Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread

Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread

Makes 1 1/2 cups

2 cups (8 ounces) hazelnuts
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons hazelnut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Place hazelnuts in single layer on rimmed baking sheet and roast until fragrant and dark brown, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through roasting. Transfer hazelnuts to medium bowl. When hazelnuts are cool enough to handle, place second medium bowl on top and shake vigorously to remove skins.

  2. Process peeled hazelnuts in food processor until their oil is released and they form a smooth, loose paste, about 5 minutes, scraping down bowl often.

  3. Add sugar, cocoa powder, oil, vanilla, and salt and process until fully incorporated and mixture begins to loosen slightly and becomes glossy, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed.

  4. Transfer spread to jar with tight-fitting lid. Chocolate-hazelnut spread can be stored at room temperature or refrigerated for up to 1 month.

Shake things up: Toasting the hazelnuts deepens their flavor. But keep a close eye on them—they can go from a pleasant caramel color to burned black in just a few minutes. To skin them, nothing gets the job done like making a maraca with them—shaking the nuts vigorously between two mixing bowls until their peels can’t hold on any longer. I usually shake the bowls for a few seconds, transfer the nuts that have lost their skins to the food processor, then re-cover the bowl and shake some more. This can seem a bit tedious, but the skins will give your spread a bitter edge.

Smooth operator: Processing the hazelnuts is my favorite part because you get to just sit back and watch your food processor work its magic. Plus, it gives my spread a great natural nut butter texture you won’t get from store-bought versions. You’ll go through a range of emotions: After the first minute or two, you’ll feel doubtful that the nuts will ever get smooth. Then the processor’s blade starts to draw out the nuts’ oil, and you’ll feel more positive (and guilty for ever doubting the recipe). And finally, you’ll see the smooth, loose paste you’ve been waiting for, and you’ll feel relieved (and hungry).

Spread the love: Once you’ve added the cocoa powder (it doesn’t matter if it’s Dutch-processed or not), sugar, vanilla, salt, and oil, and processed the whole lot, it will start to look like a glossy, smooth, chocolate cookie dough. I prefer using hazelnut oil for obvious reasons, but you could substitute walnut or even vegetable oil if you really wanted to. The hazelnut oil works wonders at loosening the entire mixture and bringing it into spreadable territory. Slather the spread on a piece of bread, dip pretzels in it, or just grab a big old spoonful. Share it and you’ll make instant friends.

HAZELNUT OIL

Hazelnut oil, available in high-end grocery stores and gourmet shops, is best refrigerated once opened since it (and any nut oil) can go rancid more quickly than other cooking oils.

Source: America’s Test Kitchen D.I.Y. Cookbook

I haven’t made this homemade one yet, but I bought a jar of Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread from the supermarket. Just try it on a graham cracker. Really good.