Well hello there. Sorry it's been so long...I think my creativity took a little hiatus. I knew I was missing something, though. It's on its way back. And I have fueled its return with chocolate. Oh yes.
Have you ever had Nutella? The stuff seems to be turning up everywhere these days...its a craze. Or something. I don't really like it. Yeah, I'm being serious--I didn't even think I liked hazelnuts at all until last year sometime. Have you ever eaten one of those fancy-looking dark chocolate-hazelnut Ritter Sport bars? Ooh, well I was lucky enough to receive one as a gift, and it changed my life. Hazelnuts + dark chocolate = glorious.
The Nutella you buy in the store is just so sugary, though...it barely tastes like hazelnuts at all, or chocolate for that matter, and if you know my palate at all, you know that really sweet just doesn't do it for me. I also tend to be wary of odd ingredients, like reduced minerals (?) and whey, so store-bought Nutella just doesn't do it for me. But the idea...chocolate and hazelnuts together? Ahh, it's such a good one. So if I can't get it the way I want it, I'll make my own--this is what I decided.
(Also, this is how my brain works most all of the time, this was just a good example)
So this Nutella? There are so many good things about it...so many. First of all, it is delicious--super chocolatey and fabulous. It is good for you--lots of good cocoa and hazelnuts with coconut oil and a little honey to sweeten it up. Healthy! For real! It's super easy--all it takes is a few good ingredients and a food processor. Ten minutes. And it goes with so many things...its versatile. It can be eaten any time of day!
What am I going to do with this stuff? Hmmm...well besides eating it with a spoon, I can think of some things I'd like to try....and yes, s'mores is one of them. How did you know? It is excellent slathered on graham crackers...and on ice cream...and with pretzels...and bananas...mmmmm
Like I said, I don't like things particularly sweet, so when I made this I didn't use much honey to sweeten it. You can add as much as you'd like, though, just taste as you go and sweeten it to your liking. Second thing--don't skip the hazelnut-roasting step, it really brings out their nutty flavor and helps everything really meld together beautifully.
1 cup hazelnuts
1/4-1/3 cup cocoa
5 tablespoons honey
4-5 tablespoons coconut oil, gently melted and cooled
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350.
Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet, and toast them in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until they are fragrant and the skins are starting to blister--make sure to keep a close eye on them! After they are removed from the oven, wrap them in a clean kitchen towel and rub to remove as much of the skin as possible. Allow to cool completely.
In a food processor, grind the hazelnuts until they start to form a paste. Add the cocoa, honey, vanilla, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the oil, and continue processing until the mixture is smooth and creamy, adding more oil as needed to achieve your desired consistency. Pour in a jar and keep it at room temp or in the refrigerator (it will get pretty solid if it is kept in the refrigerator, because of the coconut oil--it will soften up again at room temperature quickly, though). Proceed to eat with everything.
|AB & my birthday cake...also fantastically chocolatey|
|spring! beautiful new life.|