Saturday January 29, 2011

The Vanilla Villain and Other Sketchy Tales

Nutella has enjoyed quite a resurgence recently. Not that its popularity ever waned, but whenever I get online, some Nutella based recipe confronts me.

As a huge fan of hazelnuts and chocolate, Nutella just doesn’t cut it for me. Have you read the label? Mostly not-chocolate and not-hazelnuts. Ahem:

Sugar, peanut oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals, whey, partially hydrogenated peanut oil, soy lecithin, vanillin: an artificial flavor.

Yum. Artificial flavor! What the crap are “reduced minerals”?!

It’s simple. If you have enough skill to crank out some peanut brittle around the holidays, you have what it takes to whip up your own batch of Nutella.

It will taste a thousand times better because of amazing ingredients like dark chocolate, hazelnut oil, and vanilla beans not “vanillan” (which obviously derives from vanilla + villain). The only mineral involved will come in the form of a lil’ table salt, NaCl.

Nutella and Brioche

Reverse engineering the recipe for Nutella couldn’t be easier.

From Ye Old Wikipedia:

Gianduja is a mixture containing approximately 50% almond and/or hazelnut paste and 50% chocolate. It was developed in Piedmont, Italy […].

Pietro Ferrero, who owned a patisserie in Alba, in the Langhe district of Piedmont […]started to sell a creamy version in 1951 as “Supercrema”.

In 1963, Pietro’s son Michele revamped Supercrema with the intention of marketing it across Europe. Its composition was modified and it was re-named “Nutella”. […]

So. Make Gianduja. Make it creamy. Put it in a jar. Conquer the world.

Or, in more specific terms: make up a batch of hazelnut brittle. Grind the brittle into a paste in a food processor, add in some melted chocolate and a little hazelnut oil. Pour it into jars (cutesy ribbon optional).

That’s it!

The finished product will store for weeks at room temperature. The hazelnut oil keeps the chocolate from hardening and intensifies the hazelnut flavor. You’ll have a luscious jar of your very own Supercrema Nutella!

For the exact ratio of brittle to chocolate and other details, click here.

I can’t emphasize enough how much more you’ll like the homemade version. You can use it in any recipe calling for Nutella, or simply spread a thick layer over a slice of brioche. If you thought you liked Nutella before, wait ‘til you try it homemade.

Three cheers for Homemade Nutella!

posted byStellaand filed under:  Chocolate  Gluten Free  Sideshow Photos  Vanilla

17 comments and counting

Jan 29, 2011 · 11:37 AM

YUM! I bought some chocolate hazelnut spread in Ireland and have been savoring it, as it is so much better than Nutella. Oddly, it never crossed my mind to make my own! Thanks for allowing me to devour it worry-free.

 · Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table ·

Jan 29, 2011 ·  3:35 PM

I know! I used to love Nutella as a kid, but now when I eat it, it’s not as good as I remember. Maybe I’m becoming a food snob, haha, but making my own sounds like a better, more gourmet option.

 · Jessica ·

Jan 30, 2011 · 12:54 AM

What an excellent idea! I’m going to try it!!

 · Kim - Liv Life ·

Jan 30, 2011 ·  4:13 PM

sounds like i’ve been overthinking my own efforts in creating homemade nutella…thanks for the info! (PS: you know the header says “villIAN” not “villAIN”, right?)

 · futurechef ·

Jan 30, 2011 ·  6:07 PM

Sharp eyes! Thanks for spotting that looks like I couldda used an extra cup of coffee when I posted! Hope you try out the recipe, super easy and so much better than the real deal.


Jan 31, 2011 ·  1:24 PM


 · Tiffany ·

Feb 01, 2011 · 11:52 AM

I just discovered your blog twice on the same day! I read the post about your PopTarts on Whisk Kid, and about 20 minutes later my best friend sent me the link to your homemade sprinkles post. It must be fate.

I love your blog and I love homemade Nutella. I think it’s very important to be able to pronounce all the ingredients in your food (lechitin? what’s that?). Thank you!!


 · Diana ·

Feb 01, 2011 ·  2:20 PM

Wow, it must be fate indeed! The Sprinkles post has really made the rounds, I see a lot of people coming to it via e-mail, and I am so surprised by its popularity! if you only make one thing from the blog, make Nutella! It is my favorite thing, hands down. Cheers!


Feb 01, 2011 · 10:36 PM

Do you have any suggestion for the big game. In particular is there anything theme wise for a Packers sweet tooth,

 · deadly · 

Feb 06, 2011 ·  5:03 PM

Why, funny you should ask, I have just the thing! Oh, look, it’s my next blog post. You’re the best. Love you.


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