Walking into our kitchen smells like autumn. The aroma of hazelnuts toasting on the stove reminds me that Easter has come and gone, that the days have become cooler and the blazers have been pulled to the front of my closet.
There is something about hazelnuts that is reminiscent of childhood, and so many people’s favourite spread, Nutella. When I bought some for crepes recently and read the label, I realised why mum had never given it to us as kids. It is choc full of sugar and ingredients that I am currently trying to avoid, so I thought I would attempt to create my own version, using raw cacao.
Hazelnut and Raw Cacao Butter:
Just over a cup of hazelnuts
1/4 cup raw cacao
1 tablespoon of maple syrup (or other sweetener such as agave)
See update: Coconut oil or macadamia oil
- Toast the hazelnuts over medium heat, shaking regularly, until the nuts are browned
- Remove from the heat and rub the nuts in a clean tea towel to remove the skins
- Put the hazelnuts in the food processor and run at the top speed. Leave it to run, scraping the sides down occasionally, until the nuts have released their oils. It will take longer than you expect so just be patient.
- When it starts to look the consistency of peanut butter, turn off and add the raw cacao and maple syrup
- Process until fully combined
- Enjoy on toast, crepes or apple slices
UPDATE: my original batch became quite dry when it was stored in the fridge, so I added a couple tablespoons of coconut oil and stirred until it was combined. The consistency became spread-able and much closer to the original. I imagine a nut oil like macadamia would work well also. Be aware that coconut oil will solidify in the fridge but should become liquid at room temperature.
Photos from: my camera