If you like Nutella, but also find that it is simultaneously too sweet and not quite hazelnutty nor chocolatey enough, then you know exactly how I feel. In my quest for a perfectly rich and nutty butter, I have tried various different brands, including Patchi and Neuhaus. None of them really hit the spot, unfortunately. The problem was their texture, their weak chocolate flavour, and the fact that I could taste only a hint of hazelnut flavour in them.
Then, it occurred to me, a few years ago: why not make my own butter? I’ve tried various versions of my own butter since then, but this recipe is now my favourite! This butter’s texture is rich and velvety and the flavour is a perfect balance of dark chocolate and the unmatched, gloriously nutty flavour of real, toasted hazelnuts. A quick note: the more you like the dark chocolate you use in this recipe, the better the butter will taste.
Here it is, poured over a slice of bread, looking so delightfully smooth and glossy!
If you want to try making some yourself, this is the equipment you will need:
- A food processor or powerful blender (I use a Blendtec)
- An oven
- A baking tray
- A tea towel
- A spatula
- A jar
And here are the ingredients you will need:
- 450g Hazelnuts
- 35-45 g sugar (based on your taste) (I use castor sugar but if your processor/blender is not too powerful, I recommend using icing sugar)
- 172 g good quality dark chocolate, to taste (my favourite is Cotê d’or)
- A pinch or two of salt.
- 2 tsp vanilla essence or hazelnut flavouring (optional)(I use this one).
1. Toast the hazelnuts at 350 F in a baking tray for about 15 minutes, until they turn light brown and fragrant, tossing them periodically.
2. After they’ve cooled, place them at the centre of a tea towel/kitchen towel. Wrap the nuts securely in the towel and then roll the wrapped up nuts on any hardish surface. This will help remove their skins. After you’ve rolled the nuts about for a bit, open up the towel, and pick out the skinned nuts. Repeat this step if there are still a lot of nuts with skins on them.
3. Toss the skinned nuts into a food processor or blender and grind them up until they turn into a smooth butter.
4. Melt the dark chocolate in a the microwave or over a bain-marie. If you have a powerful blender you can skip this step.
5. Throw in the melted chocolate, sugar, a pinch or two of salt (to taste), and a teaspoon or two of vanilla essence or hazelnut flavouring.
6. Blend everything until it feels smooth enough to you, and there you have it! Your own homemade chocolate hazelnut butter!
My favourite way to eat it is on bread with some homemade peanut butter! Mmmmmm!