Italians loves Nutella! I have heard several people with Italian roots express their love for the chocolate-hazelnut spread. Giada De Laurentiis is among those people. I was also wondering why she didn't just bust out a batch of her own. That was until today, when she made some on her show "Giada at Home" as a part of Food Network's Chocolate Weekend. I made a chocolate-hazelnut spread for my wife for Christmas this year. So I was curious to show how this recipe would match up with the one I made earlier. Below you will find my notes from this recipe. The full recipe can be found at Food Network's website.
1. Before you can begin you need to prepare the hazelnuts. This is the longest part of the recipe. I purchased some whole in the shell hazelnuts at Christmas time for a great price. But that means I had to shell the hazelnuts and then find a way to remove the other skin. My wife read that you can blanch the hazelnuts and then the skins will be easier to remove. I don't think I blanched them long enough. We had to work really hard to remove them.
2. The best way to add flavor to any nut is to roast it. So the hazelnuts when sun bathing in my oven for 10 minutes. Be careful not to burn them. I check them every 5 mins and I liked how they looked at 10.
3. A cook's note at the end of the recipe says you can melt the chocolate in the microwave. This is what I did instead of a double boiler. It's so much quicker and easier.
4. For additional sweetness, honey is called for. I recommend a light honey such as a clover or orange blossom. This is a case where you don't really want a strong honey as it could overpower the finished product.
5. The mixture came together in my food processor pretty flawless. You just have to remember to keep scrapping down the side of the bowl. It's fun to watch the nuts turn into a paste.
6. Don't overwork it! Once the chocolate is fully integrated stop. This because the spread will thicken the longer you mix it. You still want it to be spreadable, so just incorporate the chocolate and end it.
Once you have the ingredients all ready, you can make it in a manner of minutes. It has a delicious flavor without the palm oils that you find in Nutella. The texture is going to be a bit different than what you might be use to. But I find that if you heat it up a little bit, it's easy to spread.