Nuttier Than A...
Chocolate, Hazelnut and Almond Spread
Tomorrow is 'Shrove Tuesday' or, as it's rather affectionately known to children big and small, 'Pancake Day'.
In preparation, we thought we'd make a variation on that ever so popular European import, Nutella. Much like calling a vacuum cleaner a 'Hoover', Nutella is simply the most widely known gianduja, hazelnut and chocolate spread, and the name has become synonymous with this rich and creamy concoction.
Invented in Turin during the late 18th/early 19th century whilst the Mediterranean was under British blockade, it takes it's name, Gianduja, from a Carnival and marionette character who represents the archetypal Piedmontese, a native of the Italian region where hazelnut confectionery is common.
Although gianduja contains only hazelnuts, we decided to combine our two favourite nuts for our own unique version. Roasted hazelnuts (rubbed together in a tea towel to remove the skin) were combined with roasted almonds (blanched in boiling water to peel the skins off) and placed in a blender. The roasted nuts were then blitzed for a good 8-10 minutes until we'd created a roasted nut butter.
Next and most importantly came the chocolate. We opted for rich and dark 74% cocoa which was gently melted before combining with the nut butter, vanilla extract and a little sea salt and continuing to blend for a even smoother and creamier finish. Minus the palm oil. And milk powder. And sugar! We did add a little maple syrup, but remember, liquid will make your chocolate seize so go slowly.
Now, if only we can wait for tomorrow...