This chocolate hazelnut spread is a rich, creamy spread that's equally at home on toast for breakfast or as a filling in desserts. Rich chocolate and hazelnuts combine to create a spread that is absolutely delicious and so easy to make!
If you're anything like me, you love Nutella. That sweet, chocolaty hazelnut deliciousness is just so good on almost anything. I love it for breakfast on toast, and I love to bake with it, as well. I have stuffed it into everything from puff pastry to homemade donuts, and it's always a chocolaty dream come true when I'm finished.
I've been eating Nutella for as long as I can remember, but one day, I thought to myself, "You should try making this from scratch." After all, homemade is always better and nut butters are notoriously easy to make. My almond butter recipe is as simple as can be.
So that's just what I did. I set out to make a homemade chocolate hazelnut spread that was just as good, if not better, than my commercially made obsession, and guess what? I succeeded! Now I want to share it with all of you.
Spreading Some Knowledge About Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
This chocolate hazelnut spread is inspired by Nutella. Nutella, of course, is a variation on nut butter. It's also a variation of something else you might not have even heard of before - Gianduja. Because nut butters are variations of the classic peanut butter, I want to take a moment to talk about the history of peanut butter, which gave birth to nut butters later on, and the history of Gianduja which was the inspiration for Nutella.
History of Peanut Butter
Most people think George Washington Carver invented peanut butter. It's only natural. He came up with an almost endless variety of ways to use peanuts. However, one of the few things he didn't think of was, in fact, peanut butter. Modern-day peanut butter was actually invented by Marcellus Gilmore Edson of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, but that's not where peanut butter began.
The use of peanuts dates back as far as the Aztecs and Incas. Pinda-kase, which translates to peanut cheese, was a popular dish in Suriname by the late 1700s. Like peanut butter, it was an emulsification, however, unlike peanut butter, it was far more solid. it was actually served cut into slices like cheese.
It wasn't until 1884 when Marcellus Gilmore Edson patented a method of creating peanut butter from roasted nuts that we got what we now know as peanut butter. Not long after, John Harvey Kellogg - yes, that Kellogg - issued a patent for a version of peanut butter that used boiled peanuts. He served this peanut butter to patients at his Western Health Reform Institute as a way to get more protein into their diets even if they couldn't chew.
Over time, other variations came to be and with the introduction of hydrogenated oil, we got the smooth peanut butter that we all know and love today. Fast forward to today, and peanut butter has given birth to the rise of nut butters. These days, you can find almond butter as readily as you can peanut butter, and many health food and specialty stores serve other varieties of nut butters, as well.
History of Gianduja
While Nutella is a household name when it comes to chocolate hazelnut spread, the real birth of this spread can be traced back to Turin, Italy during the early 1800s. Around that time, Napoleonic France had imposed a system which blocked French allies and neutral countries from trading with the British. This restriction put a huge dent in the availability of cocoa.
Italian chocolatiers found themselves wondering how they would continue their trade without access to the cocoa that was such a vital part of their work. At some point, one or more of the chocolatiers had the idea to extend their chocolate supply by mixing it with hazelnuts which could be found in abundance in the Langhe hills just south of Turin.
This was the birth of Gianduja, a sweet chocolate spread which contained around 30% hazelnuts. By the mid-1800s, a chocolatier by the name of Michele Prochet is said to have perfected gianduja and went on to create gianduiotto, individually wrapped hazelnut chocolates.
Like Gianduja, Nutella was the result of a chocolate shortage. During World War II chocolate was scarce, so Italian chocolatier, Pietro Ferrero, began making Gianduja and selling it in a hard loaf which was then sliced and served on bread. In 1949, he accidentally added cocoa butter to the mix which made it soft enough to spread. Serendipity. Nutella was born.
What Spread uses Chocolate and Hazelnut?
The popular Italian hazelnut spread Nutella was introduced in 1964, sold in a jar and initially used as a spread on bread or Nutella toast. Currently, there are several companies that manufacture their own version of hazelnut spread.
What is Nutella made of?
