The following 101, a recipe for homemade nutella (AKA chocolate-hazelnut spread), comes from HOMEGROWN and Farm Aid's new Northeastern University co-op student, Amanda Hoover. If she can whip something this good up now, we can’t wait to see what kind of sweet things are in store for this third-year journalism major's future. Thanks, Amanda, and please keep the delicious ideas coming!
Ever since Nutella made the leap from Italy to the United States in the 1980s, it has been a staple in many American households. From jars lining grocery aisles to the introduction this year of the first ever Nutella bar, our affinity for the chocolate-hazelnut spread has been insatiable.
Given recent news that inclement weather in Turkey, the world’s largest producer of hazelnuts, could lead to higher prices, there’s never been a better time to try making your own Nutella from scratch. What’s more, domestic sources exist, with most American-grown hazelnuts coming from Oregon and Washington.
A Nutella enthusiast myself from childhood, I’ve consumed more jars of the stuff than I would want to count. At first skeptical to try making it myself, I followed this recipe from The Brown Eyed Baker and was pleasantly surprised to find I liked my homemade variety even more than the store-bought brand. It’s thicker, with both the chocolate and hazelnut flavors coming through stronger. It also lacks that sticky, pastelike quality that leaves the manufactured version clinging to the roof of your mouth.
After less than an hour of work, I had a jar full of my own chocolate-hazelnut spread. This was probably one of the easiest recipes I’ve tried to date, and the improvement of the homemade version over the brand name definitely makes it worth taking the time to whip it up from scratch.
HOMEMADE NUTELLA RECIPE
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
» 2 cups (8 oz) organic hazelnuts
» 1/3 cup organic cocoa powder
» 1 cup organic powdered sugar
» 1/8 tsp salt
» 2 Tbsp hazelnut oil (or vegetable oil, which was much easier for me to find and worked out well)
1tsp organic vanilla extract (Make your own with this 101!)
WHAT TO DO
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast them for 10 to 15 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through. You have to be cautious here, as the nuts go from perfectly roasted to burnt in a split second.
2. Once you’ve removed the hazelnuts from the oven and given them some time to cool, remove the skins. I found it easiest to transfer the nuts to a bowl, put a lid on it, and start shaking. You’ll find that most of the skins fall right off, although some are bit more stubborn. You should be able to peel the remaining ones pretty easily by hand.
3. Transfer the skinned hazelnuts to a food processor and pulse until you’ve created a smooth, creamy butter. This takes only about 2 minutes, stopping once or twice to scrape down the bowl.
4. Next add the cocoa powder, sugar, salt, oil, and vanilla extract. Continue to process all of the ingredients together for 5 more minutes or so, stopping as needed to scrape down the sides.
5. If your spread looks thicker than what you usually buy in the jar, you’ve done everything right. Once you’ve given it a try—go ahead and eat a spoonful right now; no judgment!—you’ll see how much better the extra flavor and thicker consistency taste.
As I finished up this recipe, I realized I had a lot of homemade nutella on hand, even after eating several spoonfuls straight out of the jar. I decided to use some of it in another experiment. I’ve been on a homemade ice cream kick this summer, so I figured there had to be a way to combine the two.
An online search revealed that the ice cream company Carvel had started marketing a Nutella flavor just this summer. With all those Nutella fanatics out there, I wasn’t surprised someone had beaten me to the idea. Still, I knew there had to be a way to make my own, and it would definitely taste better. I kept clicking past those Carvel links and found some older recipes for homemade chocolate-hazelnut ice cream. I decided to give this one, from Just a Pinch, a try.
HOMEMADE NUTELLA ICE CREAM RECIPE
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
» 2 eggs from your local farmers market (or certified organic from the grocery)
» 2/3 cup organic cane sugar
» 2 cups organic heavy cream (from a local dairy, if you can find it)
» 1 cup organic milk (ditto!)
» ¾ cup homemade chocolate-hazelnut spread
WHAT TO DO
1. Start by whisking the eggs in a bowl. Then add the sugar and whisk until it dissolves.
2. Next add your homemade nutella, whisking until all of the ingredients are well mixed.
3. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Now pour in the heavy cream and stir gently. Refrigerate the mixture for about an hour before pouring it into an ice cream maker.
4. Once your mixture has chilled, pour it into the bowl of your ice cream maker, following the directions for your machine. Let the whole thing blend until it achieves your desired consistency. Sometimes I find it’s best to let mine sit in the freezer for about an hour before serving. If you don’t, you’re likely to end up with a milkshake rather than a thick, scoop-ready consistency.
The finished product was great: smooth, creamy, and easy to make. I added some fresh strawberries, which complemented the chocolate and hazelnut flavors perfectly. Ice cream is just option for using your homemade nutella in a recipe. Then again, it’s equally delicious the old-fashioned way, spread on a slice of toast. Enjoy!
Got a question for Amanda or your own homemade nutella tip to share? Post it below and keep the conversation rolling! You might also be interested in 101s on how to make your own peanut butter and other nut butters, cultured butter, chocolate syrup, extracts (vanilla! peppermint!), sweetened condensed milk, cronuts, coffee liqueur (AKA Kahlúa!), chai tea concentrate, and coffee can ice cream. You can always find more things to cook, preserve, plant, grow, make, craft, and roast in the HOMEGROWN 101 library.
ALL PHOTOS: AMANDA HOOVER