The truth is being vegan is way more inclusive than it used to be. Still, being the only vegan amongst your friends can spark some social discomfort in food-centric settings. Making and sharing surprisingly delicious plant-based recipes is an easy way to bridge that gap — and this dairy-free chocolate hazelnut butter is a perfect place to start.

A pretty new book with a title that caught our eye, How to Be Vegan and Keep Your Friends, is loaded with easy vegan recipes that even non-vegans will love. They’re effortless to pull together and will trigger your friends’ cravings in all the best ways.

Chocolate hazelnut spread is one of those things that you can’t just eat a spoonful of without suddenly scraping the bottom of the jar. Enjoy it on its own or pair it with fresh fruit for a quick and delicious snack. Keep a jar of this clean, vegan, homemade chocolate hazelnut butter on hand, bring it out when your friends come over and thanks us later…

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
Makes two 10 oz jars


1 ¼ cups blanched hazelnuts
14 oz hazelnut milk
8 oz dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids, roughly chopped
5 Tbsp golden caster (superfine) sugar, or 5 Tbsp date or maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt


Preheat the oven to 360˚F.

Spread out the nuts in a single layer on a baking tray (pan). Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes until golden, then remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Tip the cooled roasted nuts into the bowl of a food processor and whizz until you have a very smooth paste (this may take a while).

Meanwhile, pour the milk into a pan, add the chopped chocolate and sugar or syrup. Set over a very low heat and stir continuously until melted and smooth (don’t let it burn!). Stir in the vanilla and salt.

With the food processor running, pour the melted chocolate milk mixture into the hazelnut paste and whizz until smooth. Pour into jars, allow to cool, then chill until set.

Note: Keeps for about a week in the fridge.

Recipes excerpted with permission from How to Be Vegan and Keep Your Friends by Annie Nichols, published by Quadrille September 2019.

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