After all the falderall this week about World Nutella Day, I almost didn't include the word "Nutella" in my post title.
But since I doubt that a multinational corporation will be coming after The Ninj for brand infringement, I'm throwing caution to the wind, as a good ninja would.
I made my own Nutella!
I know, based on my Pinterest traffic and site statistics, that y'all are Nutella junkies. I think I could make anything with Nutella and it would get 47,000 pins. Clump of Dirt with Nutella Frosting? Old Leather Shoe with Nutella Sauce? Each would still get at least 40,000 pins onto pinboards titled "OMG, YUM!" or "Sweet Awesomeness".
I love Nutella as much as you do, but I'm not a big fan of processed foods: I feel like I let myself down a little bit with each jar I buy (but notice I didn't say I stopped buying it). Yet I've never considered making it myself because I just assumed it would be too much of a pain in the ass.
I was wrong.
(You should re-read that sentence because I don't say it very often. Just ask Mr. Ninj.)
I'm not going to lie and say it's the easiest thing to whip up any time you like. The prepping of the hazelnuts really slows down the whole process. It took me awhile to find bulk hazelnuts (I suppose you could buy them online) and peeling them is a bit tedious (although I got to try out the two bowls trick, which I still can't believe really works).
But it's worth it.
One note: this recipe will challenge your food processor, so make sure yours is a sturdy one that's up to the task. I tried making a double batch, because I made the Nutella for my local food swap, and I seriously thought the motor on my food processor was going to burn out or explode. (Of course, I was simultaneously thinking about it as an opportunity to get a larger-capacity replacement food processor, maybe in a fetching red, so I was slightly disappointed when it did not explode, but that's just me being greedy.) Don't be ambitious: make single batches at a time.
Similarly but less dramatically, don't be too alarmed if your food processor and the Nutella both get a little hot. Yes, hot. The motor is working hard but the whirling action is also heating the Nutella, making it smooth. Once you pour it into containers, it cools down and becomes more solid and spreadable.
Science is brilliant.
In doing my recipe research, I found that there are a gajillion recipes out there for homemade Nutella. I chose the one from America's Test Kitchen (the Cook's Illustrated folks) for two reasons:
- Based on personal experience, their recipes turn out well for me, even on the first try -- and I didn't want to have to screw around with a lot of trial and error
- I wanted a recipe that didn't include a ton of chocolate chips and sugar (unfortunately, lots of them do).
Lastly, this recipe makes about two half-pint jars of Nutella and can be stored at room temperature for up to month (pfft -- as if you won't eat it all before then). So you'll have plenty of time to use it to make Nutella poptarts, Nutella biscotti, Nutella popsicles, Nutella cheesecake brownies or the oft-pinned, much-ballyhooed Nutella cookies. Or to just eat it with a spoon straight from the jar.
Have you made your own Nutella? What's your favorite thing to make with Nutella? The Ninj wants to know.
Chocolate Hazelnut Spread / Homemade Nutella (from the America's Test Kitchen DIY Cookbook, via Boston.com)
8 ounces shelled hazelnuts
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons hazelnut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for about 15 minutes, checking for doneness at 12 minutes (they can easily become too browned very quickly, so keep a close eye on them). Cool until easy to handle and then place them in a medium-sized bowl. Place another bowl of equal or larger size on top of the first bowl (it must create a seal) and shake the bejesus out of the nuts. You may need to do it several times, removing the fully skinned nuts each time. (Some of your nuts will have a little skin left on them -- this is normal and totally fine. Don't make yourself nuts, ha ha ha.)
Place the nuts in a food processor and process until they form a smooth paste (it will look like tahini -- see photo above); this takes about 5 minutes and you'll need to scrape down the sides periodically.
Add the remaining ingredients and again process a few minutes until smooth, scraping down the sides. As noted above, the mixture and the processor will begin to get hot: this is normal. When the mixture becomes smooth and slightly shiny and tastes muy delicioso, pour it into glass jars or other well-sealing containers and cool. Store at room temperature for up to one month.