Homemade Nutella: Foodie Gift #11

Okay…I love hazelnuts, I love chocolate, sugar ain’t so bad, I’m okay with vanilla as well.  Soooooo….I’m loving this recipe for homemade Nutella-like butter which is amazingly close to the original product in texture and in taste. I could not believe it when I found it–Nutella has been a favorite treat for many members of our family for many years, and to be able to make it so easily is going to allow me to make a lot of people very happy this Christmas!

 

I found the original recipe on site hosted by a woman named Jessica Su, who provided a post with two variations on the her basic recipe for this chocolate hazelnut spread. On her blog,  SuGoodSweets, she gives some nice background and info on Nutella, as well as providing excellent instructions on how to make these. The first is very simple, and I think it tastes much more like Nutella than the other. The only tweaking I did was to cut way back on the oil. By the time everything was mixed up in the food processor, I only needed to add a teaspoon or two of oil to have it at the right consistency. The second recipe requires making caramel and then pulverizing it after it hardens–this is the sweetener for this variation. This second batch had a nice dark chocolate taste to it, but the texture was a bit grainy because of not being able to completely break down the caramel. It’s a good and interesting option, but if you are looking for something close to the original Nutella, recipe 1 would be the way to go.

 

Here are the recipes, as they appear on SuGoodSweets:

 

Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread (easy version)

Yield: about 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups)

2 cups whole raw hazelnuts
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
up to 1/4 cup vegetable or nut oil (I only used a teaspoon or so)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees 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 color.
  2. Since the skin is bitter, you’ll want to discard them. Wrap the cooled hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel or paper towel, and rub until most of the skins have come off. Don’t fret if you can’t get off all the skins.
  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 are liquified, add in 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 for1-2 months. For best results, stir the chocolate-hazelnut spread before using.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread (caramel base)

Caramel instructions from Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts by Alice Medrich

Yield: about 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups)

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 cups whole raw hazelnuts
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt

  1. Preparation: Line a baking sheet with foil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Make the caramel: Combine the sugar and water in a 3- to 4-cup saucepan. Do not stir again during the cooking. Cover and bring sugar and water to a simmer over medium heat. Uncover and wipe down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush or a wad of paper towel dipped in water. Cover and cook for 2 minutes, or until the sugar is completely dissolved. Uncover and cook until the syrup turns a pale amber. Test by spooning a drop or two of the syrup onto a white saucer. Swirl the pan gently, continuing to cook and test the color until the syrup darkens to a medium amber color.
  3. Pour the caramel immediately onto the lined baking sheet. Tilt sheet to spread caramel as thinly as possible. Let harden completely, about 15 minutes.
  4. Toast the nuts: Meanwhile, place hazelnuts in a single layer on a shallow baking pan. Toast in the oven 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 color.
  5. 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 have come off, but don’t worry if some remain.
  6. Make the nut butter: When the caramel is completely cool, break it into pieces and pulverize in a food processor. Try to get the caramel as fine as possible at this stage (it won’t get finer once you add the nuts).
  7. Add the nuts and process until they have liquefied, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Be patient; the nuts will go from a fine meal, to forming a ball around the blade, to nut butter. Add the cocoa, vanilla and salt and process until smooth.
  8. 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.

Notes:

  • Please use whole raw nuts, and toast them yourself to intensify the flavor. Pre-toasted or pre-chopped nuts are often spoiled.
  • To further intensify the nut flavor, use unrefined nut oil (for version 1), which is tan in color. Refined nut oils have the color and flavor removed. Peanut oil is especially cheap in Chinese supermarkets. I bought 20 ounces for $2.38! There’s a lesson: if you’re looking for a “gourmet” ingredient, try an ethnic market.
  • 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 2 tbsp granulated sugar. Try making your own cashew butter: you may never go back to peanut butter again!

Well, there you have it…and her last note on making other nut butters inspired me to try some of these…check out Foodie Gift #12!

Comments

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this, I spend most of a day going through your old posts and spotted this! Wonderful, I whipped up a batch of the “easy” version this afternoon and it turned out great. Lovely blog.

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