I was first introduced to Nutella, the Italian chocolate hazelnut spread, by my grandmother. Growing up, it was a novelty – and the fact that it was from Europe made it seem extra fancy. Whether slathered on toast, crackers, pretzels or quite honestly, a spoon, Nutella is downright addictive. Flash forward to college, when I spend a semester in Florence. Nutella was crazy-popular and to my delight, better than the U.S. version and much cheaper than imported peanut butter. I like to think of Nutella like instant-dessert – a dollop on anything and you’ve satisfied your sweet tooth. My version is a little thiner than the jarred variety but does the job without added sweeteners, thickeners or preservatives. Warning: this is highly addictive! And yes, that is a homemade croissant…but we’ll save that for another day!
- 1 cup shelled hazelnuts, toasted
- 1 cup high quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (I used 62% chunks c/o Scharffen Berger)
- 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- In a food processor, blend hazelnuts until they reach a peanut butter-like consistency.
- Meanwhile, prepare your double-boiler. Bring a small saucepan of water to boil. Reduce to a simmer and place a stainless-steel bowl with chocolate directly over the stove (the bowl should fit comfortably and should be wider than the saucepan). Stir the chocolate to melt. Remove when melted. Cool slightly.
- Place melted chocolate in the food processor with hazelnut puree. Add vanilla and a pinch of salt and blend.
- Store in the fridge.