Well, hello, all Nutella lovers! That hazelnutty, chocolatey and sublimely silky spread has millions of fans all over the world. Whole generations have been growing up on Nutella – my husband for example!
Unfortunately, as we know, this popular spread has unhealthy ingredients that are an absolute no-no on a healthy sugar-free low-carb diet. As that baddie — sugar — is the main ingredient, the carb count becomes intolerably high. And when you add all that fat (Nutella contains an ample amount of palm oil), the combination of carbs and fat is pretty toxic. Even the manufacturer claims the palm oil is not hydrogenated; all that sugar is a very legitimate reason to skip the spread if you are concerned with your health — or the health of your loved ones. There is simply no reason to feed any kid Nutella, especially when preparing healthier, better-tasting options is so unbelievably easy!
And now, it’s time to present my newest creation: Irresistibly Easy No-Sugar “Nutella” Fudge.
Tips for preparing the Irresistibly Easy No-Sugar “Nutella” Fudge
As all recipes on my blog, this recipe is also very easy to prepare. Just mix all ingredients into a smooth and velvety mixture using a high-speed blender and a suitable jar, pour into a silicone loaf pan and let set in the fridge or freezer. Wait for a few hours, remove from the pan and cut into pieces. That’s it!
However, if you would like to take a better look of the preparing process, here are some photos to make your mouth water:
Take all your ingredients and a high-speed blender with a suitable jar. Pour in the ingredients, the hazelnuts…
… melted coconut manna…
…and the stevia.
Close the lid tightly.
Blend into a smooth paste… (Yes, there is my cat Pete on the background. I had to take the blender to the living room for the photography session, the kitchen was too dark!)
…like this. I prefer to start with a low speed and then increase it to 4 or 5 until I’ve got the desired result. (The cat has disappeared. The blender was too loud for him!)
Let’s take a look now…
oooh, looks so yummy!
Try to resist the temptation to eat the yummy mixture all at once but pour it into a silicone loaf pan. Or what the heck, eat it if you like, that’s what it’s made for!
Scrape all the mixture carefully with a spatula (or Spectacula as Blendtec calls this version).
There we go! Just place the silicone pan in the fridge (or freezer) and clean up the mess.
After 4 hours or so, remove the silicone pan from the fridge or the freezer.
Remove the solid mixture from the pan and cut into pieces.
Drizzle or coat with melted dark chocolate if desired.
My “Nutella” fudge experiments
To be honest, I wasn’t planning any fudge recipe when I got the idea to prepare “Nutella” something. Nope. I had a clear image of low-carb no-bake “Nutella” bars in my mind. But why did I decide to prepare something with Nutella-flavor, anyway? Because toasted, crushed hazelnuts were on offer. I bought several bags and had to find a use for them before they expired. Well, finding use was a real pleasure, as toasted hazelnuts taste wonderful. With chocolate, they make an irresistible flavor pair. This is also the secret of real Nutella.
Lately, I have been consuming huge amounts of coconut manna (aka coconut butter). I just scoop the treat out of the jar and eat it like that — often with sugar-free chocolate on the side. The naturally sweet taste of coconut manna is something really unique. In general, I’m not a big fan of coconut, but coconut manna — the ivory-colored, pureed flesh of coconut — is something different. The smooth texture is extremely palatable and coconut manna simply melts in your mouth. A pure pleasure! And the best thing is you cannot taste that typical coconut flavor at all, you taste the velvety, rich, and slightly sweet allure.
At room temperature, coconut manna is solid and quite hard. However, if you have a sturdy spoon, you can scoop coconut manna relatively easily out of the jar. The consistency is not spreadable, though, you get small pieces out of the jar when you scoop it. Coconut manna melts easily; that’s why I was expecting it to make a great base to many sweet bars and chocolates. And now, I was planning to try coconut manna in my “Nutella” bars.
I have used coconut oil and shredded coconut in some of my treats. I have also used peanut butter and regular butter in this terrific peanut butter bar recipe. This Facebook-exclusive recipe for Sugar-Free Peppermint Fudge uses ganache as the base.
As you can see, there are numerous possibilities to use as the bulk ingredient in your low-carb and keto bars and fudges. I had never tried coconut manna for that purpose, but now I wanted to try it. I felt it was a perfect ingredient for “Nutella” bars because of its neutral taste; it would let the hazelnut and chocolate flavors shine and accompany them beautifully with its rich creaminess.
