Sunday, February 05, 2023

Homemade Vegan Nutella

I have to self-control. I made Nutella again. Well, to be fair, it’s not Nutella-brand, it’s chocolate spread with hazelnuts, but since today is World Nutella Day, I’m sharing it. I tried two recipes this time and have a clear winner! It’s Minimalist Baker’s Nutella! The other one was from The Kitchn, and while I was drawn to it because of the inclusion of coconut milk, the final consistency was less than ideal, and it yielded too much. 

The original notes of the recipe say that if you don’t want to use melted chocolate, you can substitute 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. The yield of this recipe is roughly 2 ½ cups, which translates to 2 Bonne-Maman-sized jars. I kept one in the fridge until I had finished the one on the countertop. 

3 cups raw or roasted unsalted hazelnuts 
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 
½ tsp. sea salt 
2/3 cup dairy-free dark chocolate, chopped 
2 tablespoons (or more) of maple syrup or agave nectar 

Preheat oven to 350 °F and add hazelnuts to a baking sheet in a single layer. If raw, roast for a total of 12-15 minutes. If already roasted, roast for 8-10 minutes just to warm the natural oils and loosen the skins. This will make it easier to blend into butter. 

Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Then transfer to a large kitchen towel and use your hands to roll the nuts around and remove most of the skins. You want to get as much as possible off because it yields a creamier Nutella. But it doesn’t have to be perfect! 

Leaving excess skin behind, add hazelnuts to a food processor or high-speed blender (a high-speed blender like a Vitamix yields best results). Blend on low until a butter is formed – about 8-10 minutes total – scraping down sides as needed. 

In the meantime, heat the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave in 30 second increments. Set aside. 

Once the hazelnut butter is creamy and smooth, add the vanilla and salt and blend well. Then add melted chocolate a little at a time and blend again until well incorporated. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt or vanilla if desired. 

If your Nutella isn’t sweet enough, add stevia to taste, or 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup or agave. Just know the more liquid sweetener you add the firmer/stiffer the Nutella will get, so add sparingly. 

Transfer to a clean jar and store at room temperature for everyday use for 2-3 weeks.

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