I just passed on dinner because I’ve been eating this homemade gianduja aka Nutella all afternoon. I’m happy, but a little queasy.
When Eataly opened near me in Century City, CA, we prepared for the food gauntlet. Cured meats, pizza, pasta – that visit was Italian food paradise. After we had lunch, we perused the grocery section for some well curated Italian food items. There was even a shelf full of gianduja products – heaven! I ignored my dairy-free requirements and dug in to the decadent, sweet, sticky deliciousness.
After that outing, I needed to figure out how to make this at home – minus the refined sugar and dairy. There are tons of vegan giuanduja recipes on the web. Recipes varied, but the foundations are the same – toasted hazelnuts, sweetener – coconut sugar and/or maple syrup, chocolate – either melted chocolate or cocoa powder.
I opted to go the simple route with a shortlist of ingredients, but it took a couple of tries to get the texture right.
You basically start by making hazelnut butter. I used my Vitamix in these photos, but a food processor works just as effectively. I tried this recipe with melted chocolate and cacao powder. Melted chocolate gives a more defined chocolate flavor and gave the gianduja a smooth texture. Depending on the sugar content of chocolate used, you will need to make taste adjustments on the coconut sugar. I used 85% bittersweet from Theo’s Chocolates, and I increased the coconut sugar by a couple of tablespoons.
Good god, where have I been? This is truly AH-mazing. Spread it on fruit or a slice of gluten-free toast and have it for breakfast. You shouldn’t feel guilty – its just hazelnut butter.
EASY GIANDUJA aka NUTELLA (vegan, gluten-free, no refined sugar)
Don’t bother with Nutella. Make this easy recipe, and you are in control of the dairy and sugar content.
Equipment needed: high speed blender or food processor, double boiler
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 1 1/2 cups 1x
2 c. hazelnuts
3/4 c bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 c coconut sugar
2 tbsn coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
2. Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet and place in oven. Roast for 12 minutes.
3. While nuts are roasting, prepare double boiler. Place chocolate in bowl and let melt.
4. Remove hazelnuts from oven. Let cool slightly, then place nuts in a kitchen towel. Rub to remove nut skins. Don’t sweat it if skins are not completely removed.
4. place skinned hazelnuts in high speed blender or food processor. Process until you get hazelnut butter.
5. Add chocolate, coconut sugar, coconut oil and salt to blender. Blender until mixture is well combined and smooth.
6. Taste mixture for sweetness. If you find the mixture not sweet enough, add 1-2 tbsp additional coconut sugar.
7. Transfer to a container, or eat straight out of the blender. 🙂
will keep for 2 weeks in the fridge. You will need to get it to room temperature to get the right texture.