Notwithstanding Nutella’s irresponsible adverts of being a healthy breakfast for children I have to admit the stuff is pretty good and could quite happily have a spoonful on my morning oats. I have been playing with the idea of a homemade version which is not as sweet that I want to use in another dessert and this recipe is essentially a delicious chocolate and nut butter. The hazelnuts come through in taste and texture and you are able to manage the sweetness to your own taste.
You could also use a mix of milk and dark chocolate in the recipe. One drawback of the homemade version is that it does set to quite a solid paste. You could add more oil to the recipe but a few seconds in the microwave will bring it back to a spreadable consistency. Microwaving it a bit longer will make it quite runny and makes a delicious sauce for ice cream and a spoonful or two mixed in with custard is pretty good too.
The recipe yields about 400ml and makes a wonderful gift from your kitchen.
- 200g hazelnuts (not salted)
- 200g dark chocolate
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar (and more to taste)
- 1 tablespoon cocoa
- half a teaspoon vanilla extract
- half a teaspoon instant coffee powder
- salt to taste
- Heat the oven to 180 degrees C and spread the hazelnuts in a single layer onto a baking sheet and roast for 12 minutes until browned and the skins are blistered. Keep an eye on it to make sure it does not burn. Wrap the nuts tightly in an old dishcloth and rub hard between your hand to remove the skins. You won’t be able to get rid of all the skins but that does not matter. Let the hazelnuts cool completely.
- Set a metal bowl over a large saucepan of boiling water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Break the chocolate in small pieces, place in the bowl and slowly melt. Remove the melted chocolate from the heat.
- Please the hazelnuts in a food processor and process until a smooth paste – it will take at least 5 minutes. Add the oil, sugar, cocoa, coffee and vanilla and process until very smooth. Add the nut mixture to the melted chocolate and mix well.
- Taste the mixture and add salt and more icing sugar to taste. Also check the texture. If you want a smoother texture pass it through a sieve.
- Pour in a sterilized jar, store at room temperature and use within a week to 10 days. The mixture will be quite runny but will thicken as it cools down.