Written by Silia Schanz, VEFA 2021-22 – Edited by Bianca Rêgo, ESC Wake-Up 2022-23
This beautiful story is about me, the eco-volunteers at camping Le Belvédère and hazelnuts…
And it all started with this:
I LOVE Nutella!
(like many other volunteers here at the campsite)
But here at the eco-camping we reflect on our consumer choices, highly processed foods and our eating habits. It just so happened that processed hazelnut-chocolate cream, my favorite filling for my favorite meal: crêpes, is probably not the healthiest and most certainly not the most ecological choice to make.
So for months we ate pancakes with all kinds of toppings: jam, cinnamon and sugar or yoghurt with cheese, nuts and other random hearty fillings.
Thankfully, on one fateful day, the 13th of February, it was finally time! Our first homemade, home-produced, healthy and large quantity NUTELLA 💖
Not a more perfect day to do this than the day before Valentine’s Day. We were in bitter need of some creamy, chocolaty and nutty spread for the delicious brunch next morning prepared by our mushroom volunteers Oskar and Deimante!
And to finally fulfill our dream of pancakes with Nutella!
The journey began days, maybe even weeks before the actual Nutella-making, by the lengthy process of cracking the hard husks of the hazelnuts to reveal the sweet little insides! At this step we were very happy to receive the lovely company of our chickens which surprisingly loved to sort out the not so good hazelnuts.
But without the further help of all our team at the camping on a long winter night, we would have not been able to finish this whole box:
Afterwards we put them in the oven to toast. Careful to mind the time! Just one minute too much will burn the nuts to crisps as our dear belgique volunteer had to experience first-hand. Not very pleasant for anyone °~°
After that, the lengthy process of peeling the nuts began. But thanks to Deimante and Esther we saved lots of time in the process! As I read that rubbing off the skin will prevent the nutella or hazelnut cream from becoming bitter, the rubbing off of the peels was an important step towards a successful Nutella-hybrid! Of course the more quantity you make, the longer the process will take. And we wanted a huuuge quantity!
While the girls were rubbing off the peels, our boys diligently cracked more nuts for future Nutella projects. In the end there were at least two more kilos waiting for further processing!
In the beginning we planned on making 4 different creams to try them all out and compete for the best recipe! But in the end we decided to make just two kinds of spreads since the hazelnuts were not blending to a creamy texture in our large food processor.
Our tip is therefore to make large quantities to get the nuts to blend to a cream. If not the shredded parts will stick to the sides of the pot and the blades will rotate in the air.
Making the chocolate cream we encountered some minor problems at the end. The cream was not really a cream after putting the chocolate with the hazelnut blend. To make it thinner we added quite a lot of water. Just later to realize that adding milk would have been the better option. Tant pis ;P
It still worked out fine in my point of view:
Since we made chocolate-hazelnut cream and caramel-hazelnut cream, we had the perfect batch for comparing a more processed spread with a more “natural” one. In the end the praline cream won by far! It had a deliciously refined taste of toasted hazelnut with caramelized pieces. A dream!
Tasting all that deliciousness on my favorite meal was mind-blowing to say the least!
It is unexplainable how much better and more pronounced these homemade spreads taste than the store-bought ones!
Check out this recipe for making homemade Nutella and this one for hazelnut cream!