Choose between the hazelnut praline paste and homemade Nutella recipe. They are both rich and delicious, much better than Nutella! I provide you with two methods to remove the skins from the hazelnuts. Use the hazelnut praline paste in the frosting for my upcoming Gluten Free Salted Caramel Popcorn Cake. The Nutella spread is perfect for toast or other desserts.
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Hazelnut Praline Paste and Nutella Recipe
Creamy gluten free hazelnut praline paste recipe as well as a Nutella recipe. Use them for toast, desserts, or to flavor frosting and toppings.
- 9 cups water (optional)
- 2 tablespoons baking soda (optional)
- 3 cups hazelnuts, without shells
- 2 cups superfine (or castor) sugar
- 1 teaspoon hazelnut or neutral-flavored oil
- Emulsifier (see Tips section)
To Roast the Hazelnuts:
- (I suggest doing this step the day before I need to use the paste.)
- Option 1: Roast the nuts in a preheat 350ºF for 8 - 10 minutes. Transfer them to a tea towel to cool. Rub them inside the towel until the skins rub off.
- Optional 2: Bring a very large pot of water to a boil. (Make sure the pot is larger than needed for the ingredients as it can easily boil over once you add the baking soda.) Add the baking soda and nuts. Boil for 5 minutes. (The water will darken due to the skin.) Run a nut under cold water until the skin rubs completely off of the nut. You can also do this in a large pot or bowl of water. (If the skin does not come off, return the pot with water to a boil and boil a few additional minutes and rinse under cold water again.) One the skins are removed, place on a plate lined with paper towels to dry. Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Place the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake on the center rack for 10 - 15 minutes. Transfer nuts to a heat-proof bowl (I use a stainless steel bowl) to cool.
To Make the Hazelnut Praline Paste and Beginning of Nutella:
- In a saucepan, add the sugar and cook over low heat until it all melts, stirring gently. (You don't want to splash the sugar on the sides of the saucepan.) Continue cooking until the sugar turns amber in color. It should look caramel in color, about 15 minutes.
- Add the nuts and stir to coat the nuts thoroughly. Quickly transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread the nuts out to cool. It will turn into a brittle, just like peanut brittle.
- Once it cools completely, break apart the brittle and transfer to a food processor or high powered blender such as a Vitamix. (If you don't have a high-powered blender, the mixture turns out a little nutty, but not bad. It still works in the frosting recipe.) Process on high until the brittle turns into a fine meal, then a paste.
- Add the oil and process until creamy. If you wish to use it as a nut butter for toast, add additional oil to your liking. Otherwise, leave it thick to use as a substitute for almond paste. Use this hazelnut praline paste in my Salted Caramel Popcorn Cake Recipe or as desired. See the tips section on variations such as Nutella and Cinnamon Hazelnut Praline Paste.
If you plan on storing the paste for a long period, consider adding some liquid lecithin. I had some liquid sunflower lecithin on hand and added 1/2 teaspoon. It prevents the oil in the nuts from separating from the paste. Perhaps add 1/8 teaspoon of xanthan or guar gum, if that's all you have.
Add a little cinnamon to the hazelnut version. It makes an amazing nut butter on toast.
To Make Nutella:
Either use half roasted hazelnuts and half roasted cocoa beans or add 1 cup melted chocolate to the hazelnut praline butter and combine. When roasting raw cocoa beans be sure to roast them longer than the hazelnuts to mellow them out. Otherwise purchase roasted cocoa beans. If you need a dairy-free version of chocolate chips, try Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips.
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