You may have heard. In case you haven’t, here it is:
Two mothers in the US took Nutella to court over false advertising and won their case — and got a $3.5 million payout.
About time, I say.
On the other hand, my version of Nutella is basically a chocolate nut butter (so it’s thicker than Nutella) with a touch of natural sweetness from some maple syrup. It’s healthy, delicious, vegan and gluten-free. Enjoy it, guilt-free.
You need a good quality food processor to make this — something that can turn nuts into nut butter without burning the motor!
Makes about 1 cup (if this isn’t going to last long in your household, just double the amounts)
- 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted with the skins rubbed off (as much as possible)
- 2–3 tbsp (30–45 mL) macadamia nut oil (or unscented coconut oil, melted)
- 1.5 tbsp organic, fair trade cocoa
- 2–3 tbsp (30–45 ml) pure maple syrup
In a food processor, blitz together the hazelnuts and 2 tablespoons of oil until it turns into nut butter. You may need to stop the processor couple of times, and scrape down the sides to get a nut butter consistency. Having a nut butter consistency is important, otherwise you won’t have a very spreadable ‘Nutella’. If it’s not quite there add another tablespoon of oil to help it along.
Then add the cocoa and maple syrup. Whizz together until everything is blended. If it’s too thick, add a touch more oil and/or maple syrup and process. (Note: This Nutella will be thicker than the store bought one).
Store in an airtight glass jar. It will keep for weeks in the fridge (if it lasts that long!).
These cookies are not only scrumptious, but also really easy to make – it only took me 30 minutes, including baking time. Be careful, though. They’re addictive. I wouldn’t have more than one in a day – good fats can go straight to the hips too!
Recipe inspired by The wheat-free cook: gluten-free recipes for everyone cookbook
Makes about 10–12 cookies
- For the nut butter, I used a mix of almonds, Brazil nuts and cashews (Melrose brand). For a cheaper option, use nut butter made from peanuts – such as the Sanitarium brand, which can be found in the health food aisle of supermarkets Otherwise if you have a Thermomix or Vitamix, you can make your own nut butter. Bear in mind that nut butters vary in consistency, so you may need a bit more if you’re using one that’s not too oily. Make sure the nut butter is at room temperature – not chilled from the fridge.
- Instead of chocolate chips, you could use dark chocolate, chopped. And for the cookies to be truly dairy free, if needed, make sure your chocolate doesn’t contain any milk solids.
- Rapadura sugar is the most unrefined form of cane sugar – it’s basically evaporated cane sugar juice, with all the minerals intact. You can find it in health food and organic stores. Otherwise, use muscovado sugar.
- ¼ cup brown rice flour
- ¼ cup almond meal
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips (I used a mix of choc chips and cacao nibs)
- 1/3 cup rapadura sugar
- pinch of sea salt
- ½ cup nut butter
- ¼ cup coconut oil (melt if solid)
- 1 free-range egg
Preheat oven to 180°C for a conventional oven or 160°C for fan-forced, and line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
Thoroughly combine the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the wet ingredients (nut butter, oil and egg) together. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until dough holds together. If it doesn’t, and it’s too crumbly, you may need to add a little more nut butter.
Take about a tablespoon of the dough and roll into a ball and flatten with fingers on the lined baking tray. Cookies should be about 5 mm thick. Repeat with the remaining dough and space cookies at least 3 cm apart – they will fit on one tray.
Bake for 12–15 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Allow to cool on tray for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Be careful, the cookies are very delicate while warm. I used a cake server to move them across to the rack. Cool completely before enjoying with a cuppa. They taste even better the next day – that’s if you’re lucky to have any left!