Who doesn’t like Nutella? It is the world’s favorite and best-known chocolate-hazelnut spread, and besides finding its way to our hearts – and stomachs – it made is to chocolate bars, ice creams and even cocktails, on top of becoming a very prominent element in home-baking recipes. But the current hyper inflation in Lebanon has made Nutella, among many other commodities, so expensive, that most of us can’t afford it anymore. And for those of us who see Nutella as a lifestyle choice, not just a food item, our lives feel seriously disrupted. So, it is time we learned how to make our own, budget-friendly, spread, right here, at home.
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- 340g milk chocolate, chopped
- 2 tbsp mild vegetable oil, such as canola
- 3 tbsp confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar)
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 tsp salt (more or less, depending upon your preference)
- Preheat the oven to 175°C.
- Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for about 12 min. They should have slightly browned, and the skins should have blistered a little.
- Wrap them in a kitchen towel and rub vigorously to remove as much loose skin as possible. Let cool completely.
- Melt the chocolate in a saucepan over gently simmering water (bain-marie), or in the microwave. Stir until smooth. Let cool completely.
- In a food processor, grind the hazelnuts until they form a paste. Add the oil, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and salt, and continue processing until the mixture is as smooth as possible.
- Add the melted chocolate, blend well again and strain the mixture to remove any chunks of hazelnut. The resulting homemade spread will be somewhat runny and a little warm, but it will thicken as it cools.
- Scrape your spread into a glass jar and let it cool at room temperature, uncovered. Cover to store (up to 2 weeks).