Chocolate hazelnut spread

” Ok, so I love spooning this straight from the bowl, and I thought I was bad with peanut butter!”

As a child whenever I had to go food shopping with my mum, I never used to really be that excited about it. However, when I really had to go to the supermarkets, I knew which aisles I was most excited about visiting, after the toys and the games that is. The aisles that used to get me the most excited were the condiments and the cereal aisles – yes, really!

Why?

Kellogg's variety pack

I used to the love the idea of a Kellogg’s variety pack (because that was the only way I was ever going to be allowed Coco Pops) and because I loved the prospect of having a peanut butter or chocolate spread sandwich at least once in my lunchbox, the following week – these were mega treats in my house!

Want to skip to the recipe?

Back then, Nutella was never really a big thing

I remember seeing it on the condiments aisle and thinking it was just a regular chocolate spread, I didn’t want it any more than other chocolate spreads I saw,  and I guess I was kind of lucky in that respect because my Mum saw it as just that, and only ever bought it, and let me have it in moderation – I say lucky, and will explain why further on.

Since then, Nutella as a brand has grown in popularity. It celebrated its 50th birthday just a few year ago and has gone on to be presented as nutritious and natural with many images of family, children and breakfast time, used to market the chocolate and hazelnut spread owned, I’ve recently learnt, by Ferrero Rocher.

The company has been particularly good at placing the spread as a good ingredient for breakfast time emphasising the hazelnut and milk content rather than the incredibly high sugar and saturated fat content that I’ve recently discovered my Mum was saving me from all those years ago!

So much so that the contrast between the preferences of myself and my brother at breakfast time more than seven years later was pretty huge.

While Nutella was still a treat, it became the norm for him to have it on one slice of toast should he have chosen to at breakfast time before school.

Fast forward another 7 years…

Nutella in Amsterdam

…and when I visited Amsterdam it was literally everywhere! On crepes, on waffles, on ice-cream! I fell in love with it, and I don’t remember a week, six months following my trip there, where I didn’t have a jar of Nutella in my cupboard for those weaker and more nostalgic moments.

One thing that made me sad about going plant-based

One thing that made me sad about opting for a plant-based diet was the fact I wasn’t going to be able to enjoy Nutella anymore. Even local supermarket’s own brand of chocolate hazelnut spread didn’t offer milk-free alternatives and I wondered how I’d actually go without.

This prompted me to look into the ingredients of the spread and just how simple it could actually be to make myself – it’s just chocolate and hazelnuts right?

Well, not if you want to stick to the traditional recipe.

The trademarked Nutella suggests it to be made up of “7 quality ingredients:”

  1. Sugar
  2. Palm Oil
  3. Hazelnuts
  4. Milk
  5. Vanillin
  6. Lecithin
  7. Cocoa

Nutella photo of all ingredients

A recent photograph released in January last year, which caused a bit of a stir put this into perspective.

I mean where was I going to get some palm oil from – not that I wanted to.

But it turns out you there’s an even tastier and healthier way to enjoy chocolate hazelnut spread

And instead of 7 ingredients which include milk, high sugar content and harmful palm oil, it requires just 5!

I always opt for 85% – 90% high quality dark chocolate, I reference some of my favourites in the write up for my Chilli Chocolate Pie recipe.

Better than nutella

The great thing is, no cooking is required, and you can enjoy it pretty much straight away!

The Recipe

Prep time: 7-10 mins

Cost: < £3

Ingredients:

  • 300 grams of roasted hazelnuts
  • 250 grams of melted dark chocolate
  • 100 ml of maple syrup
  • 125 ml of plant-based milk (hazelnut or almond)
  • A pinch of salt

Method:

  • Melt the dark chocolate in a saucepan over low heat and add the maple syrup
  • Add the hazelnuts to the food processor with the melted chocolate, syrup and salt and blend all of the ingredients together
  • Add the milk and mix well until a smooth, spreadable consistency

It’s seriously that simple.

Have any hints, tips or ingredients you think may pair well with this or other recipes? I’m always down for new friends, get in touch.