This morning the mom in my 'Italian family' made 'Nutella fatto in casa' (homemade Nutella). If like me, you are addicted to the stuff then you'll understand how happy I was! Also, it was very topical with my New Years Resolution of healthy eating as the homemade version is always better for you then the bought stuff. As well as being extremely scrummy, Nutella is so versatile that it goes with anything; toast, crepes, yoghurt, cupcakes, pancakes, ricotta (I'll return to this Italian delicacy later), cookies, ice cream, bread sticks, pastries, doughnuts, waffles, wraps, truffles and bagels to name a few. My favourite though is bagels with peanut butter and Nutella; the saltiness of the peanut butter and the chocolatly flavour of the Nutella is simply divine.
Hazelnuts and chocolate are a match made in heaven. Would you have guess that hazelnuts were first combined with chocolate to make a cheaper chocolate during the war and not because of the amazing flavour combination? In the Piedamonte region of Italy, hazelnuts were in abundance (due to the favourable climate) and cocoa solids were very expensive to import and so one smart man decided to combine the two. Therefore less cocoa solids were used in production which make this type of chocolate more affordable for the general public. In Torino (Turin in English) a special chocolate treat is made called Gianduja (see picture below from a shop window when I was in Torino). When I was in Turin these chocolates were everywhere in their distinct upside down boat shape. Again these are extremely yummy to eat! The chocolate is so smooth and delicate like Nutella that it melts in your mouth - pure perfection!
Making Nutella is so simple, that I don't know why I haven't done it before. Also, homemade Nutella is healthier as it doesn't use as much added oils that bought Nutella has to 'fluff' out the product. The base for the recipe is two simple ingredients: hazelnuts and chocolate. To enhance the flavour we toasted the hazelnuts and used dark chocolate to create a rich Nutella. But you can easily use milk chocolate and not roast the hazelnuts, depending on how you like your Nutella.
Homemade Nutella Recipe
100g dark chocolate
60ml vegetable oil
80g brown sugar
100g soya milk
1) Toast the hazelnuts under a grill for about 10 minuites. Mixing them every couple of minutes, to be careful they do not burn. Cool.
2) Put the hazelnuts, sugar and chocolate in the food processor. Whiz until fine crumb mixture is created. Make sure to scrap down the sides so there are no lumps in your Nutella.
3) Add the soya milk and oil to the food processor bowl and whiz until it forms a paste. Again scraping down the sides, so everything is incorporated.
4) Finally put the mixture into a banmarie* to melt all the chocolate and create the Nutella texture.
5) Pour the mixture into jars, and leave to cool. Do not put in the fridge straight away as this will cause the mixture to curdle. Once cooled store in the fridge for up to a month but trust me it won't last that long!
*a banmarie is where you put a heatproof bowl over a pan of boiling water, making sure the water and the bottom if the bowl do not touch. This method is used with chocolate and sauces as it gives a gentile heat as to not burn the chocolate.