Nutella is basically a blend of hazelnuts, sugar, palm oil, cocoa solids and milk and sometimes soy products.
The ingredients vary somewhat from country to country to comply with regional requirements and are produced at various manufacturing plants across the world.
Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
This delicious chocolate hazelnut spread is a homemade version of Nutella that's even better than its inspiration. It's a spreadable dream made with hazelnuts, confectioner's sugar, cocoa powder, and a couple of other ingredients to create a sweet, rich spread that is absolutely delicious when used with everything from toast to baked goods. It's also super easy to make. Bonus!
It only takes six ingredients to make this fantastic chocolate hazelnut spread. With just a handful of ingredients, you'll be on your way to making a homemade spread that everyone will love.
- Confectioners' sugar
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Hazelnut oil
- Vanilla extract
Making the Spread
Making this spread is just as simple as the recipe list. It only takes a few minutes of boiling and roasting and then a little buzz buzz of the food processor to make. It's incredibly simple. You'll find complete directions in the recipe card below, but these highlights will clue you in on just how easy it is to make this delicious spread.
Fill a large bowl halfway with ice and water. Bring 4 cups of water to boil. Add hazelnuts and baking soda and boil for 3 minutes.
Transfer nuts to ice bath with a slotted spoon and drain. Slip skins off with kitchen towel.
Place hazelnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until fragrant and golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through roasting. Process hazelnuts in a food processor until oil is released and smooth, loose paste forms, about 5 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl often.
Add sugar, cocoa, oil, vanilla, and salt and process until fully incorporated and mixture begins to loosen slightly and becomes glossy, about 2 minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed.
Transfer spread to jar with a tight-fitting lid. Chocolate hazelnut spread can be stored at room temperature or refrigerated for up to 1 month.
That's all there is to it! If you can boil water and turn on a stove, you can easily make this chocolate hazelnut spread. It's the easiest from scratch recipe you will ever make. Period!
There's not a lot that you can or should change about this recipe. In fact, almost any variation at all will actually reduce the quality of the spread. There is one thing that I sometimes add that adds a nice flavor. Cinnamon. A bit of cinnamon makes for a lovely depth of flavor to this spread.
Serving Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
This delicious spread is perfect for almost any application. Serve it as Nutella toast for breakfast or add it to desserts like pastries or even sweet breads. You can do almost anything you can imagine with this spread, and it's always so good.
Whether you're spreading it onto toast or adding it to recipes, it's important to stir it first. This is a homemade chocolate hazelnut spread, which means it contains no hydrogenated oils. That means that it will separate. A good stir will fix that right up, though!
Storing the Spread
This chocolate hazelnut spread will keep well in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed jar for up to a month. For longer storage, you can freeze the spread in an air-tight, freezer-safe container for up to six months. The high fat content in the spread means that it will stay good for a lot longer in the freezer than other foods.
Try This Chocolate Hazelnut Spread for Yourself
This chocolate hazelnut spread is great for breakfasts (don't forget Nutella toast), snacks, baking, and almost anything else you can imagine. You can even use it to make ice cream! However you use it, it's always a big, big winner. Everyone loves the flavor, and you'll love how easy it is to make. With a combo like that, there's no reason not to give it a try.
So boil some water, fire up the oven, and break out the food processor because you're going to want to make this delicious spread again and again. I guarantee it.
Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
- mason jar or resealable container
- Get out and measure all of your ingredients.
- Fill large bowl halfway with ice and water.
- Bring 4 cups water to boil.
- Add hazelnuts and baking soda.
- Boil for 3 minutes.
- Transfer nuts to ice bath with slotted spoon and drain.
- Slip skins off with dish towel.
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Place hazelnuts in single layer on rimmed baking sheet and roast until fragrant and golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through roasting.
- Process hazelnuts in food processor until oil is released and smooth, loose paste forms, about 5 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl often.
- Add sugar, cocoa, oil, vanilla, and salt.
- Process until fully incorporated and mixture begins to loosen slightly and becomes glossy, about 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add more hazelnut oil to reach your desired consistency.
- Transfer spread to mason jar or resealable container.
- Enjoy every bite!