Thursday is world Nutella Day – appropriately themed recipe coming soon – but before I dug out the classic white, black and red jar I wanted to have a go at making my own, less sugar laden version. It wasn’t until I looked at the ingredients out of curiosity that it really registered that sugar is the main constituent of Nutella, not as the advert will have you believe just “hazelnuts, cocoa and skimmed milk”.
I am all for sugar in the right places, but sometimes were possible I like to limit my intake of the sweet stuff – which I may have mentioned once or twice before and am probably sounding like a broken record right about now.
I have seen many recipes for homemade ‘Nutella’ on the internet and even without a Vitamix – probably the only blender / food processor that will give you the same silky smooth texture as traditional Nutella – I set forth with hazelnuts, cocoa powder, dates, maple syrup and a little water. Plus a stick blender. And a plastic jug. And some patience.
Roasting the hazelnuts first brings out the flavour and means that this is very definitely a hazelnut and chocolate spread, rather than the other way around. Nut is the predominant flavour here. It is also the predominant texture.
Not that there is anything wrong with that, it’s just that this spread isn’t going to melt into your morning porridge in the same way.
But neither will it give your blood sugar a massive spiky surge. So there is that.
I am going to keep this brief because I am struggling somewhat today with a snot filled head which is giving me watery eyes, a constant tickle in my nose and the rather unfortunate inability to breath all that well – honestly by the time I had walked up the stairs to bed last night I needed two minutes of heavy breathing in order to get my breath back. So there could be the propensity for rambling waffle-ness and much mumbling that won’t make any sense.
Things didn’t go all that well on the photo styling front either. Whilst trying to get the tub of cocoa powder out from the back of the cupboard I picked it up by the lid, and, well, yes, you can imagine what happened. The lid came off and cocoa powder went everywhere. Fortunately it didn’t have that far to fall, but it still made an almighty mess. You know when you just crouch there staring at what has happened for a couple of minutes, while you consider your options? Yeah, that.
My options were 1) get the photos taken so that I could stop thinking and curl back up under the blanket as quickly as possible, clearing it up afterwards, or 2) take 2 minutes to clear it up straight away and then get on with everything. I seriously considered leaving it. But then I realised that if I did a cat would only come and try to lick it, so I diligently got the anti-bac spray and a mound of kitchen roll and tidied it up. But not before it looked like I was making mud pies on the slate tiles.
I am now wearing a blanket wherever possible. Super stylish. Oh yeah.
Homemade Hazelnut & Chocolate Spread
- 1 cup whole hazelnuts
- 3 medjool dates
- 1 1/2 – 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 30ml pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup warm water
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 Celsius / 160 fan / 350 Fahrenheit. Spread the hazelnuts onto a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. Leave to cool completely.
- While the hazelnuts are cooling, remove the stones from the dates and place in a small bowl. Cover with hot water and leave to soak for a minimum of 10 minutes.
- Once the hazelnuts are cold, blitz in a food processor until they have broken down as much as possible.
- Add the cocoa powder and maple syrup and blitz to combine.
- Remove the dates from the soaking water and add one at a time, blitzing well in-between each addition.
- Finally add the water gradually, blitzing as you go, until you get the desired consistency. You may not need all of the water or you may need a little more.
- Transfer into an air-tight container and store in the fridge.
© The Pink Rose Bakery 2015