Old Friends, New Tricks
Best thing about going home = catching up with old friends.
Or as we would like to call it Ferrero Rocher SPREAD.
Homemade. Oh yes.
The original recipe calls for whole, raw hazlenuts. We only had pre-chopped, so we skipped the cooking/peeling of the hazlenut skins. First step is to manually chop whatever nuts you have as fine as you can.
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 original recipe says that the heat and friction will extract the natural oils, and you will get hazelnut butter, but ours never quite got to that consistency. Don’t worry, it still works!
Slowly drizzle in enough oil to make a spreadable consistency. We found the amount the recipe called for didn’t do much, but the thought of more oil kind of scared us/grossed us out so we just added about 1/4 cup of water.
That seemed to do the trick. It’s a lot thicker and grainier than commercial nutella, mainly because we don’t have nearly as much added oil, and our nuts are not as finely liquified. It’s a bit like crunchy peanut butter. Mm.
All in all, a pretty successful adventure. Definitely not like the nutella we all know and love. The flavor is much more subtle and the texture much more au natural. It makes it much more of a reduced guilt treat, perfect morning noon or night. We even thought it would make an interesting cake/cupcake topping for those (like us) who aren’t really into the over-the-top sugariness of traditional frostings.
It took us maybe 15 minutes to make, so if you’re feeling a bit bored during these lazy holiday days, go whip some up to eat WHILE watching all of those holiday movies. You won’t regret it.
Homemade Nutella, recipe adapted from Su Good Sweets (http://www.sugoodsweets.com/blog/2005/12/nutella/)
2 cups whole raw hazelnuts
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
up to 1/4 cup vegetable or nut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
(We skipped steps 1 and 2. You can too if using pre-chopped nuts)
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.