Sunday, September 4, 2011

Trattoria Brown - Homemade Nutella

Nutella is like chocolatey, hazelnutty crack. The first time I ate it, I consumed 2/3 of a rather large container and had to throw away the other 1/3 because I knew If it stayed in the house, it would be consumed forthwith. Of course, that was in Italy, and the Nutella you can buy in American supermarkets is produced in either Canada or New Jersey. (I think it's produced in Canada and distributed from New Jersey. And, as everyone knows, the only good thing to have come out of New Jersey is Bon Jovi.) In any case, it's not nearly as good as the Italian version. Because of this, I decided to make my own. The result was something with a much more pronounced hazelnut flavor that isn't as smooth as the industrial version. That noted, it certainly tastes good, and it allows you to tell people you made nutella, which is just plain cool. Enjoy.


1 cup of raw hazelnuts
5 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons canola oil (or some other neutral oil)
4 to 5 tablespoons whole milk, more as needed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


Toast the hazelnuts on a baking sheet for about 10 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Let the hazelnuts cool down for about five minutes, and then place the hazelnuts between two kitchen towels and rub until the skins come off (you may have to do this with your hands if they don’t cooperate). (Note: if you don't want to roast and peel the hazelnuts, just buy a bag of chopped hazelnuts at the store and blend those. They have some skin on them, but that's okay.)

Place nuts in a food processor and blend in 45 second intervals, stopping to wipe down the bowl after every interval. You should have a fairly smooth mixture after about 5 cycles, but keep in mind it won’t be as smooth as peanut butter or the Nutella you buy in the supermarket.

Add the cocoa, sugar, oil, and milk, and salt and mix for another 45 seconds. If the mixture is too firm (you want it to spread easily), add another tablespoon or two of either vegetable oil or milk and pulse for another 45 seconds until you obtain the desired consistency.

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