Chocolate Cashew Spread.

At this moment, I am sitting in the lounge watching the tenth season of “Friends,” (ya know, the where Rachel and Joey double date with Ross and Charlie? And Ross makes Mexican food, has too many margaritas, and makes everything awkward? Hilarious), typing up new recipes for my cookbooks, and glancing out the window at the clouds threatening to burst with rain at any moment. But even though I’m having a quite lovely afternoon, I still can’t stop thinking about this morning. What happened this morning?

Amazing, nutty, rich, chocolaty goodness.

I found this recipe while I was scrolling through new recipes for the house: Chocolate Peanut Spread.

Sweetheart, you had me at ‘chocolate.’ And ‘peanut,’ (But mostly just chocolate).

However, we didn’t have any peanuts in the house, but there was a bag of cashews just sitting in the pantry, staring me in the face, silently begging me to use them. So I obliged. I whipped these up in a most hurried manner for our fika  (Swedish tea time) today, and it was a huge hit! It was spread on everything-apple slices, pear slices, digestives (a biscuit in the UK that kinda resembles a round graham cracker), a finger, a spoon . . . the possibilities are endless. We started with a pretty good sized bowl, and we were left with a scant amount, just enough to spread on a couple biscuits (hence the lack of photo business over there). So here it is, folks, and be warned: you will want to eat the entire thing. When smitten kitchen posted this recipe, she kept going on about how much she wanted to eat the whole thing, and I thought, “Aw sheesh, I can have self control with a little bit o’ spread; no big thang.” Mrs. Smitten Kitchen? You are absolutely right; my apologies. You changed my life a little bit today.

Here is the cashew version of the chocolate peanut spread.

Chocolate Cashew Spread
serves 1-12 people

2 cups roasted salted cashews
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder, sifted
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
3-4 Tablespoons canola oil (depending on the consistency)
pinch of sea salt (if necessary-adjust to taste)
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the cashews evenly over a cookie sheet and roast until they darken, about 6-7 minutes, rattling them around a bit halfway through to they toast evenly (this deepens their flavor a bit).

Transfer the cashews to a food processor and grind them for about 5 minutes. First they’ll become a paste, then they’ll keep on being all pastey, then finally, they’ll liquefy. Scrape down the sides as needed.

Add the cocoa, sugar, salt (if using) and two-three tablespoons of the oil to the food processor and continue to process until well blended, about 1 minute. Add more salt if needed. Add the last tablespoon of oil if the consistency seems too thick.

Store in refrigerator up to a week in a covered container.

It won’t last that long. But I think I said that already. Source: adapted from Smitten Kitchen, originally from the LA Times


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