Serves: Makes 490ml
As I have taken to making nut butters in my new smoothie blender (a cheap as chips model from Aldi) it occurred to me that with a bit of chocolate thrown into the mix, I could make a pretty good homemade choc-hazelnut paste or gianduja as it is called in the more poetic Italian. When I told my sister I had made a chocolate hazelnut spread she said “But nothing beats Nutella”. I begged to differ: this spread is absolute heaven and although it won’t win a health food of the year award it is so much more wholesome and tastier than any commercially made spreads. No hidden nasties. A little word of advice- it really is best to make this in one of those Nutri Bullet/smoothie blender gadgets. You can do it in a food processor but it takes forever and the motor might just burn out before the nuts have been liquidised. I have suggested 2 versions- a milk chocolate spread which will probably appeal to the Nutella lovers (i.e. children and my sister) and a darker version using predominantly 70% plain chocolate. Finally, if you want to buy skinless nuts then skip the bit about rubbing off the skins -although you will still need to toast them.
- 325g hazelnuts
- 200g milk chocolate (40% cocoa solids preferably-Tesco do a good one in the baking section), broken into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon unflavoured oil e.g. sunflower or rapeseed oil
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- Heat the oven to 200˚c, fan oven 180˚c, mark 6. Place the hazelnuts in a roasting tin and roast for about 10-15 minutes or until they smell toasted and, when you rub off a bit of the skin, the nut is a golden caramel colour underneath. Leave to cool then rub off the skins. Don’t worry if some of them are a bit stubborn to remove – you can still use the nuts.
- Place the nuts in the bowl of a powerful blender (see intro) and start the motor. Blend for about 30 seconds then unscrew the lid and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue to blend until the nuts form a smooth and liquid purée. Set aside.
- Place the chocolate in a microwaveable bowl and microwave on full power for 1-2 minutes until melted. Leave until the chocolate is at blood temperature then pour into the nut purée along with the oil and cocoa powder. Blend until thoroughly mixed. Pour into a sterilised jar, seal and refrigerate for about 2 hours until the spread has thickened up.
- Variation for dark chocolate and hazelnut spread: 325g hazelnuts, 150g plain chocolate (70% cocoa solids), 50g milk chocolate, 1 tablespoon unflavoured oil e.g. sunflower or rapeseed oil. Follow the steps above, omitting the cocoa powder.