Introduction: Knockoff Nutella

Picture of Knockoff Nutella

Growing up in an Italian household, there weren’t too many sweets to be found in the cupboards, but Nutella was an exception. The creamy, chocolate-hazelnut spread was a staple at breakfast and served as a replacement for peanut butter – I didn’t even know peanut butter existed as a child, I assumed Nutella was the norm.

The flavor of Nutella is incredible, and it’s difficult to imitate. Also, it comes as no surprise that Nutella isn't the healthiest breakfast option there is. In this Instructable we'll attempt to replicate the great taste of Nutella while (maybe) making it marginally more healthy.

Enjoy!

Step 1: Gather Ingredients

Picture of Gather Ingredients

Ingredients

  • Hazelnuts (de-shelled) - 175 grams (about 1 cup)
  • Powdered sugar - 75 grams (about 2/3 cup)
  • Cocoa powder - 25 grams (about 1/4 cup)
  • Vegetable oil - 7 teaspoons
  • Vanilla - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt - pinch

Preheat oven to 350F for roasting hazelnuts.

Step 2: Get Cracking - Hazelnut Tips and Tricks

Picture of Get Cracking - Hazelnut Tips and Tricks

I'm am not a Hazelnut expert, but I do eat a ton of them. Like any nut I eat, I prefer buying them shelled. It makes the eating process more rewarding if it takes a little work.

In no particular order, here are some tips and tricks I've learned about hazelnuts over the years.

  • Bulk bin hazelnuts don't seem as fresh/good quality as bagged in shell hazelnuts
  • If you do buy them in bulk bins, most cashiers at grocery stores are bewildered by hazelnuts. I usually get asked if they are "acorns" and I have to tell them to look for "hazelnuts" or "filberts" in the system.
  • In the photo above (photo 2) I'm using an over-sized, rubber handle nutcracker which is no better than a simple all-metal nutcracker. Just like can openers, the simpler it is the better it works; find a cheap simple nut cracker, nothing fancy.
  • If a hazelnut is hard to open, rather than squeezing harder, try reorienting the nut. There's usually a weak point in the nut, and if you can open the nut with little force, there's a better chance the meat will stay intact rather than shatter all over the room.
  • It's not always the case, but hazelnuts with already cracked shells may taste a bit spoiled (as seen in photo 3)
  • If you open a hazelnut and the meat is shriveled (photo 4) its likely going to taste terrible, or at best taste bland.
  • I like removing the little fibrous stem from the hazelnut meat (photo 5) before eating or using for recipes

Step 3: Roast the Hazelnuts

Picture of Roast the Hazelnuts

Measure out 175g of hazelnuts and place them in a baking pan. Try to find a large enough pan for the hazelnuts to spread out evenly on.

Roast the hazelnuts at 350F for around 5-6 minutes. You'll smell the hazelnuts becoming aromatic.

Remove the hazelnuts and let them rest for a couple minutes.

Step 4: Remove the Skins

Picture of Remove the Skins

This is the most time consuming part.

Now that the hazelnuts are roasted, you can remove the skin by rubbing the hazelnuts between your fingers, hands, or even a tea towel. Some nuts will be harder than others, do the best you can.

The main reason to remove the skin is to reduce the bitterness of the hazelnut, and decrease the grittiness of the final product. I prefer my final spread to be a little gritty (tricks me into thinking its healthy), so I'm not too picky about removing all the skins.

Note: I expected you to be snacking on hazelnuts earlier while cracking, and if you sneak a taste now that the hazelnuts are roasted you'll find that the flavour has changed dramatically.

Step 5: Mixing the Ingredients

Picture of Mixing the Ingredients

You can see how lazy I was with removing the skins. Anyway load the nuts into your blending vessel and let it rip. Use a food processor or blender to mix the ingredients together. I used a Nutri-Bullet which tends to clog up to easily, so I would not recommend it. Regardless of the appliance you use you may need to scrape the walls a few times with a spatula to help it mix.

Start with just the hazelnuts and blend until they become somewhat creamy (it may take a few minutes of blending).

Next blend in the powdered sugar, then cocoa, then salt. The mixture will be fairly dry and gritty at this point.

Once the dry ingredients are in, add the oil and vanilla and blend until desired creaminess. I've found that you may need to add some more oil at this point if the hazelnuts were a little dry to begin with.

Step 6: Enjoy!

Picture of Enjoy!

Finally, the best part, enjoying your product! The final spread is slightly more nutty tasting than actual Nutella, but I actually prefer it to the original.

There are all kind of ways to enjoy chocolate-hazelnut spread. Maybe the simplest and most enjoyable form is on a piece of toast.

Here are only a few other ideas for your chocolate-hazelnut spread:

  • as a dip for breadsticks, or graham crackers
  • as a topping for ice cream
  • as a filling for cookies

Comments

HobartC (author)2017-02-23

Thanks Luigi, will have to give it a go, looks a lot healthier..!,

How long does it last..? and whats the best way to store it ?

