Thursday, December 20

Homemade Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread

As I get older and my social circle continues to expand, I feel like I have more and more people to get gifts for over the holidays. I love spending time shopping for things that I think my family and close friends will really enjoy, but for others it's just nice to give them a little something. Homemade gifts are a great option for the latter, since they are relatively inexpensive and a sweet way to let people know that you're thinking of them. My go-to gift around Christmas is this peppermint bark, but I changed it up this year with homemade nutella. It's super quick and easy to make, and one batch can make four to eight gifts. I had to save a little for myself, which tasted great on a warm croissant.

Homemade Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread:
  • Place 10 oz. of hazelnuts* on a baking sheet and roast in a 350F oven for 5-10 minutes, or until lightly toasted.**
  • Let nuts cool, then place in a food processor and puree on high speed until a smooth paste forms, about 1-3 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, place a heat-proof bowl over a simmering pot of water and add in 1 lb. high-quality bittersweet chocolate.***
  • Stir chocolate until melted, then turn off the heat and stir in 1 stick of room-temperature butter.
  • Once butter melts, stir in 1 c. heavy cream and 3/4 tsp. salt.
  • Whisk in the hazelnut paste until smooth, then transfer into jars.
  • Nutella will get thicker as it cools.

Makes 4 cups
*Preferably without skins. If nuts have skins, rub them off before transferring to the food processor.
**Be careful, nuts can burn very easily.
**I used Scharffen Berger.