Smoked hazelnuts add incredible flavor to homemade Nutella, making a fantastic family friendly, yet smoky, treat!
*Bonus: this makes an incredible gift for the holidays!
I never intended to write a recipe for smoked hazelnut Nutella. But a few weeks ago I posted a photo, both on my Instagram stories, and on my personal Facebook page, and people went crazy for it.
This was the exact photo…
The only reason I made it in the first place is because I’m pretty anti-Nutella (the store-bought product) around here. And by that I mean I don’t buy it for my kids because of all the artificial ingredients and excess of sugar and oil.
BUT, they have this grandmother, see, who loves the stuff, and always buys it when she visits and then leaves it in our pantry for the kids to drool over. They crave it.
So when we were staring at this big pile of hazelnuts a few weeks back – because that’s what you do when you live on a 5-acre hazelnut farm – we discussed different things we could do with it. They immediately asked if we could make Nutella. Because kids. And chocolate.
But of course we weren’t going to roast the hazelnuts like most recipes suggest. Nope. We were going to smoke them.
Because that’s what we do. We drink wine and smoke things.
How to Smoke Hazelnuts
- Preheat smoker: to 200 degrees (F) using a fruit wood
- Prep hazelnuts: place raw and shelled hazelnuts on a baking tray.
- Smoke: place on the smoker for 60-90 minutes, checking every 30 minutes on the status of the hazelnuts (see notes).
- Remove: when cool enough to handle, remove any skin that may still remain.
We’ve cooked the hazelnuts at a higher heat (225 degrees+) for less time, but when combined with the chocolate the smoked flavor is a bit muted. They need longer time on the smoker, but at a lower temperature so that they don’t overcook. We like somewhere between 180-200 degrees for closer to 90 minutes. You’ll get enough smoke flavor to know what was in it. It’s not strong or overpowering. The chocolate still overpowers the smoke a bit, but it creates a better balance.
I’m pretty sure I’ve converted to letting my kids eat the stuff regularly now.
How to make Homemade Nutella
For the base recipe I consulted a few recipes for inspiration. The Splendid Table was where I started. That one seemed to have a nice balance (and bonus, I had all the ingredients). David Lebovitz’s was interesting, but involved a lot of dairy (milk and powered milk), and I was iffy as to how long it would last on the shelf. bon appétit added an entire stick of butter and a full cup of heavy cream, defeating my purpose of attempting a slightly “healthier” version than the store-bought. On the opposite spectrum Detoxinista was dairy free and used a lot of coconut (oil, powder, and sugar). For our smoked hazelnut Nutella we ended up using a combo of the later and The Splendid Table, using hazelnut oil as my oil.
So this is where I landed, and it’s absolutely fantastic!
- In a food processor or strong blender place the hazelnuts and blend for about 2 minutes until a paste forms. This takes time. At first it looks like chopped nuts, but keep going, pausing periodically to push down the sides. Once a paste (similar to peanut butter) forms, you’re ready for the next step.
- Add melted chocolate, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, hazelnut oil, vanilla, and salt, and puree until combined and creamy.
- Pour into an air tight container (like a mason jar) and keep at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Since Oregon produces 99% of the nation’s hazelnuts (fun fact!) we can find hazelnut oil around these parts with little effort. But if you can’t find it I’d suggest another mild oil (such as vegetable or canola), vs a hard oil like coconut. While the coconut adds a nice flavor, it doesn’t help with the silky texture I was aiming for.
My kids go crazy for this, and I’m totally okay with them eating it by the spoonful (unlike it’s store-bought alternative)!
Smoked Hazelnut Nutella is crazy good on so many things:
- Graham crackers for a simple snack
- Crepes (mmmmm, especially with some banana slices)
- Pretzels (my kids current favorite)
- And so many more!
- Smoked Almonds
- Smoked Almond Butter
- Grilled Chicken Salad with Candied Pecans
- Hazelnut Crusted Grilled Duck
Homemade Smoked Hazelnut Nutella Recipe
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