Hi friends! I must tell you of my most recent eye opening experience in the kitchen.
My children have developed a borderline addiction to chocolate hazelnut spread- that sweet, creamy spread that is advertised as healthy. You know what I’m talking about. It’s ranch dressing’s sweet cousin. You can get your kids to eat anything if you add a dollop of either of these.
If you are a smart shopper (unlike me) and take a look at the ingredients BEFORE you let your children become addicted, this product would most likely not wind up in your cabinet.
But, alas, I just recently took a peek at the ingredients and immediately kicked myself.
Sugar is the first ingredient. Vegetable oil is the second. Hazelnuts come in THIRD. Then skim milk powder, emulsifier and some “flavoring”.
I don’t know about you, but I do not have a jar of emulsifier or flavoring anywhere in my cupboards.
After a bit of self- loathing and spanking my own hand, I decided to come up with my own chocolatey bit of heaven.
Because hazelnuts are a bit pricey, I incorporated walnuts into the mix. Then used dark chocolate and honey for sweetness. No emulsifiers or flavoring necessary.
And I must say, the end results are fabulous. This nut spread is actually, well “nutty” with a good dose of chocolate and sweet.
It almost tastes like fudge.
And I will take a dollop of that anytime!
NOTE: I toasted the hazelnuts and the walnuts separately, due to the variation in cook times. Start checking the hazelnuts at 12 minutes and then every 2 minutes until the skins have cracked.
Mine took a good 18 minutes before the skins began to crack. To remove the skins, roll a few hazelnuts at a time between the palms of your hands. You may not be able to remove all the skin. That’s okay! It just yields a slightly grainier texture. Still delicious.