A world without Nutella is a very sad one. At least for me anyway. As I moved to plant-based eating, I decided I needed to find a recipe for vegan Nutella. It is a creamy smooth chocolate hazelnut spread you can put on bread or pancakes or dip fruit into it usually has milk and processed sugar. A main part of plant-based eating is removing processed foods including sugar and grains.
Vegan Hazelnut Spread
After some searching, I found a recipe for vegan hazelnut spread. While it is only five ingredients, there is some work to take place. You’ll need raw unsalted hazelnuts, vanilla extract, sea salt, dairy-free dark chocolate or a cacao powder, and pure maple syrup. And a good blender or food processor to blend it all together.
There are some keys to making this yummy spread. One is to roast the hazelnuts. Even if you purchase roasted hazelnuts, re-roasting will warm the natural oils and loosen the skins. And a sturdy towel to remove as much of the skins as possible. That will make a creamy spread. Chocolate is another important element. Chose quality chocolate or cacao powder to make your spread. There will be a sticker shock when you purchase quality cacao powder. I use Trader Joe’s 72% Dark Chocolate bar.
In making this vegan Nutella, you can customize it to your taste. It is all natural without stabilizers so stirring is a must. It is perfect to put on homemade bread.
- - 3 cups raw unsalted hazelnuts
- - 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or paste
- - 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- - 2/3 cup dairy-free dark chocolate
- - 1 or 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350F or 176C.
- 2. Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet in a single layer. For raw, roast for 12-15 minutes. If already roasted then roast for 8-10 minutes.
- 3. Remove tray from oven and cool slightly.
- 4. Transfer hazelnuts to towel and roll the nuts around getting as much skins off as possible.
- 5. Put the skinless hazelnuts in the food processor blending until a butter forms after 8-10 minutes.
- 6. While the butter is blending, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments.
- 7. When the butter is creamy and smooth then add the vanilla and salt blending well.
- 8. Based on taste, you can adjust the seasoning and add 1 or 2 tablespoon maple syrup.
- 9. Transfer to a clean jar and store at room temperature. It will keep for 2-3 weeks.
Making of the Lux French Macarons
I seem to be on the French cooking spurt with the baguettes and now macarons. Perhaps that’s telling me I need to plan a trip to France. Who wants to send me there for a month or so? For Well Worn Apron of course! For the art of food, so I can write about the food experience.
Back to macarons. They are like this mythical treat. Epic with their own cult following. I have to admit I have never had a French macaron until I made these ones. Crazy, I know, but true. I am now a fan.
They are beautiful… crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. The flavors and fillings can be anything. I made two types: coffee with Nutella filling and lemon with lemon buttercream. I am going to share the coffee recipe since it was the easiest and quickest to make. If you want me to post on the lemon ones, let me know in the comments or on Facebook. Best to make them 24-48 hours before you plan on sharing them. Allows them to develop their flavor and texture. Fair warning macaron making is an afternoon baking session so unlike cookies you cannot just whip these up last minute.
If you have noticed, recently I have been using weight measurements for baking. I am finding I am getting better end results. Baking is more science than art. Worth investing in a scale.
Coffee Nutella Filled French Macarons
- 120 grams almond flour
- 200 grams powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso granules
- 100 grams egg whites or whites for 3 eggs, room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- pinch of kosher salt
- 30 grams granulated sugar
- Nutella spread
- Measure the almond flour, powdered sugar, and espresso powder into the bowl of a food processor.
- Pulse the mixture to a fine powder, and sift.
- Whip the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on medium speed until frothy.
- Slowly add the granulated sugar (about a teaspoon at a time), while continuing to whip. Once all the sugar has been incorporated, turn the speed up to high and whip until the meringue looks glossy and holds stiff peaks.
- Dump all the almond flour mixture into the meringue at once.
- Fold together until the batter falls from the spoon.
- Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip, and pipe rounds about 1 inch in diameter onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Slam the baking sheet on the counter to force out any large air bubbles allowing to dry for 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 325F.
- Bake for 15-16 minutes.
- Cool completely on the baking sheet
- Sandwich with Nutella.
Real crêpes in the US? And outside of a large metro area such as New York City at that?
Normally I would say no way; however, today I can yes it is possible.
Crêpe World opened recently in Rocky Mount, NC. We went there today to see what it was all about. Vibe was cool and yet relaxed. They serve both sweet and savory crêpes at a reasonable price.
I went traditional with Nutella and banana.
Jeroen, my husband, went savory with the “Carolina” which was chicken, cheese, and salad.
Everything looked authentic to me in how they prepared the crêpes.
So a little bit of Europe has come to my neck of the woods. And I’m pretty happy with that.
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