- Preheat ovet to 350° F.
- Spread nuts out on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven and roast, shaking once or twice for even toasting of nuts, until deep brown (13–15 minutes). Let cool completely. Rub skins off with a kitchen towel.
- Place hazelnuts and sugar into the bowl of a food processor and process until a smooth and buttery paste forms, about 1 minute.
- Bring water to a boil in the bottom of a double boiler. Place chocolate in the top of a double boiler. Stir the chocolate often until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
- Remove the top of the double boiler from the heat and add butter. Whisk until completely incorporated.
- Whisk in cream and salt, then hazelnut paste.
- Pour paste into jars. Let cool. The spread will thicken and become soft and peanut butter-like as it cools. Keep chilled.
- To use, soften at room temperature for 4 hours. Can stand at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Mathew Hergott of Chilliwack, BC won first place in the intermediate category with this recipe in the 4-H Roots to Recipe contest at the 2013 PNE. He used BC hazelnuts in his recipe.