A recent trip to Chelsea, London, passing by the much loved Italian Venchi chocolateria/gelateria inspired me to give a homemade version of chocolate spread a go – they sell a chocolate hazelnut spread which combines nuts with olive oil and I thought I’d give a home made version a go as Son #2 is positively addicted to Nutella but shouldn’t be eating the sugar.

Here palm oils are replaced with extra virgin olive oil – no sugar, no preservatives, no rubbish. You will need a food processor and it’ll yield a medium Kilner jars worth which will keep for 7-10 days in a cool, dark environment. If it lasts that long…….

Pop onto hot toast, ice cream, guilt free wholegrain sandwiches with slices of banana (yum!!!!), you name it!!

Sugar Free Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (1 large jar)

200g hazelnuts

8 pitted dates

1/2 cup hazelnut milk

1 tbsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

80g organic cocoa powder

4 tbsp organic agave syrup

Pinch of flaked sea salt

Pop the nuts in the processor and blast for as long as 10 minutes until they break down and turn to a butter like consistency. You’ll need to frequently stop the machine and scrape the powder form the sides of the bowl until it gives up and starts to bind.

Whilst you’re doing that, put the dates in a small bowl and add 50ml of boiling water to them and rest for 10/15 minutes to soften.

When the hazelnuts start to behave, add all the remaining ingredients bar the oil and blitz until just combined. Then pulse in the oil until you have a smooth, glossy, happy consistency. Spoon into a dry sterilised jar and keep hidden from the children until they are such little angels that they deserve a portion on hot buttered toast – post swim, match or teenage break up:(






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