Have you ever wanted to make your own Nutella, that rich, creamy mixture of chocolate and hazelnuts? Now you can, with this recipe from “Nuts in the Kitchen” (William Morrow, $21.99), Susan Herrmann Loomis’ latest cookbook.
“I add 5 tablespoons of cocoa to the mixture, which gives it a very satisfying chocolate and hazelnut flavor — you may want to add a bit more or a bit less,” she writes. “I call for a neutral oil here, which gives it a lovely spreadable consistency. If you leave out the oil — which I do on occasion — the flavor is still the same, but it is a bit more solid and less easy to spread.
“Finally, don’t expect the completely smooth texture of commercial Nutella here. Think of this as the ‘crunchy’ version!”
You can also vary this recipe to your tastes. If you, like many, find the flavor of Nutella too sweet, cut back on the sugar and taste it, adjusting to your preferences. Or up the salt, to about 1/4 teaspoon, to bring out the flavor of the nuts and the cocoa powder.
Miniature jars of this would make excellent holiday gifts.
Heavenly Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
2 cups hazelnuts
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup good quality unsweetened dark cocoa powder, such as Valrhona or Scharffen Berger
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons canola oil or more if necessary (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the hazelnuts on a jelly-roll pan and toast them until you can smell them, about 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven and place them in a cotton towel. Scrub and roll them around in the towel to remove the skins.
When the hazelnuts are skinned (don’t be concerned if you cannot remove all the skin — just do the best you can), place the hazelnuts in a food processor and process until the nuts make a smooth paste, which will take some time, about 10 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder and process again until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Add the salt, process, and if the mixture is very dry, add the canola oil while the machine is running. Taste for seasoning. If the mixture is very warm, let it cool completely before transferring to a jar and sealing it. It will keep for about 1 month in a cool, dark spot.
Makes about 2 cups.
From “Nuts in the Kitchen” by Susan Herrmann Loomis