Introduction: Homemade Quality Nutella

About: Inspired by my cat Chili, who is full of fun and energy, I like to share about food and other home crafts with a new twist of 'chili'-fun. (This user was previously called Snowball10)

I have seen commercials claiming that nutella is a nutritious breakfast made from quality ingredients that give children a good start on the day and lots of energy. They really make me laugh out loud! The nutella should be served on whole grain toast, the commercial says, as if that can make up for the fact that nutella has sugar as the first ingredient and palm oil as the second!

Due to the fact that nutella is expensive, very sweet, lacking in hazelnuts, and not vegan, I have started making my own nutella -- or TRUE hazelnuts spread, as you might call it, as it is actually based on hazelnuts. It is still not HEALTHY as such, but it

- does not have sugar as the main ingredient
- contains about 33% hazelnuts instead of only 13%
- contains no vegetable oil but instead cocoa butter from REAL chocolate
- can be made vegan and even soy free

And you just need three simple quality ingredients (plus some optional extras): hazelnuts, chocolate and cream!

The flavor of this spread is deep dark chocolate supported by the hazelnuts' characteristic nutella flavor. The texture is a tad less creamy than true nutella, as this spread is not based on vegetable oil, but you can add some optional coconut oil to make for a softer, smoother texture.

Step 1: Ingredients

Ingredients (makes 600-700 g. chocolate spread):
200 g. hazelnuts
200 g. dark chocolate
2 dl. cream of choice (I use soy cream, you may also use dairy free milk such as almond, or cashew cream)
Recommended: 1 pinch himalaya salt
Recommended: 1 Tbsp. vanilla sugar, 1-3 tsp. vanilla bean powder, or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Optional: about 1 dl. powdered sugar
Optional: 80 g. refined (flavorless) coconut oil

Step 2: Toast Hazelnuts

The first step in making this hazenut spread is toasting the nuts, as that brings out the flavor and makes them easier to blend out into a smooth paste later on. You want to toast the nuts really good (so the skin looks almost burnt, but not the flesh itself), as that gives the most pronounced nutella flavor.

Spread 200 g. hazelnuts in a single layer in an oven-safe dish. Toast them at 200 degrees C for about 20 minutes. The flesh should be golden and the skin very dark.

Step 3: Melt Chocolate and Cream

Place 200 g. dark chocolate and 2 dl. cream of choice in a heat-proof bowl, and place the bowl in a pot with nearly-boiling water until the chocolate has melted. Alternatively, you may use a baine marie for melting the chocolate. When the chocolate has melted, stir the cream and chocolate together until emulsified and thick to make a ganache.

Notes on chocolate:
For the chocolate, I used a milk-free 50% dark chocolate. You may use an even darker chocolate like 70% for a healthier, less sweet, and more chocolatey spread, or you can try milk chocolate (optionally vegan) for a milder spread.

Notes on cream:
For the cream, I used store-bought soy cream, but you can also use ordinary dairy cream. Other vegan options are dairy free milk, like almond, soy, etc. (less creamy than cream), cashew cream (one part raw cashews and two parts water blended until creamy), and coconut milk (adds coconut flavor).

Step 4: Blend Hazelnuts

When the hazelnuts are toasted, spread them on a clean towel and let them cool until handleable. Rub off the skins as much as possible (it is okay if bits are left).

While the nuts are still hot, blend them to a smooth paste in a food processor. They will first become powder and may need to be scraped down the sides a few times until they start becoming buttery. Continue blending until the paste is completely smooth and liquidy for the most creamy spread. This may take anywhere from 2-15 minutes, depending on the strength of the machine.

Step 5: Mix Spread

To finish making the spread, add the melted chocolate ganache to the hazelnut paste and blend until smooth. You may enhance the flavor with a pinch of salt and some vanilla.

And now to the optional add-ins to suit your preferences: Add some coconut oil to make the spread softer, creamier and milder flavoured. Add some powdered sugar to sweeten if desired.

Step 6: Enjoy!

And you are done! Spoon you quality "nutella" into a glass jar and enjoy on a slice of freshly baked bread, toast, or on a sweet cracker/english biscuit for a snack. Or eat it by the spoonful, if that is what your heart wants!

When made vegan (with soy cream), this spread has kept fresh for me at least a week in the cupboard (if we didn't eat it before!). But for ekstra safety and longer shelf life (and especially if made with dairy cream or if your house is very warm), it should be kept in the fridge, even though it becomes firmer and less spreadable when cold.

If hope you enjoyed this instructable and will try making your own nutella sometime! Please consider voting for me in the snacks contest and breakfast challenge! Thanks!

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