LuigiG (author)HobartC2017-02-25

Ya its a bit healthier. No palm oil (which Nutella gets a bad rap for; who knows if its really that terrible), and you could adjust the recipe to have less sugar and it would still taste great in my opinion.

I store it in small pyrex container with a tight plastic lid, in the fridge. Not sure about how long it would last though.

JanaG11 (author)LuigiG2017-03-30

Palm oil gets the bad rep not because it's bad for human health, but because it's bad for the environment. Rainforest is chopped down to make space for palm oil plantations, which usually are mono-cultures to boot, with all the downsides of that kind of agriculture. And since palm oil is used in a lot of products = high demand, more and more rainforest gets cut down.

HollyHarken (author)LuigiG2017-03-06

Palm oil is not bad for you. We've been fed a line of BS by the Soybean industry about saturated fats. Our bodies need it to function. People in the Pacific Islands do not have heart disease until they start eating a Western style diet. Educate yourself before condemning a food. Read the book "The Coconut Oil Miraicle". Why do you think it is the fastest growing "new" food out there?

LuigiG (author)HollyHarken2017-03-07

My comment states there is varying evidence as to whether or not palm oil is good for you, I certainly did not condemn it. But to correct your points:

a. humans do not need palm oil to function; nor do we need saturated fats. It's true we need a source of essential fats that our body can not synthesize, but in no way does that source need to be palm oil

b. although there is some medical debate as to which types of fats are good and bad, the majority of studies continue to agree that a non-saturated fat is better than a saturated fat This is based on clinical trials, not based on diet opinion

c. believing that palm oil/coconut oil is better for you because it is a current fad is falling victim to the popular opinion fallacy. I'm sure you've witnessed various fads in your lifetime, and I hope you haven't assumed them all to be true or scientifically valid. Again, there may be research in the future that shows saturated fats aren't as bad as we thought, but to believe its better because its popular is a weak argument

d. I will consider reading the book you suggested, but upon brief research I see it was written by a naturopath and most of his other books have flashy titles - I'm very dubious about his credibility

offseid (author)2017-02-26

Excellent instructable! Well done!

ohoilett (author)2017-02-25

This is pretty cool.

CatalinRO (author)2017-02-23

Maybe a silicone tube garlic peeler can help on removing the skins from the kernels (search "silicone garlic peeler" on Google). Anyway, I'll give it a try to your nutella :)

LuigiG (author)CatalinRO2017-02-25

Ya I've seen those peelers and have thought about getting one for this purpose. Maybe someday

HollyHarken (author)2017-02-23

You got my vote. I use an easier (at least I think so) method of skinning hazelnuts that I learned from The Cake Bible book.

How
to skin Hazelnuts

½
cup of shelled hazelnuts 1
½ cups water

2
tablespoons baking soda

In
a large saucepan bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil. Add in 2 tablespoons baking soda. Boil the
nuts for 3 minutes. The water will turn
very purple black from the skins. Pull out a nut and test it under cold running
water to see if the skin slips off. I
find wearing nitrile gloves helps keep my hands from turning a funky color from
the skins. The skin should slip off with
ease. If not, then boil a few more
minutes. Pour the nuts into a colander and
run under cold water to rinse off the skins. This is where having the gloves on comes in
handy. Once all of the nuts are clean, place
them on a cookie sheet and toast them in an oven at 350°F for 20 minutes or
until they are lightly browned.Watch
carefully so that they don’t burn! I
usually give the pan a shake halfway through to make sure that everything is
browning nicely.

LuigiG (author)HollyHarken2017-02-25

Good tip, Ill try that out next time! Thanks

Sebafleb (author)2017-02-23

If you use a good quality blender then it will make butter straight from the nuts with no bits or oil. (at least it did with peanuts and almonds).

LuigiG (author)Sebafleb2017-02-25

Ya for sure. The Nutri-Bullet was a bad choice for this recipe.

joweeks (author)2017-02-23

this is also my favorite

joweeks (author)2017-02-23

woah i wanna make it

AndreaC295 (author)2017-02-23

Usually I make similar chocolate cream, with fresh Piemonte italian hazelnuts: very good. Next time I'll add vanill to improve the taste. Thanks a lot.

HLParker (author)2017-02-23

I love that unlike real Nutella, it is lactose free. I must make this! Thanks.

JoshuaGuess (author)2017-02-21

Super awesome tutorial, but I can't believe you didn't call it Not-ella instead! It would have been the perfect name! Anyways good luck in the contest; you got my vote ;)

LuigiG (author)JoshuaGuess2017-02-21

Damn, that's a much better name.

Thanks!

Amaries (author)2017-02-21

I am totally creasy in Nutelle have to try this and you get my vote!

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