Saturday, February 6, 2010


There is, at last, some glimmer of recognition at my day job that people spend a lot of time at this place called "the internet." So yesterday I got to meet with a consultant who sets up small businesses with social media. We met at a local Wifi cafe where every single table was populated by someone with a lap top, a smart phone, and a (live) friend.

I catch a lot of flack from my uninitiated friends about how "superficial" and "vacuous" and "seventh grade" the web is. On the other hand, the web has made me a better gardener, a more creative and active cook, and a thoughtful coach. And I've met some amazing people, that I have to call friends, although I've never met them and likely never will.

Well, one of the things that Liz the social media expert mentioned is that, apparently, February 5 is World Nutella Day. Who knew. Mark it in your calendars. I was running around all day yesterday and wasn't able to get this post in, so I'm a day late. But here you go. I didn't actually make this yesterday, so no pictures (I'll make some and post them later.) Never be without nutella again:

Chocolate-hazelnut spread (homemade Nutella)
2 cups whole raw hazelnuts
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
up to 1/4 cup vegetable or nut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place hazelnuts in a single layer on a shallow baking pan. Toast until the skins are almost black and the meat is dark brown, about 15 minutes. Stir the nuts halfway through baking so ensure an even color.

Since the skin is bitter, you'll want to discard them. Wrap the cooled hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel or paper towel, and rub until most of the skins have come off. Don't fret if you can't get off all the skins.

Process nuts in a food processor, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until they have liquefied, about 5 minutes. At first, you will get coarsely chopped nuts, and then it will turn into a fine meal. After a little while, the nuts will form a ball around the blade, and it will seem like you only have a solid mass. Keep processing. The heat and friction will extract the natural oils, and you will get hazelnut butter!

When the nuts are liquified, add in the sugar, cocoa and vanilla. Slowly drizzle in enough oil to make a spreadable consistency. Since the mixture is warm, it will be more liquidy now than at room temperature.

Transfer the spread to an airtight container, and store refrigerated for up to 1 month. For best results, stir the chocolate-hazelnut spread before using.

1 comment:

  1. I adore Nutella!

    Your long-distance internet & gardening friend. =)