Hazelnut Hot Chocolate

A mixture of hazelnuts, cocoa powder, and Nutella in this Italian beverage truly make it a chocolate sensation.

Hazelnut Hot Chocolate

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (70 g) hazelnuts, whole, skin-on
  • 1⅔ cup (280 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 cups (720 ml) whole milk
  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
  • ¼ cup (25 g) cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup (75 g) chocolate hazelnut spread
  • whipped cream, for topping

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (180°C). Toast the hazelnuts in the oven until lightly brown, about 10 to 15 minutes, being careful not to let them burn. Once toasted, place them on a towel and rub well to remove the skins.
  2. Place skinned hazelnuts into the Vitamix container and secure lid.
  3. Select Variable 6.
  4. Use the On/Off switch to quickly pulse until just evenly ground, but not floury; reserve.
  5. In a saucepan, stir together the cold milk, cream, cocoa powder, and sugar and bring to a simmer over low heat; make sure there aren’t any lumps. Remove from the heat and pour into the bowl with the ground hazelnuts. Let steep for at least 1 hour, until cool. You may do this the day before and let the mixture rest in the refrigerator.
  6. Strain the milk-hazelnut-cocoa mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a saucepan, making sure you press the hazelnuts well to release the flavor. Heat the milk until it is warm, but not boiling, over low heat, remove from the heat, add the blended chocolate, chocolate hazelnut spread, and mix well until the chocolate is melted. When ready to serve, reheat the hot chocolate and serve immediately with a dollop of whipped cream.

Notes

Chef's Tip: Enhance the flavor of this hot chocolate by adding a pinch of chili powder, cinnamon, or sea salt or a splash of vanilla extract to the drink before serving.