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Cracked Hazelnut

Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread (Way Better than Nutella)

I’m not a big fan of Nutella. I know I might upset a lot of people by saying this, but I just don’t like it.

Cracked Hazelnut

I confess, some years ago I did eat Nutella quite a lot. At some point practically every breakfast contained a slice of nutella-smothered bread.
Then I got into healthy eating and started appreciating real flavours, and nutella disappeared from my life completely.

Roasting Hazelnuts

Until last weekend.

When I got to my parent’s home, a bowl of freshly harvested hazelnuts stood waiting on the kitchen counter. The small hazel tree in the backyard had really exceeded itself this year! Somehow I decided to give “nutella” another try, but now in a healthy way with real ingredients to give it a proper taste and texture. I think I succeeded.

cracking hazelnuts

Please keep in mind that this definitely isn’t the smooth, extremely sweet kind of thing you get when you buy a jar of hazelnut-spread in the grocery store. It’s not supposed to be, but I thought I’d warn you. It that really is what your looking for, this is not the recipe for you.

I think this version is way better, although my mom said it has a taste that needs “getting used to”. By which she means that I am used to eating whole foods and never using sugar in anything, but for someone who isn’t, this recipe might be a bit disappointing.
But really, I can’t see how anyone could not like this delicious spread!

Why don’t you try it for yourself, and let me know what you think?

Chocolate-hazelnut spread

Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread (small bowl)
–          60 grams of hazelnuts (cracked)
–          30 grams of coconut oil OR 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (see notes)
–          1 ½ tablespoon maple syrup
–          1 ½ tablespoon cocoa powder
–          Pinch of salt

First roast the hazelnuts on a medium fire. Pay close attention and keep stirring, you don’t want them to burn!
When they start making popping sounds and turn a light brown, turn off the fire.
In a food processor, process them till they are a soft mush. The fibres will still be visible.
Add the coconut oil (can still be solid, the warmth of the nuts will melt the oil) and maple syrup. Process again for a moment.
Then add cocoa powder and salt. Just a bit more blending.
Try if it has the desired taste, add some more oil if the whole thing is too dry, or more maple syrup if you want the spread to be sweeter.
When you are satisfied with the result, transfer to a bowl and refrigerate.

– The spread will become more solid when refrigerated due to the coconut oil firming up, keep that in mind when deciding on the correct consistency of your spread.
– For that same reason, it can be needed to let the spread warm for a few minutes before using it. If you want a softer spread, you could opt for using vegetable oil instead of coconut oil. I haven’t tried that myself yet, so you might have to adjust a bit there.
– Some fibres of the nuts will remain. That’s inherent to the recipe, and I think it does give a nice texture. At least it lets you know that real nuts were used in the making of the spread.

Happy munching!


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