Delicious and decadent, this Carob Hazelnut Spread beats the unhealthy kind produced by a certain world-famous chocolate brand any day. Flavor-wise and also at the nutrition department. This is our response to the clamor for a healthy, gourmet and non-cocoa powder version of this popular snack. Nicknamed Carob Notella, this recipe is vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy lecithin-free, and refined sugar-free.
Why Make Carob Hazelnut Spread At Home?
If you’ve never seen it, click here to see a photo of a deconstructed jar of what the world thinks is a chocolate hazelnut spread when in fact it’s 58% sugar? Simply put, it is essentially a photo of this snack’s jar with its raw ingredients–sugar, hazelnuts, palm oil, skimmed milk, cocoa powder, and soy lecithin. Cocoa powder isn’t even listed as the main ingredient when this is supposed to be a chocolate-based spread? No wonder this finding has left many people in shock!
- 58% sugar
- 13% hazelnuts
- 10.4% palm oil
- 8.7% skimmed milk
- 7.4% cocoa powder
- 0.43% soy lecithin
The visual breakdown can be daunting! More than half of the jar is filled with refined white sugar and a major portion is filled with unhealthy ingredients such as modified vegetable oils.
Homemade Carob Notella Ingredients
So we are highly recommending taking the good-for-you, gourmet, and less processed road–make it at home. You will only need a few ingredients.
- Hazelnuts. Unlike the store-bought, borderline “junk food” hazelnut spread, the main ingredient in this homemade carob notella are roasted hazelnuts. We opted to keep the papery brown skin but if you’d prefer to use skinned hazelnuts or remove the skins yourself, that is fine too.
- Carob Goodness. Aside from its decadent taste, carob powder also plays the role of a natural sweetening agent.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil. A healthy oil option that helps in making the hazelnut butter and carob mixture more spreadable.
- Real Maple Syrup. As far as sweeteners go, real maple syrup seems to be the perfect choice. When in tandem with carob, the fusion introduces tasty notes that unhealthy sugar options can’t offer.
- Pure Vanilla Extract. This definitely crowns this recipe with an indulgent, gourmet profile.
- Salt. A small amount enhances the intrinsic flavors and helps bring up a fuller carob hazelnut spread experience.
- Sunflower Lecithin (optional). You can leave this out but if you want to take this recipe to the next level, we highly suggest not skipping this. Sunflower Lecithin is an emulsifier, helping to stabilize the final output. It won’t affect the Carob Notella if you decide to not include it.
Carob Hazelnut Spread Details
The secret to a smooth Carob Notella is a high-speed blender or a food processor. First step is to make the base or the signature flavor, which is the hazelnut butter. The nuts will go from whole to crumbly to finely ground to pasty and then creamy. Once the nut butter starts to show an oily surface, that’s an indicator that the right consistency has been achieved. That is the perfect time to add all the other ingredients.
One thing worth pointing out is that the appearance and sweetness of this spread will depend on the type of carob powder that you use. Roasted carob powder tends to have a sweeter and darker in color profile. Raw carob powder lends a delicately sweet and slightly less dark in color profile. However, both taste amazingly good!
Developed for us by Stivi Wonders, enjoy Carob Notella as a breakfast sandwich spread, doughnut ganache, cake buttercream that calls for nutty flavors, or as a carob hazelnut butter for smoothies!
RECIPE. Carob Hazelnut Spread
- 1 Food Processor
- Add the roasted hazelnuts to a food processor or high-speed blender. Blend on low until a smooth creamy texture is formed, approximately 10-12 minutes. Scrape down sides whenever necessary. The hazelnuts will initially go from chopped, to crumbly, to finely ground.
- Once the hazelnut butter consistency is formed, add the carob powder, extra virgin olive oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, salt and sunflower lecithin. Process until smooth for approximately one to two minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to one month.
For more homemade gourmet carob recipes using Australian Carobs, please visit CarobRecipes.com.