I have been on a rather long break. We spent the first half of last month on a trip to the UK. It was part vacation and partly to attend our daughter’s graduation at Oxford. Once we got back the rest of the month went in a couple of short trips. I haven’t been cooking much either. It’s funny how a break can make it difficult to get back to routine. It’s time I stopped neglecting this blog, though. Let me start with my recipe for a Hazelnut Chocolate Spread that is not Nutella.
I discovered Nutella when it first came to India a while back. It’s not an understatement to say that the combination of chocolate and hazelnuts can be addicting. I went off Nutella when there was a controversy about it not being vegetarian friendly. There was a suggestion that the whey in it was sourced from rennet of animal origin.
That didn’t mean that I didn’t crave it occasionally. At some point I decided to do something about it. Like other things before, I decided to make some at home. I call what I make Hazelnut Chocolate Spread and not Nutella though. For one thing, it’s a copyright issue to do so. Also, I believe my Hazelnut Chocolate Spread is better than Nutella!
Making it at home means I know and can control exactly what goes into it. My version uses darker chocolate, has less added fat and is a lot less sweet which is how we like it. It also has a lot more hazelnuts in it.
My Hazelnut Chocolate Spread needs just 5 ingredients and a blender. There is no set recipe and the proportion of hazelnuts to chocolate is a personal preference. I like to use a little more of the hazelnuts. As far as the kind of chocolate you use, it depends entirely on your taste. You can use just semi-sweet dark chocolate, only milk chocolate or a mix of both. I like using a mix of both as that appeals to all of us. My husband doesn’t really like dark chocolate very much. The coconut oil gives the spread a lovely smoothness and a little goes a long way.
You can use a food processor to make the spread. I prefer to use my mixer/ blender as it gives me a smoother spread. If your processor or blender doesn’t have a strong enough motor, you might have a slightly gritty spread. The hazelnuts have to be powdered as fine as possible. This spread is of spreadable texture at room temperature but will solidify a bit in the fridge.