Nutella is yummy, chocolate hazelnut spreads with better ingredients are yummier, and homemade chocolate hazelnutty goodness is the best (for your control over the ingredients and over your wallet). I had asked Mr. Google how to make homemade nutella and most people use a food processor. I have a dry food blender and for my purposes, that is all I need. I find the "crunchier" spread that much more appealing. What seemed like a deficiency led to a wonderful discovery, and then running out of vegetable oil made for an even more texturelicious creation: chocolate hazelnut crumbles, which are an amazing dessert addition to yoghurt and granola, or anything you might otherwise put crumbly bits in.
1 cup hazelnuts
12 ounces milk chocolate chips (from baking area of grocery store)
2 tablespoons mild vegetable oil, such as canola
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt, more or less depending upon your preference
optional: 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar or 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
Preheat your oven to 350°F or 176°C. Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for about 12 minutes, until they’ve browned a little and the skins are blistering. Wrap them in a kitchen towel, place in a ziplock or just use your hands directly and rub vigorously to remove as much loose skin as possible. (Some skin will cling to the nuts when you’re done and that is fine) Let cool.
In a food processor, grind the hazelnuts until they form a paste. If you have a dry food blade in your blender, blend your hazelnuts as finely as possible. Otherwise, chop away and look forward to a chunky spread!
Melt the chocolate with some oil in a saucepan over low heat and add the nuts. If using a food processor, add the chocolate to the nuts in the food processor instead.
Add the oil, cocoa powder, vanilla, salt (and if you want the sweetener) and continue processing/stirring until the mixture is as smooth as you want it. The resulting concoction will be thin and somewhat runny but it will thicken as it cools.
My favourite is the creamy spread on a fresh crepe. For a basic crepe recipe Click Here
What I discovered is that this nutty texture was so good I wanted more. So I decided to make the whole mixture even more crunchy by adding significantly less oil - in fact only enough to keep the melted chocolate from adhering to the pot and just throwing everything into the pot together including the roughly chopped/blender cut nuts.
This crumble is especially good combined with hulled whole buckwheat (raw), rolled oats or any mixture of granola and dried fruit combined in plain yoghurt.
The nutella or crumbles need not to be refrigerated. Enjoy!
Illustrations by Rosie Kosinski