Sunday, March 6, 2011

Homemade Nutella - Hazelnuts Chocolate Spread

Tuesday is Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday). In France this is the day when children dress up in school, have a little parade and then eat crêpes. Since our children go to a French International school, they get to celebreate both Halloween and Mardi Gras. However, they won't dress up in their Halloween-like costumes on Tuesday. Instead, they (at least in the pre-school) have created funny hats and maracas to have a little parade within the school. The other major difference is that parents are not invited on Tuesday!! The only thing we are asked to do is to bring crêpes or/and filling for the crêpes. 
My husband and I will be making crêpes for our daughter's class ; and while we I am at it, I'll bake some for us at home as well. As I already wrote last year, one of our my husband and children' favorite toppings is Nutella. However, this year, I made my own!! ENFIN!!  I had wanted to do it for a long time.... and since one of my friends gave me hazelnuts she did not know what to do with, I took the plunge and decided to give it a try. I knew I was going to face a very hard jury in the persons of my husband and two children. I knew that they my husband was going to start with an negative-already-made-up mind (the one he has when it comes to me cooking something he likes a lot but differently!) but it did not matter to me. I wanted to be able to produce a hazelnut-chocolate spread that was close enough to Nutella so that we could stop purchasing Nutella alltogether (and therefore avoid all the palm oil /soy/other strange ingredients in it). 
The results? "hmm, c'est bon, maman" said my children ; "hmm c'est pas mal du tout", said my husband. Which, in his terms, means that I totally passed the test and can keep making our own hazelnut-chocolate spread! 
Since starting this blog, here are the few things we hardly ever purchased anymore, just because making them from scratch at home, turned out to be much much easier/healthier/cheaper than I thought: baguettes, Nutella, falafels, pizza dough, hummus, granola, polenta, lemoncurd...  
Challenge yourself and try make one dish for your family that you would otherwise purchase. You will be surprise... 
What's next on my list? Tomato sauce, Indian naans, pita chips/tortilla chips... any recipes to suggest? Bon Appetit?

(adapted from the Los Angeles Times)
- 2 cups raw hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 tablespoons hazelnut oil, more as needed

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the hazelnuts evenly over a cookie sheet and roast until they darken and become aromatic, about 10 minutes. Transfer the hazelnuts to a damp towel and rub to remove the skins.
  • In a food processor, grind the hazelnuts to a smooth butter.
  • Add the cocoa, sugar, vanilla, and oil to the food processor and continue to process until well blended. The finished spread should have the consistency of creamy peanut butter; if it is too dry, process in a little extra hazelnut oil until the desired consistency is achieved.
My Personal Comments:
  • Hazelnut Oil is expensive. I used Coconut oil because I could not find hazelnut oil and it worked perfectly fine as well. 
  • Splurge on the chocolate so that it has a great flavor. This is key.
  • You can find already blanched hazelnuts to avoid to have to remove the skin. However, do toast them in the oven as indicated : this liberates oil and give extra flavor.


  1. I *LOVE* this blog. Very similiar to us - French American, 2 young kids in French American school, lots of French culture & food in the house with French as primary language. Biggest difference - Mom started off as American & became French. I love trying these recipes. Any idea where to buy hazelnuts? J'adore l'idee de Nutella fait maison! (qu'est-ce que ca coute cher!!) Les filles vont m'aider a le faire, je le sens....Merci bcp!

  2. Love Nutella spread and it's great to be able to make your own

  3. Salut...

    Je viens de terminer la recette... alors je ne sais pas si c'est mon anglais, les conversions, ou mon blender... mais j'ai eu du mal à avoir une pâte... J'ai ajouté un peu plus d'huile... mais c'est quand même un peu crunchy.... Enfin, Matt et les enfants ont bien léché le récipient donc j'imagine que c'est mangeable... Tu le conserves dans un placard ?

    Et j'ai lu d'autres recettes où c'était du chocolat au lait qui était utilisé... Tu as déjà essayé de cette manière ?

    Sinon, la rhubarbe vient d'arriver sur les marchés... alors j'ai fait aussi une tarte rhubarbe meringuée.... pas trop le w-e diététique !