the taste space

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (Homemade Vegan Nutella)

Posted in Breakfasts, Desserts by Janet M on April 13, 2012

Where have all the hazelnuts gone?

While Rob and I went all out for our Indian Easter feast, my parents were sleeping over which meant we also had plan for breakfast. Thankfully, oatmeal works for my Mom, Rob and me. Not so much for my Dad.

My Dad eats bagels and Nutella for breakfast. I had neither. Rob picked up some Montreal-style bagels from St Lawrence Market and I decided to work on the Nutella. Without actually buying Nutella.

I have been meaning to try making my own homemade nut butter for a while, so I was eager to try Katie’s Better than Nutella recipe. I just needed some hazelnuts. Last year, I discovered the grocers in Little India sell hazelnuts super cheap. Turns out all 3 grocers had no hazelnuts. Then I went to my go-to bulk store, and they were out, too. Apparently their supplier had been out for the last 6 weeks.

Where have all the hazelnuts gone?

I re-evaluated my options:

a) Head elsewhere to buy hazelnuts (ie, The Big Carrot or the Bulk Barn)
b) Use hazelnut butter instead of hazelnuts
c) Substitute another nut (apparently Nutella used to be a mix of almonds and hazelnuts)
d) Make a chocolate-bean spread instead that didn’t require hazelnuts

Rob told me not to buy anything. We are trying to empty our pantries, not refill them. Option A and possibly option B were out. I really wanted to make a Nutella substitute, since this was for my Dad and he may not be as smitten with a chocolate bean spread as me. But you gotta do what you gotta do. I peered into our pantry and boo-yah, we had hazelnut butter! Option B it was!

I modified Ricki’s recipe slightly, but mainly with the sweetener only. After her warning that stevia-only sweetened chocolate could have a weird taste, I decided to substitute it with a portion of coconut sugar. Feel free to use your own sweetener of choice (agave, maple syrup, sugar, etc).  Super simple to make, I threw everything into my Vitamix. As it heated up, the coconut oil melted making it a smooth, silky consistency (which is what I photographed). Leftovers were popped into the fridge where it firmed up considerably. It was still spreadable and melted as it was spread onto warm, toasted bagels. Spreading it onto cold bagels could be more difficult, though.

The verdict? According to me and Rob: Better than Nutella. Silky smooth, with a lovely cocoa flavour with a touch of sweetness. I found this a bit too sweet for my liking but Rob thought it was perfect, or possibly under sweetened. My Dad said it was ok. Perhaps it wasn’t sweet enough, but he wouldn’t elaborate. (For the record, while Rob and my Mom thought the banana naan were wonderful, my Dad thought they should have been more fluffy, despite acknowledging they were already more fluffy than the store-bought naan).We were planning on gifting the remainder of the Notella to my Dad when he left, but it was nearly demolished over the course of the weekend. There was just a little left.. and had my Dad stayed for breakfast #2, it would have been all gone. Not sure where else to put this homemade Nutella? How about my Nutella and kiwi crepes or Nutella-filled aebleskiver?

This is my submission to this month’s Cook.Eat.Delicious-Desserts for Picnic Desserts, to Ricki’s Wellness Weekend and to this month’s Breakfast Club for Sweet Treats.

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (Homemade Vegan Nutella or “Notella”)
Adapted from Diet, Dessert N Dogs

1 cup hazelnut butter
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil (I wonder if something like hazelnut oil would make this less solid if storing in the fridge)
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp coconut sugar
20 drops vanilla stevia

1. Place all ingredients in a food processor or high-powered blender and blend until smooth and combined. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Makes 1 cup.

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22 Responses

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  1. rszumlak said, on April 13, 2012 at 6:38 AM

    I thought the notella was perfect!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on April 13, 2012 at 12:13 PM

      We still have half a container of hazelnut butter if you want more! Although what would you smear it on without bagels! BANANA NAAN! :)

  2. Matt said, on April 13, 2012 at 8:26 AM

    Must try this! I love nutella but have been avoiding it lately since it’s basically just big blobs of sugar.

