Nutella is a delicious – and addictive – chocolate hazelnut spread that is popular just about everywhere. As it has become more popular (here in the US, at least), I have noticed similar spreads popping up that feature different nuts. For instance, I’ve seen chocolate-peanut spreads and chocolate-almond spreads. I attribute the popularity of these other flavors to the popularity of these other nuts, as hazelnuts themselves aren’t nearly as commonly found in baked goods as peanuts, almonds or pecans are. That said, most nuts go very well with chocolate and I can pretty much guarantee that you would not be disappointed to find a jar of this homemade Chocolate Almond Spread in your kitchen.
The spread is made with almonds and milk chocolate, with a little bit of sugar, cocoa powder and salt to give it a little sweetness and depth. The whole thing is made in the food processor, and you’ll definitely need to use one to get a smooth, creamy texture in your spread. It is a lot like Nutella, but it has a mild almond flavor to it that goes very well with the milk chocolate. In short: it is simply delicious. You can use it just like Nutella, too, spreading it on pancakes, toast, cookies or just eating it with a spoon.
You can either toast the almonds yourself or buy them toasted, and you can use whole or sliced. I prefer to use almonds without skins since they turn out a (very) slightly smoother finished product, but it actually doesn’t make much of a difference and you won’t see the color of the skins in the spread if you choose to leave them on. If you need to smooth out your spread a little more, add in a little extra oil while the food processor is running, but otherwise you just need to be patient and let the spread blend for a few minutes. You’ll be well-rewarded in the end.
As long as it isn’t too warm out, I will typically keep a batch in an airtight container or jar and leave it on the counter in my kitchen for a few days. I can usually (with a little help!) eat through a batch within a week or so. The spread will firm up too much if you don’t keep it in an airtight container – and if that happens, you can warm it up in the microwave in a few seconds.
Homemade Chocolate Almond Spread
4.5-oz toasted almonds
1 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
12-oz good quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
In the food processor, combine almonds, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Whizz until well-combined and the almonds start to form a paste, about 2-3 minutes.
In a large, microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate. Work in 30-45 second intervals, stirring the chocolate frequently to make sure that it doesn’t burn. Allow to cool slightly, then pour into the food processor with the almond mixture. Whizz until everything starts to become very smooth, about 3-4 minutes.
If the spread is grainy, add in an additional 1/2 – 1 tsp of canola oil at a time until and continue processing until it smooths out, more 1-2 minutes.
Transfer to a large jar or other airtight container and allow to cool completely, then store at room temperature.
Makes about 16-oz