Growing up, before all this chocolate allergy nonsense, I was pretty obsessed with Godiva Chocolate. Sure, I liked all of the regular old candies: Twix, Milky Way, Three Musketeers, Baby Ruth . . . okay, I’m getting hungry and sad I can’t eat those anymore. Godiva was always my favorite, though.
I’d relish walking into the store, the smell of the artisan chocolates wafting through the air, along with that of a sample of coffee or hot chocolate. I’d look at box after box, comparing them, making sure I chose the one with the pieces I was most craving at the time. Other times, I’d pick a piece from the counter on a whim, munching on it as I walked through the mall.
Then Godiva introduced chocolate covered strawberries. They only had them sometimes, so when I spotted them it was tough to resist, as the store employees carefully dipped the long-stem ruby, red berries (a treat even when the grocery has them) into the liquid chocolate goodness.
I always had a weakness for their holiday stuffed animals too. Frankly, I still do. The soft toys never fail to comfort me and the chocolate gets sent to work with Dad to give away. I have a sneaking suspicion he eats it, but I suppose ignorance is bliss.
So why am I writing about these fabulous chocolates I can no longer eat? Because I took a bag of roasted hazelnuts and a bunch of carob chips and made some Homemade Nutella. Since I’ve never had real Nutella, I have absolutely no idea if this tastes anywhere close to the real thing. I’d love if you guys would try it and let me know if it’s close. But after one taste, it instantly reminded me of a piece of Godiva with hazelnut filling. It was never my favorite but I enjoyed it almost as much as I enjoyed being transported back to childhood when I tasted this faux-Nutella.
Dangerously easy to make in the food processor, the flavor of the hazelnuts is dominant and blends seamlessly with the carob. Regular dark chocolate would work too. Good cold, warm, or room temperature, it’s addictive and tempting me to grab a spoon and dive in every time I open the refrigerator. After all, a trip back to childhood is always welcome.
2 cups roasted unsalted hazelnuts (I bought them at Trader Joe’s)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup carob chips, melted
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons canola oil
In the bowl of a food processor, place the hazelnuts. Process them until they are the consistency of peanut butter. This will take several minutes and you may need to scrape down the bowl during the process.
Add the vanilla, melted carob chips, sugar, and canola oil. Process until fully combined and smooth and creamy. The Nutella should be relatively thin and spreadable. It is delicious warm straight from the food processor. Store for up to 1 month in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It is also great cold, but it comes to room temperature in less than 30 minutes or can be warmed in the microwave in 15 second increments until warm.