It is a well documented fact that I have a thing for nuts. One of my favorite nut products is Nutella, but I try not to eat it too often because it is rather sweet and it contains partially hydrogenated peanut oil, which offends my anti-trans fat sensibilities.
So when Phineas emailed me this article from the LA Times on homemade Nutella, I saw it as a golden opportunity. If I could make my own (my beady brain rationed), then I could control the amount of sugar AND eliminate the transfats. Off to the kitchen I went.
First you roast your hazelnuts in the oven until they are nicely toasted (2 cups for 5 min). While they are still warm, you use a dish towel to rub the skin off them. I was surprized at how easy this step was.
Then add cocoa (1/2 c), powdered sugar (1/2 c to start and more to taste), vanilla (1tsp) and hazelnut oil (3 tbsp) or whatever neutral oil you have (canola, etc). Oh, don't forget a pinch of salt.
I used a dark valrhona cocoa, which was excellent, but I should have started with less. My Not-ella turned out very dark and chocolatey. I ended up using about 3/4c of sugar total (1/4c less than the recipe). I think if I had used just 1/4-1/3c of cocoa, I would probably use even less sugar.
I'm a bit worried about using all my Not-ella before it goes bad (2 weeks maybe?). So, if you have any suggestions about how else I can use it up - either in baking recipies or how you like to eat it, please let me know!