FACT: For this recipe, you'll need at least a 7 cup food processor or high power blender.
This choco-hazelnut spread is Nutella-like (Nutella-ish?), only the first ingredient is hazelnuts, not sugar. In fact, you don't have to put in any sugar if you don't want to - that's the magic of making your own. (You have, no doubt, already discovered the magic of do-it-yourself, otherwise, you wouldn't be here.)
Okay, so store-bought Nutella (or even knock-off brands, like the one pictured above) are going to be ultra smooth, but just check out what kind of engineering goes into that dreamy-creaminess. Strike one: the first ingredient is sugar. Strike two: look at the amount of fat and sugars in just two tablespoons!? AND last but not least, Strike three: vegan it is definitely not.
Now check out the label for the recipe that follows here - and please note, I don't know if the amount per serving is exactly the same, but give or take a whole tablespoon, you can see it is a LOT better:
There are some slightly picky details in the process. As some of you may detect, Master Craftsperson/Baker I am not. I decided to show my finished product as-is because the most important parts to me are the healthiness and flavor. People make recipes how they want, anyway. Ever read the comments under pretty much any recipe on Allrecipes.com? "I loved these cookies! I just used a different flour, halved the sugar, omitted the egg, added raisins, omitted nuts, and baked it longer, but really, thanks for a great recipe!" Um, which one?
That being said, it is important to roast the hazelnuts adequately. This will allow you to 1) remove as much of the skins as possible, 2) process the nuts more easily while they are warm, and 3) smell the fantastic roasty deliciousness.
One other picky note: when you get to mixing, definitely process for eight minutes, no skimping. Really.
This is the hazelnuts after just three minutes of mixing. You'll want to get past this point to a very smooth, oily consistency. So keep on keepin' on...
Now you can see it's starting to get buttery. Nnngkh. This is after six minutes. I didn't go much past this, which is why mine turned out less smooth once I started adding ingredients. Go for eight minutes. Seriously.
Then you can add your enhancing flavors: maple syrup, vanilla, salt, and cacao or cocoa powder. If you want to boost the creamy dreaminess, consider using a melted vegan chocolate (about 1/4 cup, or to taste).
I already admitted this could be smoother. The taste is phenomenal. I ate mine on a banana-oat-blueberry pancake, and I feel kind of smug just thinking about it. The recipe:
VEGAN HAZELNUT CHOCOLATE SPREAD
1-1/2 c hazelnuts
1-1/2 tbsp cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp - 1 tblsp maple syrup (or sweetener of choice, or nothing)
dash(es) of salt, to taste
1) Roast hazelnuts in one layer on a baking sheet at 350 for at least 16-20 minutes. Let cool.
2) Rub hazelnuts between two paper towels to get the flaky skins off. Remove as much as possible, as this allows for a smoother buttery consistency.
3) Process in food processor or high speed blender for about 8 minutes, scraping down from the sides as needed.
4) Add cacao/chocolate, vanilla, maple syrup or sweetener of choice, and salt. Process till smooth.
Makes about one cup.
This page is for some of my original or favorite recipes that I have used to promote health and healing. I assume that most people know that eating vegetables is healthy, so I focus on healthy treats and alternatives to grain, gluten, sugar, and dairy.
Brownie Batter for Moi
2-Ingredient Buckwheat Bread
Gluten-free Pumpkin Bundt, Hempseed Brownies, and Orange-scented Date Bars
Cherry Nut Granola
Blueberry Coffee Cake
Fluffy Pancakes (GF & DF)