Chocolate Almond Spread


 There are many reasons to avoid Nutella, from the insane sugar content to the Palm oil they use and the environmental impact that has. I'm also not going to make my life harder by introducing Archie to the notion of chocolate at breakfast apart from the occasional pain au chocolat after swimming on the weekends. However, I cannot deny the joy of chocolate spread on toast with a glass of ice cold milk on the side and who am I to stop the kid experiencing that in some form?

Arch and I were delivering Kidchup to Earth in Kentish town yesterday and there was a brand handing out samples of their chocolate spread, which obviously Arch devoured and then started badgering me to buy him some. Because I am unashamedly that mum, and I can't justify buying chocolate spread atm, I told him we'd make our own at home which would be much more fun and taste better because we'd made it. Our first introduction to homemade chocolate spread was thanks to the awesome Lizzie King so Arch was very excited at the prospect of making some again. When I got back I realised I didn't have any Hazelnuts and the weather was miserable so, rather than drag a reluctant kid kicking and screaming to the shops, I made it with some flaked almonds I already had and cobbled together a recipe which turned out to be next level. Toasting the almonds first gives it a real depth and using good cocoa and not much maple syrup makes it deliciously rich and satisfying rather than saccharine sweet - so a little goes a long way. This is also super low maintenance, you just need a good, decent sized mixer that'll do all the hard work for you.

I didn't want to make a mountain of it since it's just me and kiddo, this makes about 100g which will do us for a while! Double it up if there's more of you.

Ingredients:

100g Flaked almonds

1 Tablespoon Cocoa (I use Green & Blacks)

1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup

A pinch of Maldon Sea Salt

Splash of good Vanilla Essence ( I use Nielsen Massey)

Roughly 1 Teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil (you can use coconut or rapeseed)

1. Toast the almonds in a large pan over a low-medium heat. Keep tossing them to move them around and keep a close eye on them as they turn really quickly - you want them golden, not burnt

2. Blitz your almonds with a pinch of sea salt on high in a mixer until they form a butter/come together into a big ball

3. Add the cocoa, vanilla and maple syrup and blitz on high again for a good few minutes until it all comes together. Remember, this won't be the consistency of Nutella so you just want it smooth. Add some olive oil to help the process along and when you're happy with the consistency you're done

4. Put into an air tight container and keep in the fridge where it should last you a good couple of weeks if you can resist eating it all in one go!