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Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (Homemade Nutella)

Chocolate Almond Spread on toast

Nutella is a creamy, rich, chocolate and hazelnut spread that is popular all over the world. The first time I had it, I must have eaten a half-jar of the stuff with a whole baguette and probably would have finished off the jar if the bakery hadn’t been closed already. I would venture to say that it is more widely used outside the US than in it (possibly because of a major difference in the compositionof the US-produced Nutella and imported Nutella), which is a shame because real Nutella is a wonderful thing.

Nutella is also not exactly health food. The spread gets about half its calories from fat and, unlike peanut butter or other nut spreads, the rest is primarily made up of sugar. Fat and sugar together often taste good (especially here, where chocolate is also involved), but because Nutella happens to be one of the most perfect spreads for toast, they don’t exactly make for a balanced breakfast. As a result, I only have Nutella rarely when I can get a real – by which I mean imported – jar of the stuff.

Recently, I came across a recipe for a low fat chocolate hazelnut spreadthat sounded like it could be the answer to my breakfast dilemma – or could at least take the edge off the guilt if I decided to go back for a second slice. The spread is a lightened, homemade version of Nutella. It doesn’t quite have the ultra-creamy consistency of the original, but it is quick to make and tastes similar, with a nutty/chocolaty flavor. The spread is also not too sweet, so there is nothing to mask the natural flavor of cocoa or hazelnut. It worked out beautifully on toast spread with a little bit of butter and while I wouldn’t count on it as a full time substitute for Nutella, it’s not a bad option at all for something you can make at home to spread on crepes, bananas or to stir into oatmeal.

The recipe below calls for hazelnut meal, which you should be able to find at a natural foods store or, occasionally, in stock at Trader Joe’s. Hazelnut meal is just finely ground hazelnuts, so if you cannot find it, you can make your own by pulsing nuts in the food processor. If you’re taking this route, add in the cornstarch from the recipe below while you pulse the nuts, as it will help keep them grinding evenly and not turning immediately into a nut butter. Definitely eat the finished spread at room temperature. The flavor and consistency are the best when it is not chilled.

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
1/3 cup hazelnut meal (ground hazelnuts)
1/2 cup dry nonfat milk powder
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 cup milk (low fat)
1 tbsp vegetable oil

In a medium saucepan, combine hazelnut meal, dry milk powder, brown sugar, cocoa powder and cornstarch. Add in milk and vegetable oil and whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, until mixture begins to thicken and just starts to bubble. Remove from heat and transfer to a heatproof container, preferably one with an airtight lid.
Cool to room temperature and, if not eating right away, store in the fridge with an airtight lid on the container.
Spread tastes best at room temperature and will keep for several days in the fridge.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

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  • JEP
    February 4, 2008

    I see where Feb 5th is World Nutella Day! Let’s all celebrate with a big spoonful:)

  • Sarah
    February 4, 2008

    Nutella is amazing! I’ve done a version for a friend with milk allergies that’s more of a sweetened nut butter with cocoa. It was just roasted hazelnuts, powdered sugar, and cocoa ground until smooth in the food processor. I didn’t have to add any oil and it didn’t even separate! 🙂

  • Neha
    February 4, 2008

    Wow! This sounds so delicious!
    I don’t want to use milk powder. Any tips on what I can use instead?

  • Nicole
    February 4, 2008

    Neha – Nope, I don’t have any suggestions. Part of the nutella essence is its milkiness and I don’t know what could subsistute for milk powder. Maybe someone else will have a suggestion.

  • sorina
    February 5, 2008

    Excellent instructions and photos. Awesome Post!

  • Angela
    February 5, 2008

    My name : Angela K, .KC member
    I have started my blog and linked some of yr recipe & blog link
    without reliease that i NEED to ask permission.

    now, i would seek yr premission on this issue
    and if you feel not comfortable with it, it’s ok for me.

    I’ll delete it immediately.

    Kindly reply me by 7 Feb’08.

  • emma
    February 5, 2008

    interesting how the ingredients vary from country to country…

  • Alison
    February 5, 2008

    I love Nutella straight from the jar or with a sliced apple and particularly love your recipe for Nutella Scrolls! I tried them not long ago and blogged about them myself! Wonderful!

  • Alex
    February 5, 2008

    Yum! Thanks for the recipe. Do you know how long it keeps? Also, does it need to be refrigerated?

  • Alex
    February 5, 2008

    Oops, just realized you answered my question already. Sorry!

  • Kevin
    February 5, 2008

    Making your own chocolate hazelnut spread sounds like fun.

  • Cap'n Jack
    February 6, 2008

    Wow, thanks! I love nutella!!

  • michelle tan
    August 9, 2008

    I had been looking for this healthy chocolate spread. Very happy to find your recipe. Going to try it. Million thanks .

  • Homemade Chocolate
    August 21, 2008

    “major difference in the composition of the US-produced Nutella and imported Nutella”I didn’t know about this, very interesting

  • Abbcatt
    April 27, 2009

    A remake off of Nutilla (Which you CAN find in most Krogers or Chain Gorshery stores around America) is called simply “Hazlenut spread) exact same stuff! just priced less.
    They have one at Kroger. look in the peanut butter section. right next to the “Nuttilla” you will see “Hazelnut spread with cocoa” right next to it. its by kroger but made in Italy. if you buy both you cant taste the diffrence at all!!! thats cuz they are both made by the same actually processing coponey! one is in Switsherland (or whereever Nutillia is made) and one in Italy! same stuff!!! Try this thu too!

  • Lynda
    May 7, 2009

    To make the hazelnutmeal, do I need skinned hazelnuts? If so, how do I do this?

  • my turkish kitchen
    May 22, 2009

    I will definitely try this recipe of yours. By the way, the best hazelnut you can find grows in Turkey.

  • cheap home phone service
    November 12, 2009

    I’ve done a version for a friend with milk allergies that’s more of a sweetened nut butter with cocoa. It was just roasted hazelnuts, powdered sugar, and cocoa ground until smooth in the food processor.

  • Grace K
    March 22, 2010

    Hi there,

    This is just the recipe I’ve been looking for! Was wondering if I could omit the dry milk from the recipe? I really can’t stand the taste of powdered milk. Thanks.

  • Julie Lanteri
    September 1, 2010

    Lanteri’s Kitchen Challenge is featuring this recipe for September 2010!

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