I used to think I was a coffee purist until one day, about 15 years ago, I was introduced to Gloria Jeans Hazelnut blend. From that moment on (probably more so because of the romance surrounding this particular coffee date) I was hooked (to the man, and the coffee).
I haven’t been on an endless search to recreate that moment or anything, but I always wondered how I might make a simple substitute without buying the big glass bottles of “glucose, maltose, fructose, something-else-ose corn syrup with hazelnut flavouring. I really dislike the idea of adding so much sugar to an already perfect drink. Normal nut milks don’t really taste nutty enough to flavour coffee and I am also aware of their impact on the environment. So, yesterday evening, I had a lightbulb moment! I would attempt to make my own.
Start With Nuts
Start with the nuts! This seems like an obvious place to start, but when I asked the kids to help me make hazelnut milk, the youngest piped up “Will I get the sugar???” “Not today Satan” I replied, “Not today”. (Actually I didn’t – but I thought I would add that for dramatic effect)
I find that without milk, my coffee is often a little bitter – if you find the same, be sure to remove the skin on your hazelnuts before adding them to the nutri-bullet as they can be bitter!
Making the Hazelnut Milk
Soak the nuts in water for about 2 hours. It is ok to soak them overnight if you want to make the milk first thing in the morning. Drain off the water and place all the nuts in an oven tray on top of a layer of parchment paper.
Roast the hazelnuts at 150 degrees for an hour. Give them a shuffle mid roasting to prevent any contact burn. Allow the hazelnuts to cool and then rub them to take the skins off.
One half of a vanilla pod was enough to provide adequate flavouring – you can used a good quality vanilla essence if it is all you have. I was rushing and didn’t quite get all the nuts skinned but 90% of them were clear. I added a heaped teaspoon of stevia and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup.
Add 500mls of water to the mix. I find the nutribullet great as it absolutely pulverises everything in the mix.
Once whizzed, the mix will be thick like a milkshake and the next job is to filter it to remove the solid bits. I didn’t have any cheese cloth to hand (lets face it ….who does?) so I used one of my old muslin cloths from when the kids were small. You could also use a fine plastic strainer but make sure to be prepared for a less filtered milk.
The End Result
What you are left with is a delicious, milky mix that can be added to coffee, cake mixes, cereal, or even add it to your whipped cream to flavour it. Mixed with a tiny drop of milk, this was perfect in my coffee and provided the perfect balance of flavour without tasting overpowering. I don’t like milky coffee, but I do like something to take the sharp edge off. The leftover pulp was used to make buns for an after school treat. I would love to show you a picture but I burnt them a little and I fear that photographic evidence of my poor time management could be used against me at a later date 🙂
Do let me know if you try this super easy recipe. Remember to tag me @westcorkfit on your social media posts so that I can share your wonderful creations.
xx Fi xx