I have always liked Nutella, but I’m not a fan of milk chocolate and wish it were more dark and bittersweet. While I like Nutella, I know I’d love dark chocolate Nutella. So I set out to make a darker version myself. And after reading the amusing news reports of the woman who sued the company because commercials for Nutella implied that it was a healthy breakfast food for her kids, I wondered if I could make a version that is a bit healthier. I wanted to make my dark chocolate hazelnut spread without adding sugar or oil, but I didn’t have much luck finding a recipe online that looked right for me. So here’s my concoction, made simply with nuts, honey, unsweetened cocoa powder, almond milk, vanilla, and salt.
Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
1 cup raw, unsalted hazelnuts
2 1/2 tsp. raw honey
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/8 tsp. salt
Roast hazelnuts on a cookie sheet in the oven at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes (check after 5 minutes and shake them on the sheet for even roasting).
Remove from oven and let cool enough to handle, then remove skin from the nuts with your fingers (or shake the nuts in a covered bowl).
In a food processor, puree the hazelnuts until shiny and smooth, resembling the texture of natural peanut butter.
Add the cocoa powder, salt, honey, and 1/4 cup of the almond milk and puree until smooth. If it needs more moisture, use the remaining almond milk.
Note: I brought a batch to a dinner party at the home of friends and we spread it on croissants for dessert. They told me they aren’t the biggest fans of Nutella, but they loved this spread.