Homemade Nutella {Recipe ReDux}

It doesn’t have to be Valentine’s Day for me to want chocolate.

In fact, every day is a chocolate day. Just like I need coffee every morning, I enjoy a square of dark chocolate every night. It goes really well with the red wine that I drink every night, but that’s a different blog post. [insert red wine emoji here]

clean nutella

Even though Valentine’s Day has passed, that doesn’t mean I can’t be smitten with the ladies behind Recipe ReDux. They clearly know the way to my heart with this month’s theme — CHOCOLATE!

Favorite Chocolate Matches
Does your chocolate need a friend? This month’s posting will be after Valentine’s Day, so you may have a bit of extra chocolate around. What’s your favorite chocolate match? Be it traditional peanut butter or something more exotic like cayenne + chocolate. Show us your favorite healthy chocolate combo recipe.

I do love cinnamon + chocolate + cayenne à la Mexican Hot Chocolate and will gobble up pretty much anything with chocolate and peanut butter.

homemade nutella

But once Nutella comes into the picture, ALL BETS ARE OFF.

Nutella is like candy, though. In fact, the first — AKA main — ingredient in brand-name Nutella is sugar, then palm oil.

nutella_ingredients

No thanks.

I’ve been wanting to make my own Nutella using REAL ingredients, and this seemed like a sign from the gods that now was the time.

This Chocolate Hazelnut spread’s number one ingredient is………..

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HAZELNUTS! Then comes chocolate. Who would guess that the first two ingredients in a chocolate-hazelnut spread are hazelnuts and chocolate?

Well, now you can feel a little better about smothering this stuff on everything — or just eating straight, which is my preferred method of ingestion. This “Nutella” contains only 7 ingredients, is a clean recipe, contains only 2 Tbsp. of maple syrup as a sweetener and is super-chocolately thanks to 72% dark chocolate.

Homemade Nutella {paleo, gluten-free}

You’ll think that the hazelnut “powder” will never turn into a smooth, dreamy hazelnut butter, but have patience young grasshopper and stand and watch as it slowly becomes smoother and creamier.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups hazelnuts
  • 3.5 oz. dark chocolate (70% or higher is best)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (the one in the carton, not the can)
  • 1/4 cup dutch cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup (or more if you want it a little sweeter)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Toast hazelnuts for 10-15 minutes, until they are fragrant and start to look toasty.
  2. Wet a large cloth and pour toasted hazelnuts on top of the cloth. Fold the cloth over and keep rubbing until most of the hazelnut skins have come off (don’t worry if you feel like there’s still a lot on — I did too and my Nutella still turned out super smooth and creamy)
  3. Add toasted, skinned hazelnuts to food processer and process for about 10 minutes, until “butter” forms.DSCN0709
  4. While hazelnut butter is forming, melt dark chocolate in the microwave.
  5. Add melted dark chocolate and remaining ingredients and process until well-blended.

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Enjoy with bananas, apple slices or straight out of the jar. I’m not a big bread-eater, but if that’s your thing, this would be delicious spread on toasted bread.

paleo nutella

For more chocolatey deliciousness, follow the link below.

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Chocolate Nutella French Macarons

French macarons are my latest obsession. Picture the most amazing sandwich, but replace the bread with two perfectly round, crunchy on the outside/chewy on the inside meringue-like cookies and replace the meat with filling of choice (ganache, buttercream, preserves…the possibilities are endless). Yup, I’m pretty sure that a macaron beats a regular sandwich by a landslide.

Now, if you know about macarons, you know that they are notoriously tricky to make. Between the egg white meringue and the fact that you have to pipe them to make those perfect little circles, I had my work cut out for me. Plus, this was my first time ever trying.

Though macarons often come in punchy colors, I’m not such a big fan of food dyes, so I wanted to think of another way to spruce up my macarons. Hmm, I do love some chocolate…

CHOCOLATE NUTELLA MACARONS! Chocolate cookies with a nutella shmear in the middle. Heaven! All in all a great first attempt at making macarons.

Find the recipe at yumsugar (extremely thorough and with great instructions). This saved my life – er, my macarons. The only alteration I made was to add 2 Tbsp of cocoa powder to the dry ingredients.

First, make the macoranage (the egg white/almond meal mixture). This should be the consistency of molten lava and should flow in one continuous stream from the spatula to the bowl (if it drips rather than flows, you need to continue to work the batter).

Macaronage mixture
Then fill your piping bag and pipe small circles onto a silicon mat. This is the only thing I “screwed up.” I should have used a larger tip on my piping bag. I used a smaller one and actually swirled little circles on rather than putting a circular dollop down. The latter would have created a puffier, taller cookie. Mine were flat…but other than that, they worked out.

Before baking

Make sure you rap the pan on the counter a couple times to settle the cookie. Also, it’s crucial to let it sit for at least 15 minutes so that the tops form a shell (so when you touch them they’re not sticky). Once that shell is formed, bake at 280 for 15-18 minutes.

After baking

See the feet at the bottom (the bubbly-looking part)? That’s what you want. The cookies should be easy to get off the sheet. If not, they need a couple more minutes in the oven. My first batch wasn’t in for long enough, and so as you can see, the bottoms got a little messy when I tried to take them off the sheet.

Spread some Nutella on the good bottoms (the ones that didn’t get stuck to the pan), and voila! Amazingly chocolatey French macarons. They had the perfect crunchy shell and smooth, chewy inside.

Chocolate Nutella French Macarons