So last night I went to a vegan cooking class at Charleston Cooks near my house. We made several lovely staple vegan dishes that were good on flavor and so simple to make! Yes, I could have made these recipes at home for less money (and I really have made most of them before haha). Yet I chose to shuck out the cash to be “taught” how to make them. Why, you ask? I LOVE supporting the small vegan community we have in Columbia, SC! I was ecstatic when a friend from work told me about these classes. Vegan cooking in Columbia?! Classes?!? I’m in! What better way to encourage a plant based diet than hands on cooking in a group environment! Plus, it was loads of fun! Not to mention Charleston Cooks has my dream kitchen!! Here are a few photos from last night’s shenanigans!
How good does that chocolate cake look, right?! Sticking with the chocolate theme, today’s recipe is loaded with it! Chocolate Hazelnut spread, famously known as “Nutella”, is what is on the blog today! Disclaimer: This does not taste like the store-bought Nutella brand. I personally think it is entirely too sweet and loaded with saturated fats. SO, this version is lower in sugar and only contains the natural, healthy hazelnut fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated).
This chocolate hazelnut spread has an amazing texture that I found to be quite addicting! It is uber chocolaty and creamy and tastes amazing on toast or as a frosting. I even had the thought the other day to stuff it in some vegan French toast! We may see that recipe on the blog sooner rather than later haha.
Of note: I store this spread in the fridge and due to the coconut oil it firms up. Let it sit out for a few minutes before spreading. It is creamy at room temperature!
- 1½ cups hazelnuts
- 3 tbs cocoa powder
- 3 tbs coconut sugar
- ½ tbs vanilla extract
- 1 tbs coconut oil
- Lay hazelnuts on baking sheets and bake in oven at 400 degrees for about 7-10 minutes. Watch closely because you do not want them to burn. They should expand a little and the skins will start to pull away a little from the hazelnut.
- Remove from oven and let cool until able to handle. Pour hazelnuts into damp kitchen towel and rub hazelnuts vigorously so the skins come off. It is ok if every skin does not come off, just try to get as much off as you can.
- Pour hazelnuts into food processor and blend until becomes smooth and creamy. This part can take a little while (about 5 minutes) It starts off dry and then turns cakey, but keep processing and it will eventually become smooth and the texture of nut butter <--because that is what this is at this point.
- Once desired texture is reached, add other ingredients and continue pulsing until combined.
- Taste to see if you want added sweetness, vanilla, etc. If flavor is to your liking scrape spread into airtight container and store for up to 1 week. It might last longer but I don't recommend it.