So much better than store-bought, this Chocolate Hazelnut Spread is not as sweet and has a fuller flavor because there’s no fillers to dilute the hazelnut and chocolate. Double this recipe to have the spread on hand for morning toasties and for indulgent recipes like my Chocolate Hazelnut Tart . A high-speed blender really helps things get silky smooth but if you don’t have one, a food processor will get you just as tasty results with a bit more texture.
I used to love Nutella. I’m sure I still would enjoy the flavor but as it contains dairy ingredients, it’s no longer on the menu. I’ve tried some store-bought dairy-free versions and they just aren’t the same. They had a lot of fillers and so the chocolate and hazelnut flavors were muted. Also, there was flax meal in the blends and it imparted a somewhat fishy flavor and no one in our home of not-picky eaters would eat it. So I headed to the kitchen and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to make your own homemade chocolate hazelnut spread!
The hazelnut and chocolate flavors really shine here, so use hazelnuts that are well within their best before date (they can go rancid with time) and that the chocolate you choose is one that you would eat on its own. At the end of blending, the spread will be quite runny because of the heat generated from friction during blending. Once the spread comes back down to room temperature, things will thicken up nicely. I have found that chilling the spread until it is firm, and then taking it out of the fridge and leaving it on the counter resulted in the best consistency and was the nicest for spreading. If you keep it in the fridge, it will be too firm to spread without tearing your bread.
I have tried doubling and even tripling this recipe. I have found that despite having a high-powered blender, doing one batch at a time yields the best results. The blender tends to overheat especially once the melted chocolate is added. When I tripled the recipe, the consistency was much thicker as the blender just couldn’t get things smooth and silky enough to yield and thinner product. It still tasted amazing, but I think in the future I would do one batch at a time which is less frustrating and likely takes as much time considering I had to keep stopping the blender to let it cool down when I had tripled things which is a lot of work for the motor.
Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
- 1 cup whole, raw hazelnuts
- 2 tbsp coconut oil (use refined if you want to avoid coconut undertones, otherwise it gives a nice flavor)
- 1/2 cup chopped vegan semi-sweet chocolate or chocolate chips (use chocolate you enjoy eating on it's own)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Toast your hazelnuts on a cookie sheet in the oven set at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes. You'll want to stay close by as nuts burn so easily. Give the tray a little shake every few minutes to help even toasting. Once the nuts begin to get fragrant and you notice they are browning, remove them from the oven. Let cool for a few minutes and then it's time to get the skins off. You can either:
• place them on one half of a tea towel, then fold the other side of the tea towel over and rub back and forth to remove the skins, or,• if you don't like having to pick hazelnut skins off a towel afterwards like me, take handfuls of nuts at a time between your hands and rub back and forth to let the skins fall down onto the cookie sheet, placing the skinned hazelnuts into the blender. Don't get too hung up on skins that are stubborn and won't come off.
- Place the toasted, skinned hazelnuts into a high-speed blender and, on a medium setting, process until a nut butter starts to form. In the meantime, place the coconut oil, chocolate and salt in a microwavable bowl. Heat in 20-30 second increments, stirring well after each increment to ensure even heating. Chocolate burns very easily and will become unusable once it seizes.
- Once the chocolate mixture is melted, pour it into the blender with the vanilla and process on high until the spread is smooth, about 7 minutes, scraping down occasionally. It will be quite runny at this point but will thicken once it comes back down to room temperature. I have found refrigerating it overnight and then taking it out and leaving it at room temperature for an hour gives the nicest results. From there I keep it at room temperature if using within a week. If you keep it in the fridge, it will be very firm and hard to spread.