Make Your Own Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, aka The Crack of Condiments

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There are few food products out there that have the addictive power of Nutella®. Forget that radio commercial featuring a saucy granny using four-letter words to explain the secret of her cooking: We put this shit on everything, from pound cake and crackers to chicken (via an adulterated mole sauce).

It's billed as "the original hazelnut spread," probably because "the chocolate-flavored crack of condiments" wouldn't pass PR approval. With a little search of the Interwebs, and some extra help from Instructables.com, Cooking Virgin devised a simple recipe for making your own mock Nutella® at home.

What You'll Need:
1 7 oz. bag of raw hazelnuts, chopped
1 10 oz. package of dark chocolate chunks with 60-70% cocoa content
1 small can condensed milk
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp olive oil

Read on, and find out how you can feed your addiction in just a few simple steps.    

The Virgin's DeStructions


1. Toast hazelnuts for about 10 minutes in a 350-degree oven and cool.

2.  Using a food processor, pulse chopped hazelnuts until they form a paste similar in texture to creamy peanut butter.

Tip: If you don't have a food processor, get creative. Use a blender, borrow a processor from a friend, or if you're the Virgin, go down to your local video gaming palace and trade in a boatload of tickets for a cheap food chopper they're offering in the prize display.  

3. After an hour or so of pulsing and stopping and moving the nuts around with a spoon -- when the mixture is still dry as hell and about as creamy as a jar of sand -- give in and add a little drizzle of whatever oil you have handy (a nut-based oil works best, but olive oil will do in a pinch). That will cut your pulsing time and make the nuts cream up quickly.

Set the nut butter aside.

A ghetto double boiler works just as good as the real thing.

​4. Place chocolate in the top half of a double boiler over medium heat. If your kitchen isn't already stocked with a double boiler and you're too lazy or cheap busy to go get one, make a "ghetto boiler" by placing one small metal pot inside another slightly larger pot filled with boiling water.

5. Stir chocolate frequently until melted and smooth. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add hazelnut butter. Mix well.

6. Add the can of condensed milk and stir, stir, stir until it feels like your hand is about to fall off.

7. Warm the other milk (whole or 2% milk, if you've already realized this spread has enough fat and calories to instantly blow you up like a balloon so a few more won't matter, or skim if you're doing it the "original" spread's way) in a small saucepan and add to chocolate mixture until you reach desired consistency.

The results: Our version of the tasty cocoa spread turned out better than anticipated. While it's a little thicker and darker than the original (and slightly lumpier), it was a worthy substitute: rich, yet not overly sweet, with a strong nutty taste. And judging by the spoon marks that showed up in the spread the morning after making it, it's still best when eaten straight out of the container.  

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