Homemade Nutella? Yes, Please!

1Photo: Courtesy of Food52.
Food52 helps people become better, smarter, happier cooks. Food52 was named 2012 Publication of the Year by the James Beard Foundation and won Best Culinary Website at the 2013 IACP awards.
At Food52, we're just as obsessed with Nutella as everyone else. We eat it on toast, with fruit, in our cupcakes, and straight off of spoons (more than we're proud to admit). Nutella seems like such a perfect food that it took us a while to remember that homemade trumps store bought — always. Though we were hesitant to fix something that wasn't broken, we decided to give it a try. Could we recreate Nutella at home, and perhaps come up with an even better version? The answer: a resounding yes. We came up with a homemade version of Nutella that is just as addictive as the original, but is a little less sweet, a little more hazelnut-ty, and a lot more sophisticated. Homemade Nutella
Makes approximately 2 cups
To roast and peel the hazelnuts:
1 1/4 cup hazelnuts
2 cups water
3 tablespoons baking soda
To make the nutella:
1 1/4 cup hazelnuts, roasted and peeled
5 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
5 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons confectionery sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
2Photo: Courtesy of Food52.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Spread the hazelnuts out on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, stirring every five.
When hazelnuts have finished roasting, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. (The water will fizz up when the baking soda is added, so be sure to choose a large enough pot.) Prepare a separate bowl of cool water and set aside on the counter. Once the water on the stovetop is boiling, add 3 tablespoons of baking soda, followed by the hazelnuts. Boil for 3 minutes, drain, then add the hazelnuts to the bowl of cool water. Peel hazelnuts and discard skins.
Blend hazelnuts in a food processor or blender until they form a thick, smooth paste. This should take approximately five minutes. It will be crumbly at first but the crumbs will begin to come together to form a butter. Add the butter, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and extract. Continue to blend until smooth (approximately one to two minutes).
Melt together chocolates and heavy cream in a double boiler, until a smooth ganache forms. Remove from heat and let cool for five minutes.
Once ganache has cooled slightly, add it to the food processor or blender and blend until just combined (around 15 seconds). Transfer to jars and store in the fridge for up to one week. (The Nutella will firm up slightly in the fridge, so let it sit out at room temp for approximately 30 minutes to soften the consistency.)

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