As you’ve seen from previous posts, I’m a bit of a nut for hazelnuts. So naturally a nice treat for really anything from crepes to bread is Nutella, that chocolately smooth hazelnut wonder spread. But if you are like me, you ration this like non-other because of all the sugar and calories. Well here is a super easy recipe that you can fluctuate to meet your specific liking. Hope you enjoy!
Before I begin I should note the opportunities to customize this recipe to your liking. First the amount of sugar, this is largely based on a sweeter spread and counting on bittersweet chocolate. I cut the sugar down considerably and used my favorite milk chocolate chips. If you enjoy dark chocolate or a slightly less sweat variation, you may want to use sugar to balance it out – but as I mentioned using all or none is really up to taste and won’t impact the final result.
The other variable that is the kind of chocolate used. As mentioned above this will have some bearing on how much sugar you choose to use, but follow your instinct here. If you enjoy a bar of dark chocolate, chances are you’ll do just fine with dark chocolate chips and omitting the sugar. Likewise if you use milk chocolate chips, there is likely enough sugar there to make the spread sweet enough.
The final variable is the heavy cream – I used the full cup and the spread was delicious but a little runny at first, but after a few hours in the fridge it firmed up to the consistency we’re familiar with. Use a little more to thin the spread and use a little less if you prefer a thicker spread.
2 cups (heaping) hazelnuts, preferably skinned (about 10 ounces)
1/4 cup sugar
1 pound chocolate chips
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces and keep at room temperature)
1 cup Heavy Cream
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
If you are feeling a little adventurous you can also use 1/4 teaspoon of Crumble Spice. As the other half’s mom always says “Crumble Spice makes everything better”. So naturally I added some in and it was just the thing to life the recipe to a new level of goodness.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spread out your hazelnuts (I used the already chopped in a bag) on a sheet pan and roast for about 13-15 minutes (until the nuts just begin to brown). Give it a little shake half-way through to ensure even roasting. Remove and let cool completely before moving to the next step.
Place the cooled hazelnuts and desired sugar in a food processor and run on the process setting until the mixture turns to a peanut butter consistency (P.S. – if you ever want to splurge on this spend nut, this step is how you would make hazelnut butter at home from scratch). You may need to scrape the sides once or twice to help with the processing.
Next, prepare a double boiler to bring everything together. The glass bowl should be large enough to sit on top of the sauce pan without touching the simmering water below. Add about an inch of water to the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Place the glass bowl over the water and add the chocolate chips. Stir until the chips are melted and then add the butter and salt.
Once the butter and chocolate is fully melted add the heavy cream a little bit at a time mixing thoroughly. Once the heavy cream is mixed in, add the hazelnut paste from above and if you choose, the Crumble Spice. Mix all ingredients together well and remove the bowl from the simmer water pan.
This recipe will make about 4, 8oz. jars to keep for a couple weeks or give to friends to enjoy.
Happy Spreads! Now back to my crumpets and chocolate hazelnut spread.