This dairy-free chocolate hazelnut spread has an intense, grown-up flavor. This luxurious treat will upgrade your breakfasts and desserts!
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The idea of making Nutella from scratch had been running through my mind ever since I bought a little jar of homemade chocolate and hazelnut spread at Le Grenier à Pain in Paris. While waiting in line at the bakery, I was eying the rows of homemade spreads they sold. All the jam varieties seemed delectable, but when I saw their chocolate and hazelnut spread, I knew I had to treat myself to one. Tasting homemade chocolate and hazelnut spread for the first time turned out to be a revelation. It was more intense in every way: a lot more chocolatey, a lot less sweet, and a lot nuttier. It was like the grown-up version of the store-bought stuff. After I came back home, I couldn’t resist the project of making my own.
Making homemade chocolate and hazelnut spread is easy: if you have a food processor, you’re just a few steps away from a treat that will brighten up your mornings. Although I didn’t grow up with a jar of Nutella sitting on the breakfast table, it’s now something I like to treat myself to from time to time. Placing a jar of homemade chocolate and hazelnut spread on the table feels truly luxurious! Starting my day with a slice of banana bread slathered thick with homemade chocolate and hazelnut spread is a sure way to make me smile.
But don’t confine the use of this delightful homemade chocolate and hazelnut spread to mornings only: it’s a luxurious sidekick for Torta di Nocciole—Italian Hazelnut Cake—and a delightful topping for homemade gelato. Drizzle if over your morning granola, add it to a banana smoothie, or heck, even treat yourself to a spoonful: your secret is safe with me.
Hazelnuts are easy to peel: Roast hazelnuts to peel them super easily. To roast and peel hazelnuts, spread them over a baking sheet and bake at 350°F (170°C) for 15 minutes, giving the tray a good shake every five minutes. When the skin of the hazelnuts is shiny and crackled, remove from the oven and transfer to a clean dish towel. Close the towel up into a bundle and rub the hazelnuts against one another vigorously to remove the skin. Open the towel and pick up the peeled hazelnuts. Some bits of skin will remain and that’s ok, simply make sure to discard all the loose papery bits. Keep the roasted hazelnuts in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.
Look for roasted and peeled hazelnuts to save time: Some companies, such as Yupik in Canada and AZNUT in the US, sell unsalted roasted hazelnuts. These are more expensive, but a huge time saver. Nuts are expensive and using stale nuts in a dessert is such an awful waste! Make sure to buy roasted nuts packaged by a trusted company and from a store with a high turnover to make sure they are fresh.
Always store unused nuts in the fridge: Nuts are expensive, so you should make sure to treat them with extra care. All nuts will turn rancid when they’re not properly stored, but I find hazelnuts to be especially sensitive to spoilage. Nuts will turn rancid within a couple of weeks when stored at room temperature (such as in a pantry.) You shouldn’t store nuts in the freezer, which is too harsh an environment. Refrigerator freezers are not made for lengthy store and cause freezer burns, which damages food and renders it inedible. Unused nuts should be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator: this will keep them fresh for months.
Store homemade chocolate hazelnut spread in the refrigerator, too: While the spread will stiffen up a bit upon refrigeration, it remains spreadable. Refrigerating the spread will keep it fresh for up to two weeks and prevent it from turning rancid. You can fully return homemade chocolate hazelnut spread to its gooey state by letting it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Add the roasted, skinned, and cooled hazelnuts to the bowl of a food processor. Process until the hazelnuts turn to a smooth paste, 4 to 5 minutes. Scrape the bowl a few times to make sure the hazelnuts blend to an even texture.
When the nuts reach a smooth consistency (like a thick, spreadable butter), add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Process again until well blended. The mixture will be very thick at this point. Scrape down the bowl thoroughly.
Add 1 tbsp of the oil, then process for 30 seconds. Scrape down the bowl and process for 30 seconds more. Check the texture: homemade chocolate-hazelnut spread should be smooth and spreadable—it should slowly drip down the side of a spoon. Add more oil if the mixture looks stiff.
SERVING: Serve with any and all breakfast treats for a delightful morning upgrade, or with cake and gelato for a luxurious dessert.
STORAGE: Transfer the homemade chocolate hazelnut spread to a clean, airtight jar. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. The treat remains spreadable when cold, but you can fully return it to its gooey state by letting it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
HOW TO ROAST AND PEEL HAZELNUTS: Spread raw hazelnuts over a baking sheet and bake at 350°F (170°C) for 15 minutes, giving the tray a good shake every five minutes. When the skin of the hazelnuts is shiny and crackled, remove from the oven and transfer to a clean dish towel. Close the towel up into a bundle and rub the hazelnuts against one another vigorously to remove the skin. Open the towel and pick up the peeled hazelnuts. Some bits of skin will remain and that’s ok, simply make sure to discard all the loose papery bits. Refrigerate the roasted and peeled hazelnuts in an airtight container until needed.
Did you make this?
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