I know, it’s not Valentine’s Day, or Christmas. But Easter is coming up, and really – shouldn’t all seasons be chocolate season? Especially when the chocolate in question is homemade, with dark cocoa and freshly roasted hazelnuts? Chocolate doesn’t have to come in a package, and you don’t need fancy candy-making techniques to do your own. The filing is easy – it’s the same as making your own Nutella, only it winds up in a thicker mixture you can roll into balls. Come to think of it, those balls would be pretty fab impaled on a stick before being dipped in chocolate, cake-pop-style.
These don’t have the wafer crunch of real Ferrero Rocher, but all the chocolatey, hazelnutty flavor everyone seems to love so much.
Homemade Ferrero Rocher
2 cups hazelnuts
1-2 tsp. canola oil
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup honey
1 cup chocolate chips or chopped milk or dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Spread the hazelnuts out on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for 10-15 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice, until the skins break and the nuts look pale golden. Pour the nuts from the sheet onto a clean tea towel and let cool.
Once cooled, rub the nuts in the tea towel to loosen their skins. (Don’t worry about getting every bit of them off.) Put the nuts into the bowl of a food processor and discard the skins left over in the towel.
Pulse the hazelnuts until they are completely ground. Let the machine run, adding about a teaspoon of canola oil, for 2-3 minutes or until it turns into a thick paste. Add the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, honey and another teaspoon of canola oil and blend for another minute, until it’s well blended and thick.
Roll the mixture into walnut-sized balls, place on a tray and refrigerate. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate. Dip each ball into the melted chocolate (I do this with a fork or by impaling it on a bamboo skewer) to coat, then place on a piece of waxed paper and let sit or refrigerate until set. Makes lots.