Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t LOVE Nutella. However, it really has NO nutritional benefits whatsoever.

Created after World War II to deal with the shortage of cacao, it is a sweet paste consisting more of sugar and palm oil than cacao and hazelnuts. This version is actually more true to what the makers of Nutella advertise their product to be: hazelnut butter with cacao.

I experimented for a long time trying to get the texture and taste right using raw cacao powder, but it was only when I “gave up” and decided to “sacrifice” some of my raw chocolate that I was pleased with the result. This spread is smooth and spreadable from the pantry cupboard.

Try gently warming it to use for chocolate fondue with berries for a delicious guilt-free snack or dessert.

Ingredients:

1 pound raw hazelnuts

150g raw dark (85%-90% cacao) chocolate, chopped

25g coconut or maple sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp fine Himalayan sea salt, or to taste

Method: Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. 

Spread the hazelnuts on the sheet pan and roast for 13-14 minutes, watching closely, until the nuts are very lightly toasted - the skins will darken and some will begin to look like dried paper and come loose. Remove from oven and set aside, on the pan, to cool.

While hazelnuts are cooling, place sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Process the sugar until until it becomes powdery - like confectioner’s/icing sugar. Pour the powdered sugar out into a small bowl and side aside.

Place chopped chocolate in a glass bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until nearly melted. Remove from heat and continue to stir the chocolate until all of it has melted. Set aside. Be VERY careful to NOT let the chocolate bubble. It will no longer be “raw” and will lose many of it’s health benefits!!

Place the cooled hazelnuts into the centre of an old tea towel. Fold the towel over the hazelnuts and rub them for a couple minutes to loosen the skins. Pick out the “naked” nuts and place them into food processor. Repeat towel rubbing for the rest. It’s ok if ALL of the skins don’t come off.

Process the hazelnuts for 9-10 minutes, until they become a very runny butter, stopping to scrape down the bowl every 2-3 minutes or so. Add in the remaining ingredients, including the melted chocolate and powdered sugar, and process until smooth.

Scrape the hazelnut spread into a glass jar and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator if you think it will last more than 2 weeks (ya, good luck with that!).