Funny thing is, though, when I first tasted it, I thought it was a total failure. I didn’t care for it at all. I came THAT CLOSE to chucking it.
BUT, I decided to let it sit for a couple of days and then give it another go. Just because. You know how I hate wasting food!
Let me tell you that this habit has served me very, very well this time.
WOW. I have no idea what happened during those few days, but when I took this out of the cupboard to taste it again, it was like some sort of magic had taken place.
What had originally tasted horribly bitter, almost like burnt wood or something, had developped into this beautiful, suave, intense dark chocolate with a rich toasted almond and coconut flavor.
It’s still a tad on the bitter side but it’s also got a pleasant hint of sweetness to it. It’s very chocolaty, and sort of reminds me of what dark roasted coffee beans taste like. Plus, it has that great texture that makes you just want to go back for more. It’s super dense and extra firm, yet it has all that chewiness from the coconut… it almost feels like you’re eating chocolate bar filling by the spoonful.
Now seriously, I made this only last week and I am already down one and a half jar! And, since I’ve been such a super nice girl and gave one of my precious jars to a very good friend of mine, I am now left with only half a jar, and already, I am starting to exhibit severe symptoms of “upcoming withdrawal”. I sort of begin to shake uncontrollably whenever I approach the cupboard that I have it stored in.
Alright, maybe not that bad, but you can be sure that my finger gets a dippin’ every single time. So I need to stear clear!
I’m already thinking I have to make another batch, but this time, I’ll make it even MORE decadent.
Oh yeah… I can already taste that new and improved version. Can anyone say toasted coconut and hazelnuts?
I think I’ll have to make actual chocolates out of this, or even truffles, why not?
I am so totally infatuated.
Maybe even a little lovesick?
ALMOND JOY CHOCOLATE SPREAD
(Yeld 3 half pint jars)
- 4 cups raw almonds
- 200g unsweetened shredded coconut
- ¼ cup unpasteurized honey
- ½ cup extra dark cocoa powder
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- Lay the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast them in a 275F oven for about an hour, then raise the temperature to 350F and give them an extra 8-10 minutes or so, until the almonds get really fragrant and take a nice golden brown color.
- Take the almonds out of the oven and allow them to cool for at least 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the coconut to your food processor and process until it turns into a crumbly, thick paste, about 8-10 minutes (you will have to scrape the sides quite frequently). Add the honey and process until well combined. Transfer to a bowl and reserve.
- Add the almonds to your food processor (no need to clean it, really) and process until smooth and creamy, about 10 minutes.
- Add the cocoa powder, vanilla, salt and cinnamon and process until well incorporated.
- Add reserved coconut paste and process again just to combine, no more.
- Transfer to glass jars and allow to rest for a few days before you dig in.
- You could keep this in the refrigerator if you wanted to, however, I dont’t believe that it’s really necessary, unless you intend on keeping it for an extended period of time (which I dare you to do!)