Homemade Nutella (or how I raided the cupboards and won)

It started with some chives. I was trying to explain to the Tot how delicious chives are as we pottered around the garden this weekend. She remains suspicious of anything green so I wondered how I could cook them in a way she would give them a try and not lead to a long conversation about why she wasn’t going to try them.

 

This is getting to the Nutella, I promise.

 

It was perfect timing then that I opened this month’s copy of The Simple Things Magazine and found a ‘Tea Treats’ feature hosted by the blogger Ms Marmite Lover. Included in the selection of treats were cheese and herb muffins which gave us a great excuse for a little harvesting in the herb patch. The Tot helped create the muffins and only mild carnage followed.

It was while tidying away and idly flipping through other recipes in the magazine that I found the recipe for Homemade Nutella. I did a little happy dance when I recognised at least 3 ingredients that I had there and then which meant I could make chocolate spread! (To be fair, one of the ingredients was sea salt so let’s not be too impressed by my larder).

Cheese and Herb Muffins are featured in this month's The Simple Things magazine

Cheese and Herb Muffins are featured in this month's The Simple Things magazine

As is often the case when I start baking, half way through the process I realised I only had half of the correct ingredients and even then, not at the correct quantities. So what now follows is my successful solution to this problem so that you too can have homemade Nutella. I kept some quantities the same such as sea salt as I like a little savoury mixed in with sweet and I made sure it was a little crunchier than recommended because that’s how the Tot and I like peanut butter.

It’s a game changer.

Homemade Nutella

Homemade Nutella

I am an affiliate for The Simple Things because I love gardening, cooking, travel and the comfort to be found in a seasonal look at the gentler things in life. If you’d like to subscribe, please feel free to do so here (affiliate link).

Homemade Nutella

Homemade Nutella

Emergency Rations Homemade Nutella

Ingredients:

150g whole hazelnuts

200g milk chocolate, broken into pieces

100g plain chocolate, broken into pieces

2 tbsp. coconut oil

2 tbsp. icing sugar

½ tbsp. hot chocolate powder

½ tsp vanilla extract

¾ tsp sea salt

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

2. Pop the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes, being careful not to scorch.

3. While those are roasting, melt the chocolate.

4. Once the hazelnuts are ready and cool enough to handle, rub them with a rough paper towel to encourage the skins to flake away. You can peel off whatever is missed as you pop them into a blender.

5. Blend along with all other ingredients and distil into jars trying not to lick your fingers too much. 

Should keep for about a month in the fridge although I’d suggest you need to eat it up sooner because it’s delicious.

The Tot agrees…

Spinach Pesto (return of the green victories)

I love fast recipes and this one wins. Hands down it wins because it is flavoursome, healthy and the Tot DEVOURED it. 

I've never actually made pesto before. This is strange given that I lived with Italians in my 20s when I was dating a guy from the south of Italy who wooed me with fantastic risottos and fiery rows about the brilliance of Ferrari vs Maclaren. It was doomed sadly for more reasons than our differing opinions on racing brilliance but my love for pesto wasn't so when I came across this Spinach and Walnut Pesto from Riverford, I had to try it. 

The recipe called for less parmesan than I used and more spinach to be leftover to wilt in later. Well, the Tot and I are cheese fiends and she would probably have drawn the line at whole leaves of spinach floating around (ask me how I know) so I chose to add the second half of spinach in later for a light zuzz. It came out small enough to pass her radar but large enough to stick to the spaghetti. 


YUM!


Ingredients

  • 400g wholewheat spaghetti
  • 30g walnut pieces & 20g pine nuts,
  • toasted in a dry frying pan for 1 min
  • 50g fresh basil leaves, plus a few extra
  • for garnishing
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • zest of ½ & juice of 1 lemon
  • 200g spinach, tough stalks removed
  • 100g grated parmesan or pecorino
  • 100ml good olive oil

Method

  1. Boil the spaghetti in salted water for 10 mins. While it is cooking, put the walnuts, pine nuts, basil, garlic, nutmeg, lemon zest and juice, half the spinach and half the parmesan in a food processor. Blitz, gradually pouring in the oil until it forms a rough paste.
  2. Season to taste.
  3. Roughly chop the rest of the spinach leaves if they’re large.
  4. Drain the cooked pasta, keeping a ladle of the pasta cooking water.
  5. Toss the pasta with the rest of the spinach, the pasta cooking water and enough pesto
  6. to coat. Toss together over a low heat to warm through and wilt the spinach.
  7. Stir in the rest of the parmesan, check the seasoning and serve, garnished with a few basil leaves.