The traditional nutella, but healthier. And white!
- 150 g hazelnuts, no skin or a mix of nuts e.g. hazelnuts and almonds
- 50-100 ml water adjust depending on desired texture
- 100 g date caramel (see below) or another sweetener: honey, agave syrup...
- 1 pinch salt
- 30 g melted cocoa butter / white chocolate
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (no fan). Place the nuts on a baking tray and bake for 8-10 mins (until they have released some oil). Watch out as they can burn easily!
Add the toasted nuts to the food processor and blend until a creamy butter is formed. You will need a spatula to scrape the sides, as it takes about 4-7 mins for the nuts to become a butter, depending on what food processor you are using.
Add the date caramel, salt and blend. Adjust with water if you want a runnier texture.
Pour into a bowl. Add the cocoa butter or melted white chocolate and stir well to mix. Pour into a container and store in the fridge.
Place 250g dates (seed removed) in a bowl and cover with hot boiled water - soak for 30 mins.
Strain and blend the softened dates with 250ml new clean water until a creamy smooth paste is formed.
Set a stove to medium-low heat. Pour the date caramel and cook for 10 mins. Keep stirring to avoid burning the caramel.
Remove from stove and pour into a glass container. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and stir. Let it sit until room temperature, store in the fridge and use to sweeten a cake, cookies or any sweet/savoury recipe.
You could make this into a regular dark chocolate nutella by replacing the cocoa butter for 30g cocoa powder (unsweetened) and 10-20g water (optional).
A few months ago I posted a homemade healthy nutella recipe which is healthier than the Nutella or other choco spreads we find in stores. This weekend I was curious to try two things. Firstly, to experiment with the white chocolate version, or Nocilla blanca, as we know it in Spain. Secondly, I wanted to try an even healthier nutella. When I say ‘healthy’ here, I mean using more whole foods and less refined/processed ingredients.
The only ingredient that is refined in the recipe I posted a while ago is the sweetener; I used agave syrup or honey. This time, I wanted to test using dates, as they have a low GI index (42 ± 4) and are a healthier sweetener than the most commonly-used ones. I followed Chef Bosquet’s date caramel recipe and also was inspired by his recipe for cacao spreads.
I was a bit worried that the taste of date would be too strong, but the result was surprisingly good! The date flavour is milder than expected because it’s combined with water and cooked at low temperature. The texture is very creamy because of the caramel and the nut butter. The white nutella requires a little extra sweetening if made with the cocoa butter, because if you use melted white chocolate, it already contains sugar. You cna find cocoa butter in any health store or online, by the way.
Because I was curious to make the regular dark chocolate nutella, I made a batch with cocoa powder too – it required a bit of extra water to get the same runny texture as the white nutella. The result was rich, creamy and the sweetness was lighter.
If you try this recipe let me know what you think. If you made any adjustments (using other nuts, flavours…) I would like to hear your thoughts too!