Makes slightly more than 4 pint jars
Adapted from Leite’s Culinaria
2 cups hazelnuts
28 ounces dark chocolate (Trader Joe’s Pound Plus Dark Chocolate works well here)
4 tablespoons canola oil or other mild vegetable oil
7 tablespoons confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch process coca powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
kosher salt, to taste (depending on your desire, between nothing and 1 teaspoon)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees with the rack positioned in the middle of the oven.
1. On a rimmed baking sheet, lay out hazelnuts in a single layer. Roast about 15 minutes, until they’ve browned a bit and the skin has started to blister off of the nut.
2. Remove from oven and while they’re still warm, put them into a clean kitchen towel. Pull all of the corners together to make a tight ball and vigorously rub the nuts. The nuts will rub up against the towel and each other and the roasted skin will fall off. Repeat a few times. If you see that some nuts still have their full skin, roast those an extra 5 minutes. Some skin will remain and that’s fine!
3, Let the hazelnuts cool completely.
4. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate in 30 second increments, stirring in between each increment. Let it cool for a few minutes.
5. In a food processor with metal blade: add hazelnuts and chop until a coarse paste forms. Let the blade turn for at least 60 seconds. If necessary, scrape down the sides and chop again. It should have the consistency of peanut butter.
6. Add the oil, confectioners sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla to the food processor. Let the blade run for at least another 60 seconds or so. If needed, scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.
7. Add the melted chocolate to the food processor. Remove as much chocolate from the bowl as you can (we’re going to reuse the bowl in just a minute). Let the blade run for another 60 seconds or so.
8. This step can be optional. If you don’t mind the grittiness of the hazelnut pieces, skip to step 9! Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve back into the bowl where you melted the chocolate (I’m not a fan of washing dishes. If you are, go ahead and use a clean bowl.) You’ll need to do this in batches, using a spatula to push through the chocolate mixture, leaving behind the larger pieces of hazelnuts. The hazelnuts and chocolate that remain in the sieve are perfectly delicious. Go ahead and eat them with a banana or apple as you’re finishing up!
9. Taste the spread. If you feel that it needs salt to cut down on the sweetness, go ahead and add it.
10. The chocolate hazelnut spread will initially be a bit runny (you’ll be grateful for this as you’re trying to pour it into a jar), but it will harden as it cools down. Store in an air tight glass jar. It can probably last up to 3 weeks, but it’s never made it longer than a week in our house.
Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!