There is something about the mixture of hazelnuts and chocolate. I know chocolate and nuts go very well together, but hazelnuts and chocolate is just heavenly mixture. I have to admit I am guilty of buying a jar or two of Nutella, but every time I look at the label and see the amount of sugar in it I feel bad. So I have been testing my version of this delicious treat to make it little less sugary.
I was inspired from a version I bought in Italy, which is made by Venchi and they use chocolate and olive oil in their version. So with no added sugar, I use chocolate in mine and here you can use the one you like the most. I normally use 70% chocolate but if you prefer it you can mix dark and light chocolate. I also use a few dates to give it an extra sweetness but you could also use honey, just a matter of taste.
When cleaning the skin of the hazelnuts I try to take most of it away but just remember that the texture will be a little bit more grainy, the more you leave the skin on. Also the skin has a little bitter taste. If you buy the nuts that are already without skin, I still recommend you roast them in the oven, as it helps free out the oil in the nuts and gives better taste.
This is a good portion so I normally put it in smaller jars, 2-3 and keep one out of the fridge and the other in the fridge. The reason is, that the spread becomes a little hard in the fridge because of the chocolate, and before you can use it you need to take it out some time before. So therefore I have one ready to go and the others in the fridge.
- 2 cups raw Hazelnuts
- 100 gr good quality Chocolate
- 4 tbsp unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 4 tbsp Olive Oil / Coconut Oil
- 8 soft and pitted Dates
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract or 1 Vanilla Pod
- pinch of Salt
- Heat the oven to 180°C (360° F). Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast for 12 to 15 minutes or until they are fragrant.
- Carefully put the hot hazelnuts in a jar with the lid on and shake. The papery skins will fall off. Remove the nuts that are now skinless and then re-shake the jar until the rest of the skins come off as well. You could also put the nuts in clean dish towel and rub them together until the skin will fall off.
- Put the hazelnuts in a food processor or a blender and grind the hazelnuts for about 10 minutes until it turns into a creamy hazelnut butter. The time will depend on how powerful your machine is.
- Melt the chocolate and pour it into the hazelnut butter, and blend together. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend for about 2 minutes.