab some hazelnuts.

Okay, I’m back and the hazelnuts are toasting in the oven. In the meanwhile, I’m cruising the web looking for inspiration.

Chocolate Homemade Nutella: Two Ways (Chocolate Hazelnut Spread)

Well, that was fun! An exhilarating, two-hour tour of the web revealed FIVE basic options for making homemade Nutella. Every option begins with hazelnut butter, as you can see:

  1. Hazelnut butter with unsweetened cocoa.
  2. Hazelnut butter with melted bar chocolate.
  3. Hazelnut butter with melted bar chocolate and unsweetened cocoa.
  4. Hazelnut butter with chocolate ganache.
  5. Hazelnut butter with chocolate ganache and unsweetened cocoa.

I decided to work on two extremes: hazelnut butter with cocoa (#1) and hazelnut butter with chocolate ganache (#5).

Mixing Homemade Nutella: Two Ways (Chocolate Hazelnut Spread)

The key to getting this spread right turns out to be the difficult balance between the two competing (yet complementary) flavors. Bittersweet chocolate rather easily overpowers toasted hazelnuts and thus needs to be held in check.

Spread 3 Homemade Nutella: Two Ways (Chocolate Hazelnut Spread)

Many recipes on the web call for too much bittersweet chocolate in ratio to hazelnuts. For my palate, I wanted the first taste to be hazelnuts with a long, slow finish of chocolate. That’s what I aimed for and hopefully achieved. You will be the judge.

Spread 1 Homemade Nutella: Two Ways (Chocolate Hazelnut Spread)

Which Homemade Nutella do I like best? Honestly, I can’t choose. I’m tasting back and forth between the jars as I write this. I love the intensity of Hazelnut Butter & Cocoa Spread. And I love the silky richness of Hazelnut Butter & Chocolate Ganache Spread. It’s hopeless. I want them both in the fridge at all times.

Anyone want a barely used jar of store bought Nutella?

Red Bowl Homemade Nutella: Two Ways (Chocolate Hazelnut Spread)

Super-Easy Homemade Nutella (Hazelnut Butter & Cocoa Spread)

This approach to making Nutella is the easiest. (It also contains the least amount of saturated fat, if that concerns you.)

Super-Easy Homemade Nutella is intensely chocolate and not too sweet, with a perceptible hint of salt. And yet, the flavor of the toasted hazelnuts comes through loud and clear. I love the balance.

Note   This hazelnut and cocoa spread is quite liquid when first made. No worries! It stiffens to a thick spread after a night in the fridge.

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 workbowl, and then proceed with Step 2.

2 cups (8 ounces) toasted, skinned hazelnuts (makes ¾ cup hazelnut butter)
1 cup (4 ounces) powdered sugar
½ cup (1½ ounces) natural-process, unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon fine sea salt

  1. In a processor fitted with the steel knife, process hazelnuts, scraping down the bowl periodically, until the nuts release their oil and a smooth, loose paste forms. This typically takes 5-6 minutes. (Makes about ¾ cup hazelnut butter.)
  2. Add powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vegetable oil, vanilla, and salt. Process until the spread loosens and turns glossy, scraping the bowl periodically. This typically takes 2-5 minutes.
  3. Transfer spread to an airtight container.
  4. Store in the fridge for 3-4 weeks. (I doubt it will last that long.)

Makes about 1½ cups.

Easy Homemade Nutella (Hazelnut Butter & Chocolate Ganache Spread)

This approach to making Nutella is easy too. Especially if you melt the chocolate in the microwave. And the result is divine.

Easy Homemade Nutella reminds me of chocolate truffles, and in fact, you can form it into little balls and roll it in cocoa if you like.

Note   This hazelnut and chocolate spread is somewhat loose when first made. No worries! It stiffens considerably after a night in the fridge.

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 workbowl, and then proceed with Step 2.

2 cups (8 ounces) toasted, skinned hazelnuts (makes ¾ cup hazelnut butter)
8 ounces premium-quality, bittersweet bar chocolate, chopped or broken into small pieces
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon fine sea salt

  1. In a processor fitted with the steel knife, process hazelnuts, scraping down the bowl periodically, until the nuts release their oil and a smooth, loose paste forms. This typically takes 5-6 minutes. Reserve. (Makes about ¾ cup hazelnut butter.)
  2. In a glass bowl, put the chocolate. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir with a dry, wooden chopstick to encourage the chocolate to melt. If necessary to melt the chocolate, microwave further in 15 second bursts.
  3. To the processor, add melted chocolate, cream, vanilla, and salt.
  4. Process for 1 minute to combine.
  5. Transfer spread to an airtight container.
  6. Store in the fridge for 3-4 weeks. (It won’t last that long.)

Makes about 1¾ cups.

More Chocolate Goodness from LunaCafe

Cookin’ with Gas (inspiration from around the web)

Copyright 2014 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.

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About Susan S. Bradley

Intrepid cook, food writer, culinary instructor, author of Pacific Northwest Palate: Four Seasons of Great Cooking, and founder of the Northwest Culinary Academy.

Comments

  1. Gayle Streett says:

    At last, I can make lactose-free nutella for my husband. Thanks for your article.

    • Gayle, I bought a Vitamix 6300 blender over the weekend and ended up putting both Nutella mixtures into the container and giving it a whirl. Completely smooth now! And I love the half ganache, half cocoa powder combo. I hardly feel guilty at all eating it all day long. :-)

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