The Perfect Gift—Homemade Nutella

Nutella, Pittsburgh, Where to Buy Nutella, Nutella RecipesBy Nicky D Cooks

It is that time of year again, the holiday season is upon us. Gift giving has started and the inevitable question arises of what is the best gift to give someone. Some may say expensive gifts like diamonds, cars or luxury spa days will do the trick.

I say bah humbug to that! Give them a gift from your kitchen. A handmade food gift is always welcomed and appreciated in my book.

One of my favorite homemade gifts to give is the delicious hazelnut chocolate spread known as Nutella. This chocolatey treat can be eaten with a near limitless number of foods. Nutella fanatics have even found ways to get their favorite spread incorporated into baked goods.

The flavor of chocolate and hazelnuts is distinctive and oh so tasty.

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Making a homemade version of this is fairly simple. It requires melting chocolate double in a double boiler and grinding the nuts in a food processor. The taste of freshly made chocolate hazelnut spread is like no other, trust me when I tell you your taste buds will thank you.

A single recipe will yield about 3 small mason jars, a simple project that will take just less than an hour.

Start by roasting the hazelnuts, this can be done in a dry skillet on the stove top or in the oven.  Once the nuts start to become fragrant you know that they are almost done. The skins of the nuts will darken slightly, this is when you will remove them from the heat source. Be careful not to scorch your nuts, the flavor will be ruined if this happens.

I like to use my cast iron skillet to roast the hazelnuts.

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Set the nuts aside to cool. In the roasting process the skins have blistered and split. Once they are cool enough to handle, remove them. Do this by rubbing them in between dish towels.

Hazelnuts, Homemade Nutella Recipe

Put the nuts in a food processor and pulse until the nuts are completely broken down.

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This is the half way process to breaking down, but still not done yet!

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This is the desired consistency, almost a liquid state. This will take several minutes to do. While this is happening, start preparing the chocolate.

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Heat the chocolate in a metal bowl over a pan of water on low or according to directions to the double boiler. I add a pinch of Sea Salt hear for a little kick of flavor. Stir until melted and then add the can of sweetened condensed milk.

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Add the chocolate mixture to the nut mixture in the food processor and pulse until smooth while streaming in the hot milk.

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This is what the end result should look like, smooth and creamy. Remember it will thicken as it sets in the refrigerator. Now it is ready to be spooned into jars and given as gifts.

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This is what the end result should look like, smooth and creamy. Remember it will thicken as it sets in the refrigerator. Now it is ready to be spooned into jars and given as gifts.

Eat well and enjoy,

Ciao

Homemade Nutella by Nicky D Cooks

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Hazelnuts
  • 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 10 oz Dark Chocolate 
  • 1/2 cup hot Milk

Directions:

Roast the hazelnuts; either in an oven @350 degrees for about 7-10 minutes or on the stove top in a skillet. When the nuts are fragrant and the skins have darkened – put them on a tray to cool. Remove the skins. Place the nuts in a food processor and pulse down until blended and broken down.

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate. Add the condensed milk and beat it until smooth. Add the chocolate mixture to the food processor and blend until smooth. Slowly add a little milk at a time until you get desired consistency.

Adapted from Eccentric Cook.

Originally from Rhode Island, Nicky D Cooks is a writer for Ciao Pittsburgh who currently resides in Peters Township. You can find more of her recipes here.

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