Oh man, I am excited about this one!
Whilst perusing my new farmer’s market last weekend I spotted some locally grown hazelnuts. I somehow talked myself out of getting them with thoughts like “you have a freezer filled with nuts” and “you’re on a budget.” But a week later I woke up and begged John to drive me back to the market so I could get some. I just couldn’t stop thinking about them! And when I am thinking about hazelnuts, I am thinking about nutella, that sweet chocolate hazelnut spread that dreams are made of. I personally think of nutella as culinary crack, but I never buy it because of all the yucky stuff and puffed up oils inside of it. BUT WHAT IF I COULD MAKE MY OWN?!?! And what better way to try than with some locally grown heirloom hazelnuts?
So, first I roasted the hazelnuts, until I could smell them.
Then I unsuccessfully attempted to rub their skins off. Either I am not very good at this, or this particular variety is very attached to it’s skin. I gave up and tossed them in the food processor. I blended them for a good 5 minutes, until I had a smooth and liquid butter.
Then I mixed in cocoa powder, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla. I blended that for 15 seconds and then drizzled in the canola oil. And there it was. Beautiful nutella.
Except it was a tad grainy, since I am not a commercial nut factory. So I strained it, which took some muscle (this stuff is THICK) and I had to call in the reserves.
And then we ate it. On some banana bread that I just HAPPENED to have lying around. And it was delicious. Like a nuttier, more intense version of nutella. A grown up version, if you will. I smell christmas presents…
In case anyone’s curious about the actual nuts, I used Duchilly Hazelnuts from Holmquist Hazelnut Orchard. As someone who grew up munching on local pecans, I am a BIG fan of locally sourced tree nuts. So I’m very excited to have found a yummy hazelnut farm, I suspect there will be lots of hazelnut desserts in the near future!
2 cups hazelnuts
6 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup canola oil
– Roast hazelnuts in 375 degree oven for 10 minutes.
– Put roasted hazelnuts in food processor and puree for 5 minutes, until very smooth.
– Add cocoa powder, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla. Puree for 15 seconds and then stream in canola oil.
– Strain and spoon into jars.
– If you plan on having it around for more than a few days, store it in the refrigerator. Because it thickens when cold, you will need to bring it to room temperature before using.