homemade nutella

I don’t know about everyone else, but my family, friends, and I all love Nutella, which is a chocolate hazelnut spread. It is wonderful on berries, pretzels, ice cream, or with a spoon, and never lasts long in my house. Bon Appetit magazine had a recipe for homemade Nutella that I just had to try out, and this weekend, with help from my younger brother, I did. The recipe is very simple, and the only ingredient I didn’t already have on hand was hazelnuts, which I found at Trader Joe’s. Be warned, this recipe makes a TON of chocolate hazelnut spread, which is great if you eat it with the frequency I do, or not so good if you only want a small amount, in which case I would cut the recipe in half. This is a wonderful idea to give as a hostess or Christmas supplement gift (alongside something like a gift card) because of its simplicity, novelty, and who wouldn’t like to receive this as a gift? The recipe is as follows:

2 heaping cups hazelnuts, preferably skinned
1/4 cup sugar
1 lb. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1” pieces, room temperature
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
Optional: four clean 8 oz. jars
Preheat oven to 350. Spread out nuts on a rimmed baking sheet or an ovenproof skillet. Roast, shaking sheet once for even toasting, until deep brown, 13-15 minutes. Let cool completely. (If nuts have skins, rub them in a kitchen towel to remove).
Grind hazelnuts in a food processor with sugar until a fairly smooth, buttery paste forms, about 1 minute.
Place chocolate in a medium metal bowl. Set bowl over a large saucepan of simmering water; stir often until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove bowl from saucepan; add butter and whisk until completely incorporated. Whisk in cream and salt, then hazelnut paste.
Pour gianduja into jars, dividing equally. Let cool (gianduja will thicken and become soft and peanut butter-like as it cools). Screw on lids. Can be made up to 4 weeks ahead; keep chilled. Let stand at room temperature for 4 hours to soften. Can stand at room temperature up to 4 days.
Some of my own notes:
I used semisweet chocolate chips because that is what I had on hand. It was easier because no chopping was required. I also did not use the double boiler method to melt chocolate. Instead, I put the chips in a glass bowl and microwaved for 30 seconds at a time, stirring well in between. My hazelnut paste was a bit grainy, and maybe this is because our food processor needs to be replaced. Either way, the end product did thicken up quite nicely, and was similar to Trader Joe’s “nutella.”