The recipe included here, for chocolate and roasted hazelnut spread, is a healthy enough version, writes Michelle Darmody.
You can make a sweeter interpretation of it if you wish; for the 200g of hazelnuts listed you can blitz in 70g of melted chocolate instead of the coco powder or substitute the honey for icing sugar.
The spread keeps for up to a month in the fridge.
It is important to sterilise the jar if you are keeping it for any longer than a few days.
Wash your jar well in warm soapy water and then rinse and dry it.
Place it into a hot oven for five minutes. Do the same with the lid but only place it in the oven for about thirty seconds.
This will kill any bacteria and allow the spread to last longer.
The spread is delicious on toast with some sliced banana or on breakfast pancakes.
Whipping the spread with cream cheese makes for a delicious cake filling and paired with the rich density of the chocolate cake, it is a real treat.
This cake goes a long way. I would get about 20 thin slices out of it. The spread is also a great filler for sandwiched biscuits.
I have included a spiced wholemeal biscuit here but chocolate or shortcake ones would do just as nicely.
A very quick, cheat’s banana and chocolate ice cream is made by slicing two bananas and
placing the slices in a freezer bag.
Freeze them and then once frozen blitz them with a tablespoon of the spread.
Serve straight away.
This is not as luscious as a full fat creamy gelato but is a very good, healthy alternative.
Hazelnut chocolate spread
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Place the hazelnuts on a roasting tray and heat until the skins are turning a darker brown.
It will take about ten minutes.
Place the nuts into a tea towel, fold the towel over and rub the nuts vigorously to remove most of the skins.
Blitz the skinless nuts with the oil in a liquidizer until smooth.
Add the coco powder, vanilla essence, honey and a pinch of salt.
Blitz again until they are all combined. Taste and add some more honey if desired.
Scoop into a sterlised jar and refrigerate once cool.
Spiced biscuit sandwiches
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray with parchment
Beat the butter and sugar together until they start to become fluffy.
Add in the rest of the ingredients — except the hazelnut chocolate spread. Combine them with the paddle attachment for your mixer or by hand.
Roll pieces of the dough into walnut size balls with your palms and place them on the baking tray. Press each ball down flat and leave some space between each one.
You should get about 16 biscuits.
Bake for 15 minutes until golden.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Once they are completely cool, spread some of the hazelnut and chocolate on the back on one biscuit and then sandwich it with another.
Chocolate and cream cheese layer cake
For the cake
For the cream cheese icing:
Heat your oven to 160 degrees and line two 9 inch round loose bottom or springform tins.
Melt the butter, chocolate, coffee over a low heat and add 100mls of water.
Beat the buttermilk with the eggs and bread soda.
Then in a separate bowl mix the flours, sugars and coco powder together.
Mix all three mixtures together.
Scoop the cake batter into your prepared tins.
Bake for one hour and five minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the tin for about twenty minutes then gently turn out the cakes onto a wire rack.
To make the icing, beat the butter and sugar until smooth and then beat in the cream cheese and hazelnut chocolate spread until combined.
When the cake is cooled spread a layer of the cream cheese on top of one disc.
Sit the other disc on top and the cover this in the remaining icing.
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