The combination of chocolate and hazelnuts can’t be beaten! Over the years though, it’s been hard to conquer this craving as products like Nutella and Ferrero Rocher, which are typically known for their yummy choc/hazelnut combination, have been too high in sugar for me. So just recently, I decided to experiment and try making a low-carb and low-sugar version myself.
For this recipe, I use a mixture of both hazelnuts as well as raw cashews, as I found the hazelnuts can be quite dry and the cashews add a real creaminess, which helps when you’re trying to spread this and not put a hole in your toast! You have no doubt discovered my love of raw cashews from my previous post, Diabetic-friendly Chocolate Ice-cream – a really yummy way to conquer any chocolate craving, especially on a hot Summer’s day. Cashews are a great way to add a healthy creaminess to any sweet treat.
Please, whatever you do, use FRESH hazelnuts from a nut store. I have tried this several times with packaged nuts from supermarkets. Even though they come packaged with a used by date, they don’t work. The oil in the nuts separates and you don’t get a nice smooth texture.
So please, whatever you do, make sure you buy your hazelnuts from a local nut supplier. Often these are the ones that have the nuts loose and they are weighed out for you. Trust me, it won’t work if you buy yours from your local supermarket, they are just not fresh enough.
To achieve an even smoother, velvet-like texture, I like to use a Vitamix to blend the mixture as this achieves a really fine grind of the nuts. You could try using a normal blender or food processor, but you may have to leave it on for longer and you may end up with a slightly courser grind, much like crunchy Peanut Butter.
This recipe is really great as a breakfast treat when you feel like something special, or on crackers for morning tea or a light dessert. I even like to eat it on its own, but I have to stop myself as it’s quite addictive and one spoonful is never enough!
Low-carb Choc Hazelnut Spread
- 150 g hazelnuts (roasted, unsalted) Fresh from a nut supplier
- 50 g raw, unsalted cashews
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp 100% natural Stevia extract (or your preferred sweetener)
To roast the hazelnuts (if you can't find pre-roasted ), place the hazelnuts on a baking tray in a preheated 180 degree Celsius oven and roast for about 10-15 minutes, turning every five minutes or so. Once cooked, allow to cool.
Once cooled, roll the hazelnuts between the palms of your hands to remove the skins. Don't worry if is some skin is left on.
Add the hazelnuts to a food processor along with the raw cashews, Stevia and cocoa powder and blend for about five minutes or until the mixture turns into a very smooth paste. I use a Vitamix blender on medium speed, to achieve a very fine and smooth texture. At first the mixture will seem quite dry, but keep going until it tuns into a creamy smooth paste.
Spoon the mixture into a jar. This keeps for several weeks.
This spread is great on crackers or toast (or on its own).