As a sweetener, powdered erythritol was the best one for this purpose. I also wanted to have a hint of vanilla flavor. At first, I was planning to use vanilla extract, but switched to vanilla stevia – I could use less erythritol and get less of its cooling aftertaste. Combining two (or more) different sweeteners is the secret to balanced sweetness, where you get all that toothsome sweetness with no nasty aftertaste, typical of any sweetener.
I had no idea about the amounts, but I made a careful plan based on my experience: 1 cup (240 ml) crushed, toasted hazelnuts, 1/3 cup (80 ml) melted coconut manna, 1 tablespoon unsweetened dark cocoa powder, 1/4 cup (60 ml) powdered erythritol, and 25 drops vanilla stevia. I placed all ingredients into a high-speed blender with this special jar I cannot live without. I make all my almond and nut butters with it, I powder my erythritol with it, and I use it for thick dips and sauces, like guacamole. I think it has paid itself back many times, because I didn’t have to buy shockingly expensive commercial nut butters or powdered erythritol!
So, I made my first experiment. The mixture blended easily and beautifully. I was wondering if I could even reduce the coconut manna to make it stiffer. Now the mixture was quite fluid. On the other hand, I was expecting it to solidify in the fridge to the right consistency.
I poured the fluid mixture into a silicone loaf pan. Silicone is wonderful material, not only for baking, but also for making fudges and bars. The result is easy to remove. Moreover, you need not grease anything or cover anything with saran wrap or parchment paper.
Naturally, I had to taste the fluid mixture. It tasted finger-licking good! Oh yum! The hardest part was to place the loaf pan in the fridge and wait for a couple of hours to let the mixture set. Now, that was hard! I wanted to eat the luscious concoction immediately.
After two hours, I took the silicone loaf pan from the fridge. I flipped it upside down and pressed gently on the bottom of the pan. Whomps! The solidified mixture dropped softly on the plate. To my disappointment, the mixture broke into few pieces. Two hours clearly wasn’t enough to let the bars set! I would have had to wait longer…
Before taste testing, I cut the mixture into 24 pieces. I took one piece and sank my teeth into it. Woooow! The ultimate pleasure filled my mouth! My taste buds were singing, and I was licking my fingers, then reached towards another piece of that perfect taste.
When doing my extended taste testing, I suddenly realized the mixture would make much better fudge than bars. First, it was really rich, so a little goes a long way. Second, the texture was soft and fudge-like — even straight from the fridge — rather than the harder texture typical of bars.
Even I was really happy with my experiment, I still wanted to make another experiment using less coconut manna, just to see how it affected to the texture. Instead of 1/3 cup (80 ml), I used 1/4 cup (60 ml). The result was softer, but it also melted easily at room temperature, so that’s why I chose 1/3 cup (80 ml) coconut manna to the final recipe.
I was planning to cover part of the fudge with dark chocolate. Drizzling the fudge with melted dark chocolate would make them even more succulent, but also even more delectable.
|Per serving if 24 servings in total:
Tips for variation
You can vary this treat in several ways:
- My favorite way is to add tasty crunch by adding crushed, toasted hazelnuts to the melted mixture.
- If you would like to enhance the flavors even more, for example, add natural raspberry flavor to get a fruity note. Satisfaction guaranteed!
- Not only hazelnuts, you can add seeds and other crushed nuts. Great low-carb options are sunflower seeds, pecan nuts, almonds, and macadamias. Brazil nuts are also great; just remember they are extremely rich in selenium; two Brazil nuts will satisfy the recommended daily amount of selenium.
- If you don’t have a silicone loaf pan, you can pour the mixture into silicone chocolate molds. Place them into freezer rather than in the fridge so that the treats are easier to remove from the mold.
Need something even fancier? Then make sweet and rich “Nutella” torte! It’s far easier than what you think. For the crust, take 2 cups (480 ml) almond flour, 1/3 cup (80 ml) melted butter, 1/4 cup (60 ml) powdered erythritol and mix everything together. Knead until it’s a smooth dough. Press the dough into a 10-inch (25 cm) pie pan. Place in the fridge, while you prepare the filling.
For the filling, prepare a double batch of the Irresistibly Easy No-Sugar “Nutella” Fudge as directed. Take the prepared crust from the fridge. Pour the fudge mixture evenly on the crust.
Place in the fridge and let set for 6 hours. Remove from the fridge and serve decorated for example with whipped cream or coconut cream, dark chocolate shavings, and berries. Great for entertaining; this ultimate no-bake “Nutella” torte is best for the guests!