Do you know those cheer-me-up tubs of chocolate spreads? They do taste amazing and can give you a big cuddle in a moment of need. BUT... Did you know that in most of commercial branded spread the first ingredient is sugar? Not chocolate, but up to 55% pure sugar. And the second? Oil, often from palm or another mass-produced culture Chocolate is often just in 3rd or 4th position, and unless stated it won't be ethically sourced, which means that people, usually children, who picked those cocoa beans haven't been paid or treated fairly for their work. The solution? Easy - make your own!
This chocolate spread recipe was written by Felicity Cloake and originally published in the Guardian. We’ve highlighted the ingredients you can buy as ethically sourced – look out for the UTZ, Rainforest Alliance or Fairtrade marks on packaging.
With the chocolate it is important to have 70%+ cocoa, anything less will have too much fat and more sugar content, and will not set or taste so good!
makes 1 x 350ml jar
INGREDIENTS 140g hazelnuts, preferably without skins **225g chocolate, about 70% cocoa** **25-50g sugar** of your choice (granulated, honey, maple syrup) 3 tbsp powdered whole milk 350ml whole milk Dash of **vanilla extract** Pinch of salt
Heat the oven to 180C and spread out the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for about 12-15 minutes until golden, then allow to cool. Keep an eye on the, nuts burn very quickly!
Grind into a smooth paste in a food processor, scooping out and reserving a couple of spoonfuls early on if you’d prefer a crunchy texture. Depending on your machine, this will take about 10 minutes and you’ll need to keep scraping down the sides using a spatula.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over, but not touching a pan of simmering water, or in the microwave. Stir together the milk, milk powder and 25g sugar in a small pan, and heat to a bare simmer.
With the processor still running, pour the hot chocolate into the hazelnut paste, followed by the hot milk, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Taste, and add as much of the remaining sugar as you wish, then when you’re happy, stir in any reserved part-ground nuts.
Pour into a clean container, allow to cool, then chill until set.