Breakfast in Europe is such a happy experience. Whether you are in a hotel, staying with friends, visiting family or waiting for a train at a station, the aromas and drowsy anticipation of that first sip of coffee is incredibly pleasant. I wish I could give a deeper description of how I feel about those memories other than just “happy”…invent some sort of convoluted word qualification of the feeling… Sometimes we treat the word “happy” as if the sentiment isn’t deep enough. But really isn’t happiness the goal?
Chocolate Hazelnut Spread is Everything
I remember the first time I had Nutella while breakfasting in Europe. Well, I don’t remember exactly where I was, to be honest. But I remember the Nutella. Chocolate frosting for breakfast? See you later, raisin bran and scrambled eggs. European style breakfast was my new cup of tea.
And there was the time I was having breakfast at my favorite restaurant in Texas. As part of the service, the waiter left an entire oversized jar of Nutella on our table. Such trust! I wanted to sneak the jar into my purse, but there was no polite way of doing it. That was one of my very favorite breakfast meals ever.
Sure, you can now buy Nutella in the States. I have even seen little packets of Nutella in the candy aisle at the gas station convenience store. But making Chocolate Hazelnut Spread at home is a tribute to all those great breakfasts that we have enjoyed out in the world: a meditation on happy travels.
Make Chocolate Hazelnut Spread at Home
Chocolate Hazelnut Spread is ridiculously easy to make at home and always good to have on hand if you need a quick dessert. I use home-made Chocolate Hazelnut Spread as a cake filling or fruit dip or even sandwiched between two cookies. Even a store-bought pound cake is livened up by a few warm spoonsfuls.
A spoonful spread of Chocolate Hazelnut Spread on a warm croissant takes me back to some of those wonderful breakfasts away from the ranch. Did I love the location or was it the deliciousness on my toast? Sure, frosting on your morning breakfast is a luxury, just like European travel. But we need to get away from feeling guilty about the good stuff. Less worry, less hurry, more happy.Print
Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
- Prep Time: 4 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 14 minutes
- Yield: 2 Cups 1x
6 oz. raw hazelnuts (unsalted (170g))
¼ cup vegetable oil (60ml)
12 oz. pk. chocolate chips
¼ cup cocoa powder (40g)
½ cup powdered sugar (62g)
1 tsp. vanilla extract (5ml)
- Heat your oven to 350°F (176°C). Place the raw hazelnuts in a baking pan, making sure there is enough room in the pan so the hazelnuts are in a single layer. Place the pan in the oven to toast the hazelnuts, checking and stirring the nuts every 2 minutes. The hazelnuts should be fully toasted in 8-10 minutes. Remove the hazelnuts from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- Place the hazelnuts in a food processor, and process for about 10 seconds, until they are finely ground. Add the vegetable oil through the feed tube, and process for another 10 seconds until the mixture becomes smooth.
- Stop the food processor, remove the lid and add the chocolate chips, cocoa, powdered sugar and vanilla. Close the processor container again, and process until the mixture is smooth and shiny, about 2 minutes.
- The chocolate hazelnut spread is ready to eat or use immediately. Store in the refrigerator but bring to room temperature before use.