Like a vegan version of Nutella, this chocolate hazelnut spread is perfect for spreading on toast, incorporating into frosting or pies, sandwiching between cookies, or just eating with a spoon.
I don’t think I need to convince you to make this recipe. If hearing the words “chocolate” and “hazelnut” isn’t enough to move you, I don’t know what will. These days there are a couple of companies out there making vegan chocolate hazelnut spread, but it really isn’t too difficult to make at home without paying an arm and a leg.
Looking around the Web at similar recipes, I noticed that many people had a difficult time removing the bitter outer skins of the hazelnuts. Fortunately, there’s a trick to make skinning hazelnuts easier. To skin the 1½ c cups of hazelnuts that you’ll need in this recipe, boil 4 cups of water in a deep pot. Add 6 tbsp baking soda (it will fizz and bubble), and add hazelnuts. Continue boiling for 3-5 minutes (watching it to make sure it doesn’t boil over). The water will turn reddish-black. Test by dropping a hazelnut in a cup of cold water. Pinch the hazelnut; the skin should slip right off. If it doesn’t, continue boiling. Once finished, drain and rinse with cold water. Slip off the skins off all the hazelnuts (it doesn’t have to be perfect); rinse one more time and set aside to dry.
I like to use soy powder to give this spread more of a milk chocolate flavor; you can leave it out if you desire a darker chocolate flavor.
- 1½ c hazelnuts, skinned
- 1-2 tbsp hazelnut or vegetable oil
- ¾ c powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp high-quality cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp soy powder
- ¼ tsp vanilla
- Toast hazelnuts in oven (or toaster oven) at 350° for ~20 minutes, tossing them frequently so as not to burn the nuts.
- While still hot, grind in a blender until nuts break down into nut butter, adding vanilla and a little oil during the blending process.
- Once a coarse nut butter has been formed, add cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and soy powder, adding more oil as needed.
- Blend until spread reaches desired consistency.