Homemade chocolate hazelnut butter has a deeply layered and rich flavor. It is less sweet than commercial versions but much stronger in cacao and nutty qualities. The texture is a bit mealier and chunkier. This chocolate hazelnut butter is similar in consistency to all-natural peanut butter. And it has a lovely buttery smell of toasted hazelnuts.
It is extremely easy to make, and for a preservative-free homemade item, it has a nice shelf life of one month. You can make it in a big batch or as small as a half cup. By using raw ingredients, this chocolate hazelnut butter can easily be adapted for a raw diet.
Homemade Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Butter
- 2 cups raw hazelnuts
- 1/3 cup raw cacao powder
- 1/3 cup medjool dates
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon refined coconut oil or cacao butter
- pinch of course sea salt
2. After removing nuts from the oven and while they are still hot, transfer them to a large jar or another container with a tight fitting lid. Shake the nuts to remove their dark skins. (There are other methods such as rubbing the nuts together in your hands or in a towel to remove the skins, but I find the jar method less messy.) Do your best to remove the most skin you can. It doesn't need to be perfect.
3. Transfer the skinned hazelnuts to a food processor or high-speed blender. Puree the hazelnuts into a nut butter. (If you’ve never done this before, it can take 5 to 10 minutes. When the nuts are still warm, they will turn into butter faster than if they are cold.) The nuts will first turn crumbly, then to a coarse flour, and then when their oils are released it will finally begin to look like a spread.
4. When the nuts have turned to butter, add dates, cacao powder, salt, vanilla, and coconut oil. (I suggest roughly chopping the dates if you’re using a food processor.) Blend and taste for sweetness. If more sweetness is needed, add an additional date or spoonful of maple syrup. Continue to blend until the mixture has reached desired smoothness. Depending on your machine, there will be a limit to how smooth you can make the hazelnut butter. It will taste amazing no matter what texture your finished spread. I used a small food processor, and my result was thick and gooey with a grainy texture--and delicious. Chocolate hazelnut butter is perfect slathered on toast, mixed in morning porridge, swirled in nice cream, spread on strawberries, as a filling in a chocolate layer cake, or, of course, you can always enjoy it with a big spoon straight from the jar.
Also by Robin: Vegan Overnight Oats with Strawberry & Tahini
Related: Chocolate Hazenut Torte
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Photos: Robin Kurotsuchi