I love Nutella®, but it has refined sugar, a no-no for me. So I searched both books and online sources for a homemade version of chocolate hazelnut spread. None suited me, but one came close: Skinny Ms. “Skinny Nutella Spread – The Healthier Version.”I experimented with that recipe but soon went my own way.
This is my version of Hazelnut Chocolate Spread. My recipe uses the Vitamix. If you don’t have a Vitamix, you will need both a blender and a food processor. Read all the directions before you try making it. It looks complicated, but it really isn’t. Complicated recipes don’t qualify as “Hasty Tasty” meals. ;-)
½ cup Hershey’s Cocoa Powder (I used Special Dark because I prefer bittersweet chocolate)
¼ cup raw honey (select a light, mild tasting honey)
1 packet pure Stevia extract
¾ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or any milk will work)
¼ tsp. Kosher or other pure salt
*Spread hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet (Hint: I roast one pound then freeze half for later) and place in a preheated 375°F oven for 15 minutes.
While hazelnuts roast, combine cocoa, honey, almond milk, salt, and stevia in the container of the Vitamix (or your blender). Blend until thoroughly mixed. Pour cocoa mixture into a microwave safe bowl or pitcher and cover with a wet paper towel.
Microwave the cocoa mixture in one minute increments, stirring after each minute, until mixture is hot (This takes about two minutes in a 1000 watt oven).
*Remove roasted hazelnuts from the oven and allow to cool. Place them on a clean kitchen towel, fold it over onto the hazelnuts, and rub to remove the skins. They should slip off easily.
Take one cup of the cooled hazelnuts and place in the container of your Vitamix (or food processor). Turn it on Variable Speed 1, gradually increasing to 10 then High Speed. Process for thirty seconds to one minute or until the nuts become butter (You may need to stop once and use a spatula to scrape the nut mixture from the sides). Note: This step takes about 5 minutes in a food processor.
Carefully pour the heated cocoa mixture into the Vitamix container with the hazelnut butter. Process on Variable Speed 5 for about five seconds or until well blended.
Pour into glass jars
To be on the safe side, store your spread in the refrigerator. My recipe contains no additives to make it shelf-stable.Once you make this, you can add your own touches. If it’s not sweet enough, try adding additional stevia extract or sweeteners of your choice.
One final word: Don’t make hazelnut chocolate spread to save money. Homemade is better, but quality ingredients carry a higher price tag. I ordered organic hazelnuts and shopped for local honey. I doubt I saved a penny over Nutella® from the supermarket, but I love having total control over my ingredients.Enjoy!