Introduction: Something Like Nutella
This is a double-substitute recipe in the sense that I had a go at a home – made Nutella instead of the store – bought, and I also replaced one of the main ingredients, hazelnuts to almonds for the simple reason that one of my kids is allergic to hazelnuts but he is OK with almonds so I’ve been substituting other nuts to almonds for more than a decade now. It works.
I am not saying that the outcome is the same as the original product but for me it is close enough. It is not that silky and shiny, in fact it gets slightly grainy when adding the ground almonds, but in return you can avoid palm oil, emulsifiers, aroma and last but not least, get the chance to control the sugar level (the original Nutella is way too sweet for me).
As a bonus, I also prepared sweet and spicy almonds for an extra bit of crunchiness to top your home made spread with, or just to crunch on, anytime.
Step 1: You’ll Need
For the spread:
- 100g almonds (preferably skin-free)
- 45 g butter
- 90 g double cream
- 75 g honey
- 160 g dark chocolate (I used Callebaut 70%)
- a pinch of salt
For the crunchy part:
- 100g almonds (preferably skin-free)
- 40 g brown sugar
- 40 g water
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes
- pepper mix (I used ½ long pepper, a tablespoon of different color peppers)
- ¼ teaspoon grated tonka bean
- digital scale
- small saucepan
- food processor
- parchment paper
- kitchen towel
- cutting board
- timer (for blanching almonds)
Step 2: Blanche Almonds
You can skip this step if you have skin - free almonds on hand, but if not, this is a really easy and fast way to get rid of the skin.
Bring 1.5 - 2 liters of water to boil (if you use small quantity of water then when adding the almonds, it will lose temperature and it will take quite some time to start reboiling, in the meantime the almonds will soak ).
Put the almonds into boiling water and boil them for 60 seconds, no more. Use a timer to be precise, as we do not want the almond to cook and get soft. In a sieve, rinse with cold water immediately.
Drain the almonds, pat them dry on a kitchen towel. One by one, take them between your thumb and forefinger and press them. They will slip out of their skin.
Step 3: Toast the Almonds
Preheat the oven to 190 C (fan). Put the almonds on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Toast for about 6-8 minutes until they start to get color. (Time may vary according to your oven.) Let them cool.
Step 4: Preparing the Spread 1.
Put 100 g almonds into the food processor, process until it's like powder.
Place the chocolate in a bowl on top of a saucepan with a little water in it. Heat the water, but make sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Gently, at a low heat let the chocolate melt.
Step 5: Preparing the Spread 2.
Remove from the heat, add salt, honey, butter and the cream, stir well. Finally add the ground almonds and combine.
Step 6: Crunchy Almonds - Spices
In order to spice up the almonds, grate part of the tonka bean with Microplane until you get about 1/4 teaspoon quantity. It has a very strong flavor, don't add too much. If you don't have tonka beans you may use cardamom instead, or just skip it.
Put the rest of the spices into a small mortar and crush them as fine as you can.
Step 7: Crunchy Almonds
Preheat the oven to 200 Celsius.
Roughly chop the rest of the almonds.
Add water and sugar into a saucepan and bring it to boil.
Mix the almonds with the spices, pour the sugar dissolved in the water on top of the almonds while still hot, combine.
Transfer the almonds onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper, spread them in an even layer.
Bake it for approximately 8 minutes until golden brown.
Step 8: Enjoy
Store it in a jar in the fridge for up to a week and enjoy your delicious home - made almond chocolate spread :-)
Use it in pancakes, babka, cupcakes, possibilities are endless.
Second Prize in the
Kitchen Compromises Speed Challenge