Hazelnut Chocolate Date Spread
This Hazelnut Chocolate Date Spread is a Nutella-like vegan spread that’s perfect on warm toast, fresh fruit, and (of course) by the spoon!
I was going to call this “Healthy Homemade Nutella” or something of the sort, because this was supposed to taste JUST LIKE NUTELLA. I was going to call this Nutella and never buy Nutella again and overtime transform the term “Nutella” into something so obsolete…in favor of this stuff.
But you know what? This is not Nutella. Nothing can be as good as Nutella, and that’s just a fact of life.
But that’s okay. We’re calling this Hazelnut Chocolate Date Spread because it’s not trying to fit into the narrow expectations that would come with a name like “Healthy Nutella”. This sweet spread has its own things going for it. It’s chocolatey and fluffy and creamy and datey.
But first…I must admit, there will be but one recipe this Date Week. I had this grand plan to conjure up some goat cheese stuffed, prosciutto wrapped baked dates. And I made them and yea, they were good. But then somehow I had a flashback to my years lived in Alaska and…well…all the baked dates began to look like moose nuggets. So while they don’t warrant a whole post, they were good (and would be great for an Alaskan-themed party). Just pit the dates, stuff with a teaspoon of goat cheese, wrap with half a strip of prosciutto, and either bake at 350 for 15 minutes or enjoy them at room temperature (best).
And on a super side note (yet undoubtedly more important): this blog is now vegetarian! This obviously isn’t a huge change from the usual menu, though the boyfriend-tulip-man did put up a bit of a fuss. Plant power, y’all.
Okay back to the good stuff. Hazel-Date Chocolate Spread. Yes. We’ll start with hazelnuts. Get the skin off of them then roast. You can go two routes here:
- Quicker but doesn’t remove all the skin: Roast at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes, let cool enough to touch, then place on a kitchen towel and roll around with your hands to remove skins.
- Longer but removes all the skins (= smoother spread) (and also creates an incredible growing foam monster) : Bring some water to a boil and add a few tablespoons of baking soda. Boil nuts for 4 minutes then immediately strain and transfer to a bowl of ice water for 1 minute. Skin should come right off. You should still roast the nuts as you would above to loosen up all the tasty oils and bring out the flavor.
Rawr foam monster.
Whichever route you go, you’ll then need to make a nut butter out of these hazelnuts. Just throw them in a food processor and blend for 8 to 15 minutes. I used this guide, which I imagine would be really helpful if you didn’t have a shit food processor. Unfortunately, such a case is not mine. After 30 minutes I gave up on a smooth hazelnut butter and settled for an almost-there butter. But….I believe in you! The smoother the better.
Next up, date paste! This part was actually a success. Rinse out the food processor and fill it with 1 cup of pitted dates and 2 tablespoons of water. Puree until nice and smooth. Boom, done.
Add the hazelnut butter to the dates and pulse a few times to mix, then add in your oil, cocoa, vanilla, salt, and almond milk. Ta-da!
Hazelnut Chocolate Date Spread
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- 1 cup dates pitted
- 2 Tbsp water
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp flavorless oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup almond milk
- Roast hazelnuts at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Transfer onto a kitchen towel and roll with your hands to remove skins.
- Puree hazelnuts in a food processor for 8 to 15 minutes until a butter forms.
- Remove hazelnut butter, rinse out food processor, and add dates and water. Puree until smooth and creamy.
- Add hazelnuts to date paste and pulse a few times.
- Add cocoa, vanilla, oil, and salt and blend.
- With food processor running, slowly pour in almond milk.