(photo from david lebovitz)
i'm not sure if there is anything better than nutella except for maybe homemade nutella. everything always tastes better when homemade, don't you think? this recipe, from one of my favorite food bloggers david lebovitz (better known as the guy who wrote one of THE go-to books on ice cream making -- the perfect scoop), seems like a cinch to make once you gather all of the ingredients. and what an amazingly simple gift it would make for valentine's day!
Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
by David Lebovitz, adapted from Encyclopédie du Chocolat
1/3 cup (40g) whole almonds
1 1/3 cup (160g) hazelnuts
1 3/4 cup (400g) whole milk
7/8 cup (60g) powdered whole milk
3 tablespoons (40g) mild-flavored honey
pinch of salt
6 ounces (170g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
5 ounces (140g) milk chocolate, chopped (use one that’s at least 30% cacao solids)
1. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet, keeping the almond separate, and toast the nuts in a 350ºF (180ºC) oven, stirring a few times, for 10 to 15 minutes, until the hazelnuts are browned.
2. While they are roasting, warm the whole milk and powdered milk in a small saucepan with the honey and salt just until it starts to boil. Remove from heat.
3. In a clean, dry bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, or in a microwave oven, melt the chocolates together until smooth.
4. Once the nuts are well-toasted, remove them from oven and use a spatula to place the warm hazelnuts in a clean tea towel, then fold them inside the towel and rub them vigorously to remove any loose skins. They don’t need to be pristine; just try to get as much off as possible.
5. In a food processor, grind the warm hazelnuts and almonds until they’re as fine as possible. You may not be able to get them completely smooth, depending on your food processor. (I have a brand new one and even after five minutes, there were little bits of nuts in mine, which is normal.)
6. Add the melted chocolate and continue to process the mixture, stopping to scrape down the sides of the work bowl, as necessary.
7. Once the mixture is smooth, add the warm milk mixture and process until everything is well-combined.
8. Transfer the mixture into two jars and refrigerate until ready to use.
Storage: The Chocolate-Hazelnut Paste will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.