In my head, this spread was going to be different. I was going to use hazelnuts and the finished spread was going to taste like some sort of nougat-y piece of chestnut heaven. Well, things didn't work out. I didn't have hazelnuts for starters (and I never do, I don't know what I was thinking when I dreamed this up!) and I forgot that chestnuts are starchy and that ultimately meant there would be no sticky nougat business happening in my kitchen. I am so glad things didn't work out as planned, though. The almonds in this give the spread a mild marzipan flavour that reminds me of all things Christmas and I already know that I'll be having this with waffles as soon as I wake up on Christmas morning.
Almond Chestnut Cocoa Spread
1 cup chestnuts, cooked and peeled
2 tbs grape seed oil
3-4 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs cocoa powder
3-4 tbs water or milk
1) Put almonds into food processor and grind. Grind some more. And some more. Ideally you'll end up with almond butter and if your food processor isn't strong enough you'll end up with oily crumbs like me. Don't worry though, just make sure to grind them up as finely as you can and move on to step 2!
2) Add oil, sugar, cocoa powder and water and blend until well combined.
3) Add in the chestnuts and blend until you have a smooth, thick paste.
• Almonds I used blanched and slivered almonds, they're cheaper than whole almonds and they save some time with my mediocre food processor. You could use also use almond butter and start from step number 2!
• Chestnuts I'm a lazy chestnut lover so I like to buy the pre-peeled/cooked kind. I don't know what kind of magic is involved in the making of these, but I have a feeling that somewhere, in a remote place in france, there must be an army of squirrels working overtime just so that I get to be lazy.
• Grape seed oil It's what I had on hand, but any mild tasting oil should work.
• Store the spread in an air tight container in the fridge, my best bet is that it should be good for up to one week, but I ate it up in three days so I really wouldn't know, heh.
What to do with it
• Eat it on bread, stir some into a warm bowl of oatmeal or add it to smoothies or milkshakes.
• My favourite way to eat this, is to mix a generously heaped table spoon of it with some water until I get a a fluffy, creamy pudding type of texture. This makes the best waffle topping ever! Also good on pancakes or maybe as a filling in layered cake/torte? :)
• I haven't had the chance to try this yet, but I think this would make a lovely filling for cinnamon rolls.