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Cooking experiment: homemade chocolate spread

One of our key priorities at home has been to eat better and look for healthy, sustainable alternatives to our favourite food. While the experiments to remove meat from our meal plan and favour veggies, tofu or seitan (the latest one) are going full speed, we have also looked into dairies (making our own mozzarella - my 2020 wish is to look for a yoghurt-making process), bread and various dough types (in order to stop eating processed one like toast bread or kid-focused brioche).

The ones who know me also know my sweet tooth and my love for baking. This has been for many years a source of stress-relief, pleasure, and surely the best way to control the list of ingredients and snacks that enter our kitchen. 

It’s been also a way to educate our son about additives, sugars and fats, and the impact on the environment and biodiversity of things such as palm oil. Sad to say, it is very, very hard to find palm oil-free options in the biscuits section at Migros.

My latest project then has been to try and make my own chocolate spread.

Removing Nutella entirely from our shelves has been an easy one: just stop buying it, it is simple. Alternatives exist of course, but the remaining options are either palm-oil based or full of sugars. Our favourite has been Nocciolata, the only one we found so far with no palm oil and with appropriate taste and texture.

It was time therefore to try a simple recipe and make or own spread, the same way as we already had tried to do our own peanut butter. The process is very simple

  • roast hazelnuts (bio version available at Migros) for like 10 mn or so, then remove their skin by rubbing them in a dry towel for a few minutes. It does not matter if some keep their skin, however it might affect the texture afterwards.

  • blend until smooth and silky consistency. It might take a few minutes, at the end the mixture is almost liquid.

  • add melted chocolate (i added a little spoon of coconut oil to melt it in the microwave) and other things that suit your taste: a bit of liquid vanilla, a pinch of salt, an extra spoon of cocoa to make it even darker. Blend all ingredients together until fully mixed.

  • recipes online suggest to sieve the mixture to avoid its grainy consistency; we actually enjoyed it this way and kept it as it is. 

The fresh spread was fairly liquid at first but kept in the fridge it got the perfect consistency to be used on bread. At the end we ended up with something much sweeter than the original brand, and so much richer in chocolate and halzenut flavour than it did not feel like taking too much at a time.

The pot didn't last more than 3 days, from snack time to forbidden "directly from the pot with a spoon"-type of craving. More will be in the making this week and possibly become homemade Christmas presents from our son. 

Next food experiment a la casa: homemade ketchup.

Going sustainable, one meal at a time.

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