Nutella. Sweet, sweet Nutella. If you are vegan, you can’t eat it. It contains milk (along with palm oil and too much sugar). We vegans can still heed those occasional cravings for something creamy and chocolate-hazelnutty without involving dairy cows though. Make your own! Toast whole hazelnuts, melt some vegan, grain-sweetened chocolate, throw in a little soy milk and those cravings are satisfied! When you make it yourself, you control the ingredients. No added oil and not an outrageous amount of sugar. This concoction is a little thicker and crunchier than the name brand (and it also has dark chocolate, not that wimpy milk chocolate stuff), and the distinctive flavor of the hazelnuts really comes through. Use exactly as you would the store-bought stuff.
Crepes With Chocolate Hazelnut Spread [Vegan]
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour
- 2 tbsp. canola oil
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, toasted*
- 6 tbsp. soy milk, divided
- Chopped pecans or walnuts
- Whisk together the flours and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Make a well in the center and add the water and canola oil. Whisk until smooth and then cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat a ~8″ crepe (or non-stick) pan and very lightly spray it with cooking oil. You’ll only need to do that once – with the first crepe. Pour 1/4 cup batter into the pan and swirl it around so that you get an even coating. The crepe will go from shiny to matte and form small bubbles in the middle. It’s ready to flip. Using a flexible spatula, gently turn the crepe over to cook on the other side. After a minute or two, remove the crepe and place on a plate or wire rack. I put a piece of wax paper between each crepe to prevent sticking.
- Keep making crepes until the batter is done. You’ll end up with about 12 total. You can either keep them warm, if using soon after making them, or wrap well and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- In a food processor, process the hazelnuts until finely ground. With the processor running, pour in 3 tbsp. of the soy milk. This will form a thick paste, like peanut butter.
- Meanwhile, in the microwave or double-boiler, melt the chocolate chips along with the remaining 3 tbsp. of soy milk. Pour the melted chocolate mixture into the food processor with the ground hazelnuts and process until smooth. Little bits of hazelnut will remain. You can keep processing if you like, but I don’t mind a little crunch.
- Set aside until ready to assemble the crepes.
- Slice a banana or two (one banana will do to fill four crepes) and have some chopped walnuts or pecans handy – toasted makes them extra tasty.
- If you’ve retrieved the crepes from the refrigerator, gently warm them in the microwave. It also helps to zap the chocolate-hazelnut spread a little bit, too.
- Using two crepes per person, slather on a tablespoon or two per crepe, dot with banana slices and fold crepe in half. Sprinkle with toasted nuts.