Sunday, 11 June 2017

Homemade Hazelnut Spread a.k.a. Nutella

Scene 1: A Humid day in July, the Indian monsoon season is in all its glory, our cousins and our family are travelling to the interiors of Maharashtra for a fun weekend at the one of the countries popular vineyards.

Reaching there in a span of six odd driving hours we camp at the Vineyard's uber chic restraunt, candle lit ambiance, graffiti sprayed walls, liquor bottles of all imaginable brands and cosy barnyard furniture greet us cheerfully. The niece picks picks up a tea light from a complex maze of a candle holder and examines it with the enthusiasm of a true engineering buff, then declares that "We can easily make this at home!", meanwhile the nephew also an engineering student rolls his eyes and asks, "Must everything be made at home?", this is met by nonchalant stares by his sister.

Scene 2: We are back home with full tummies and lighter wallets. A day of rest before the cousins move onward to their Mumbai home, I'm making a simple red wine chocolate cake with a drizzle of ganache and bring out my trusty tools, a turn table and an offset spatula.

The niece picks up the turn table and examines it with her usual curiosity, ""Aunty I can can make this for you, easy che", to which her brother quickly jumps in, "Must you make every thing at home?, let others also earn some money, how will they feed their families?" and the not so friendly banter continues.

I laugh at their antics and get back to my happy place, assembling the cake and a thought comes to me, don't I do that too?, try making everything at home? food related of course, unlike our maverick engineer. 

Ever since I can remember I've always wanted to give my spins to all foods, especially desserts, a major reason being the sheer dearth of fruit flavoured desserts (my favourite you see) that are available to us. Why didn't anyone spike a black forest cake like it should be?, Why don't we ever have cherry or plum flavoured goodies at dessert cafes?, What if boring soya "fresh" cream were replaced by tangy cream cheese frosting over a Banoffe Pie? (been there) , how about decorating a back forest cake with mousse instead of the said cream (done that)? are questions that regularly plague my out the box mind.

It was one such such hurried morning, when my son wanted nothing but Nutella spread over his toast and I like any mother the world over cringed at the thought of it.

After all, Nutella is more sugar and fat than hazelnuts - its true content of hazelnuts is low at only 13 per cent. Sugar is the first ingredient and thus the main by weight of all the Nutella ingredients. In fact Nutella is 55 per cent sugar! That puts Nutella on a par with chocolate.

The vegetable oil in Nutella is palm oil, a semi-solid fat that’s needed to give Nutella its spreadable texture, Palm oil is free of trans fat but is still high in saturated fat so it’s not good for you. It’s a no-win oil choice that many manufacturers face.

Nutella provides very little in the way of good nutrition, not much protein, fibre, vitamins, minerals – the nutrients we are lacking. We don’t need more sugar and fat.

So what can a mother do?, Well she can at least make a hazelnut loaded spread for her child with a little chocolate and good quality vegetable oil and reduce her guilt by a fraction if not much.

Interested?, recipe below...

You will need:

100 gms hazelnuts
50 gms milk (cooking) chocolate
1 tsp powdered coconut sugar (do not use granulated sugar)
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp flavourless vegetable oil
A pinch of salt


Melt the milk chocolate in the microwave for 20 sec intervals, remember to stir between zaps. Set aside.

Next, blend the hazelnuts in the chutney grinder of your blender or in a small food processor, keep blending till the nuts release their oil and resemble peanut butter.

Next add in all the remaining ingredients along with the melted chocolate and blend till smooth.

You are done.

Slater your freshly made spread over toasts, cookies, crepes or cake, or make your favourite Nutella desserts with it.



Nuts that are old will release more oil, in this case we want that, so look for a slightly old date of packaging (within expiry period of course!)

Hazelnuts are available online on websites like Amazon in India, Foodhall and Natures Basket outlets too stock them.

In Mumbai the dry fruit stores at Crawford market stock hazelnuts.

In Pune, Dorabjees supermarket stocks them.


  1. Hazelnut in nutela is for namesake.. you are right. This would be great for my kids who cringe about nutella on their toast. Photos looks good.

    1. Thanks dear, I make this all the time, do try its yum and relatively healthier!


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