Confession time. I consume a shameful amount of Nutella on a nearly daily basis. I could be a professional Nutella eater and would never get sick of the silky smooth, chocolat-ey, hazelnut-filled spread that is heavenly on just about everything. While living in Italy I got accustomed to the good stuff. Truth: Italian Nutella is way better than the North American version. Ours is made in Canada, and it is tasty, but not as good as the original. That doesn't stop me from having a stash on hand at all times though. Recently my husband took a business trip and he met up with one of his co-workers from Italy who sent two big jars of Italian Nutella home for me! I'm so excited. I now have to decide if things are really Italian-Nutella-worthy or not. I can't just waste it on regular toast. I need to savor it and make the most of it. I know...I'm ridiculous.
Last year I was very, very pregnant when Mother's Day came around. Being that I was not a mother with her baby in her arms yet, I didn't expect any sort of acknowledgement. However, my husband, being the amazing and thoughtful guy that he is, made sure to make me feel special for Mother's day even though our little lady was still in my belly. He went all over town gathering up every version of chocolate-hazelnut spread, both domestic and imported, that he could find so we could do a giant taste test and see if anything compared to the Italian Nutella. Nothing came even close. We both liked the North American Nutella the best. It was a marvelously fun and delicious undertaking.
Making my own homemade Nutella seems like the natural progression of my chocolate-hazelnut insanity. This Homemade Nutella is fantastic, with a more pronounced hazelnut flavor than Nutella. It's rich, but not too rich, with a silkiness that the store-bought version lacks. If you're interested in making Homemade Nutella, do it for the fun of it, and the great, clean flavors you get from making your own. It is not necessarily cheaper than buying store-bought. It is comparable in price, and this recipe makes a large amount, almost 4 cups. It's worth noting that Homemade Nutella is not an exact flavor match of the original. In many ways it is better in terms of texture and purity of flavor. The hazelnuts and chocolate shine through really well without being too overpowering. If you have ever had the hazelnut Ferrero Rocher chocolates before, this tastes just like those, and if you ask me, that is a very good thing.
By Kitchen Joy®
Makes about 3 ½ cups
1 ⅔ cups whole hazelnuts
1 ¾ cups whole milk
1- 3.2 ounce packet Carnation Instant Nonfat Dry Milk (equivalent to 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons dry milk)
3 tablespoons honey
pinch of salt
12 ounces milk chocolate, roughly chopped (not chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Arrange hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 10-15 minutes until lightly browned.
In a medium saucepan, combine whole milk, powdered milk, honey, and salt. Heat over medium-low heat until just boiling. Remove from heat.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler or microwave on half-power for about 2-3 minutes, stirring several times throughout.
Remove hazelnuts from oven and spread them out on a clean tea towel. Wrap the hazelnuts in the towel and rub them for a few minutes to remove as much of the skin as possible. (They do not need to be perfectly clean, just do the best you can. Mine still had some skin remnants on them and that's why my Homemade Nutella has a speckled appearance.)
In a food processor, blend the warm hazelnuts on high speed for several minutes until very smooth and a paste forms. This can take a while. You'll need to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times throughout the process. After several minutes, the oils in the hazelnuts will be release, and soon you'll have a nice, smooth paste.
Add melted chocolate to the food processor and blend until well combined.
Carefully pour in warm milk mixture and blend again until all ingredients are incorporated and mixture is smooth.
Pour into jars and let cool before sealing with lids and refrigerating. The Nutella will thicken as it cools.
Keep refrigerated. Use within 1-2 weeks.
Thanks for letting me ramble on about my love for Nutella. I hope you enjoy making your own Homemade Nutella as much as I did. Have a great weekend!