If I make a large batch of the Leite's Culineria recipe (without cream- http://leitesculinaria.com/78672/recipes-homemade-nutella.html), can I use the canning sterilization method to have it keep for a couple months? Or am I pushing it?
My gut instincts is "No" primarily because 1)it's a low acid food 2)there's fat in the recipe (in the choc, nuts, and oil). The fat can go rancid without refrigeration and the oil can insulate botulism spores from the heat. Also, the density of the nutella makes thorough heating difficult.
I suggest freezing it if you want to keep it for a couple of months.
So, as long as it's refrigerated, it will be fine for a few months? I'm assuming this applies to all homemade nut butters?
Sorry, didn't mean to imply that refrigeration will prevent the nutella from going rancid. Refrigeration will slow down the rancidity, but not totally stop it. The refrigerator might buy you a few weeks. I would recommend keeping any homemade nut butter in the fridge or freezer. Even if the butters go rancid, you've got to worry about microbials like botulism which are odorless.
The nutella recipe is high enough in fat and sugar that it would probably keep just fine for close to two months in the refrigerator. Longer than that, I'd definitely go with the freezer for storage, which I think would work quite well (just stir it up again after defrosting). I definitely would not try to can it for storing at room temp. That sounds like trouble waiting to happen.
Thanks for the help everyone, I think because I'm trying to make enough for a large party gift I'm going to go with another idea. Can't have nutella taking up my whole fridge for two months!
Why not go with short bread? Those things love being aged.