  3. sprint2thetable said, on April 13, 2012 at 8:28 AM

    Ohhhh… better than Nutella? This might happen today. Seriously.

    Great minds must thing alike – I just did cupcakes with nutella icing!

  4. Flavors of the Sun said, on April 13, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    This looks wonderful! I love Nutella, but this looks so much better!

  5. Joanne said, on April 13, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    Nutella is one of my weaknesses in life, but i do concede that it’s WAY too sweet.. I love that with this version I can control the sweetness AND it’s made with super all natural ingredients! Win.

  6. Ricki said, on April 14, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    I’m so glad you liked it! It’s still one of my favorite nut spreads. It you’re still looking for other options to use it, I also have a super-easy “Notella” Ice Cream recipe on my blog (no ice cream maker required). Thanks for linking up to Wellness Weekend, too! :D

  7. Dawn said, on April 15, 2012 at 5:40 AM

    I wonder if my natural food store carries coconut sugar. This, of course, is right up my alley. Oh and guess what! Native Sun is going to start using my recipes to post on cards Saturday mornings for their customers with a link to my site!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on April 15, 2012 at 9:09 AM

      Hey Dawn,

      Wicked awesome news! You could totally sub maple syrup or your favourite sweetener. I picked up coconut sugar because it is supposed to be low glycemic.

  8. shuhan said, on April 15, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    love the idea! my brother is addicted to the thing and it’d be brilliant to have a healthy, nautural alternative to it. might sneak in some blackstrap molasses too, for the gorgeous dark colour and the magnesium.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on April 15, 2012 at 2:25 PM

      Blackstrap molasses sounds like a great idea! I haven’t used mine in such a long time, relegating usually to pumpkin-spiced things. ;)

  9. [...] me assure you that for my Indian Easter, I continued with the clean out my kitchen mantra and no-more-buying things for the pantry moratorium with the Janet-friendly part of the [...]

  10. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said, on April 17, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    I love Nutella and want to try making my own homemade version too. Yours looks great!

  11. [...] looking for cheap hazelnuts, we scoured Little India for our new spices. Ajwain and citric acid were easily located but [...]

  12. [...] whittled my pantry down slightly. No more tofu, no more canned green peas, no more hazelnut butter. I polished off the frozen fruit with my [...]

  13. Debby said, on April 30, 2012 at 7:37 AM

    This sounds scrumptious…I only recently discovered that nutella is actually made in Italy by a company called Ferrero who make Ferrero Rocher…! Your version sounds even more healthy…

  14. Geetha said, on May 3, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Thanks for this lovely entry to my event, Janet. That just looks heavenly…. definitely a must-try recipe :) *drools* ;)

  15. [...] Aleppo max!). Rob also has a sweet tooth and is pretty content to munch through the rare dessert that I [...]

  16. [...] than Nutella filling in a cheesecake form, on a cocoa-hazelnut-date crust. Decadent but not too rich and not too sweet. [...]

  17. [...] First of all, they were definitely the easiest: smush into a ball and bake. Although I flipped them half-way while baking, and then dusted with some oil, they are fairly hand’s off: no need to tend to them over the stovetop, roll them about, fiddle with additional oil, etc. Secondly (although most important), they tasted the best. The extra oil needed for the aebleskiver pan didn’t help them not stick and definitely made them taste heavier. The silpat was also easier to clean. Rob and I both preferred the lighter, refreshing taste from the baked pakoras. Out of everything we served at Easter, this was also the unanimous dish loved by all (including my hard-to-please father). [...]

  18. […] savoury hemp crackers, I kept the flavours neutral. This way, they can equally be paired with homemade nutella, vanilla blueberry chia jam, vegan smoked salmon, rosemary cashew cheese, or a nacho cheese […]


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