Nutella is a famous brand of chocolate hazelnut spread, that was invented by Pietro Ferrero and put on the market in 1964. Since then, it has become a true mass phenomenon. If you’re anything like us you should definitely give it a try, it may surprise you how quick and simple it is to make the homemade version.
Origin and history
Back in 1806, Napoleon tried to bring down British commerce which caused the cost of chocolate to skyrocket and left Italian Piedmontese chocolatiers in the lurch. The chocolatiers started adding chopped hazelnuts to chocolate to stretch the supply as much as possible. Over a century later, chocolate again became expensive and scarce due to rationing in Europe during World War II.
In 1946, Pietro Ferrero, an Italian pastry maker from Piedmont in Italy thought of making a paste from hazelnuts, sugar, and cocoa. This paste was shaped into a loaf that could be sliced and served on bread. He named it ‘Giandujot‘ after a famous local carnival character at the time.
In 1951, The ‘Giandujot’ paste was transformed into a new product that could be easily spread on bread and called SuperCrema gianduja.
In 1963, some years later, Pietro Ferrero’s son, Michele improved the recipe and created the first-ever jar of a new hazelnut and cocoa cream which was named Nutella. The first jar of Nutella left the factory in Alba on April 20, 1964. The product was an instant success and becomes the world’s most famous spread.
Notes and tips
It is really easy to make your own homemade Nutella, here are some tips:
- Toasting the hazelnuts which help to release the nut’s oil and turn them into a creamy spread.
- We’ve used brown sugar in our recipe but you can substitute it with any other sweetener: honey, dates, dry dates powder, powdered sugar, honey, maple syrup, stevia, …
- We’ve used vegetable oil but you can use coconut oil but be cautious that it will alter the original taste of the spread.
- We’ve used 2 tablespoons of oil but if the spread turns out clumpy, you can add 1-2 tsp.
- Adding a pinch of salt will enhance the chocolate flavor.
- You can totally experiment with other nuts, such as cashews, almonds, peanuts, etc.
- Avoid to refrigerate it since it will cause the spread to harden.
- Finally, you can keep this spread on your counter for up to 2 weeks or 1 month if refrigerated.
The Nutella spread can be served in lots of various ways:
- Spread over toast, pancakes, waffles, … ;
- Spread overs fruits (apples, strawberries, peaches, pears kiwis, bananas, …);
- Dip for cookies, crackers, biscuits, … ;
- Scooped over ice cream;
- Icing for cakes, cupcakes, banana bread, …
- Peanut butter;
- Almond butter;
- Pistachio paste;
- 250 g hazelnuts
- 120 g brown sugar
- 50 g dark chocolate
- 30 g cocoa
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ⅛ tsp salt
- Roast the hazelnuts in a preheated oven to 360°F (180°C) for 10-12 minutes.
- Let the roasted hazelnuts cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Peel the skin off with a towel.
- Place the hazelnuts in a food processor or blender and ground them very finely. Process for about 3-5 minutes until they turn into butter.
- Add sugar and cocoa and mix again for 30 seconds.
- With the food processor running drizzle the oil and vanilla extract and process for 1 minute.
- Add the salt and process again for 15 seconds.
- Add chocolate and continue processing for 30-60 seconds.
Sources: 1. Nutella - History. www.nutella.com. 2. Wikipedia - Nutella. www.wikipedia.org.