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Chocolate Almond Spread

Chocolate almond spread

When I saw that Adrienne from Gastronathropology [1] had made some chocolate hazelnut spread [2], I knew that it was only a matter of time before I gave in to the urge to make something similar. It seemed like a fine way to use some of that good quality (and, better yet, ethically sourced) dark chocolate that was already in my possession.

What you see below is Adrienne’s recipe, but with almonds substituted for hazelnuts. I also reduced the amount of condensed milk, as something a little less sweet and more dark-chocolately was to my taste, though you can adjust according to your likes.

Also, and because I was lucky enough to have some, I used some grated tonka bean [3] to flavour the spread. This fabulously scented bean has a flavour reminiscent of vanilla and bitter almonds and works beautifully with chocolate. Unfortunately, it’s off-limits for those of you in the States, where FDA regulations mean that tonka beans cannot be sold (and if you’re curious to read more on that, I highly recommend OysterCulture’s post on tonka beans [3]). Not to worry, though, because a good quality vanilla extract is a fine substitute and a lot easier to get your hands on.

You’ll need:

  • 105g whole almonds
  • 85g dark chocolate – I used one with 70% cocoa solids
  • 175g sweetened condensed milk (or more, to taste)
  • pinch of salt
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla extract (or a quarter of a tonka bean, finely grated)

You’ll also need:

  • A food processor for grinding the almonds

The Steps:

  • Preheat your oven to 180C.
  • Spread the almonds on a baking tray and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes. Allow them to cool a little, then grind them finely in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you can just chop them finely, in which case, you’ll have a coarser spread.
  • Cut the chocolate in pieces and place in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water (or use a double boiler if you have one).
  • When the chocolate starts to melt, add the condensed milk and warm until all of the chocolate has melted. Stir in the salt and vanilla (or tonka bean shavings) and remove from the heat.
  • Mix the ground, toasted almonds into the chocolate and spread on bread, pancakes, fruit or whatever else takes your fancy. Once it cools, put it in a clean jar. Adrienne says it should keep for up to a week in a cool spot in the kitchen, though chances are it won’t last that long. As it’s a fairly stiff mixture, she also suggests giving it a few seconds in the microwave if you want it to spread more easily.

The Variations:

  • Use hazelnuts instead of almonds if you’re in a Nutella kind of mood

The Results:

  • Makes around 250g of spread