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Author Notes: This is a little pot of sweetness that I am making for my special Valentines this year. Think of this as a heart healthy nutella. It is all about letting the toasted hazelnuts shine; there is very little sugar and just enough chocolate to keep it real. To take this recipe to the top, we have added cocoa nibs and smoked sea salt. Simply serve on a sliced baguettes or just pass the spoon. —ChezUs
Makes 1 1/2 cups
- 2 1/2 cups raw hazelnuts with skins
- 1/2 cup cocoa nibs
- 4 tablespoons unrefined sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons roasted hazelnut oil
- 3/4 - 1 teaspoons cherry-wood smoked sea salt
- Heat oven to 350. Scatter the hazelnuts on a cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes; stir half way through. The nuts will get very toasty, and the skins will blister.
- Once the nuts are finished baking, remove them from the oven, and let set for 10 minutes. Spread the nuts onto a cloth towel and roughly rub them back and forth to remove the skins. Continue to do so until most of the skins are removed. Some will be challenging, and that is okay, they add a nice texture to the finished recipe.
- Put the nuts into a bowl and toss out the skins. Let the nuts cool.
- Process the nuts and cocoa nibs in a food processor, scraping down the sides occasionally, until the mixture is a very fine meal, about 5 minutes. After a while, the mixture will form a ball around the blade. Keep processing up to 7 minutes; eventually, you will extract the oils and will have a butter mixture.
- Add the sugar and cocoa powder; process for 2 minutes. Add the salt. With the food processor running, slowly add the hazelnut oil, and continue processing for 3 more minutes. Store the mixture in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, up to 1 month.