Home-made chocolate and walnut spread

I know just a handful of people who do not go goosey-limbed at the thought of having a full bottle of Nutella cradled in their palms. There’s something about that chocolate spread that induces a Pavlovian reaction at its very mention. It’s almost sacrosanct. So much so that my little concoction may be considered a blasphemy.
If you’re looking for a home-made chocolate spread that’s closer to the original try any of the following recipes.

http://bonvivant.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/the-season-for-giving/
http://www.sugoodsweets.com/blog/2005/12/nutella/
http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2010/02/chocolate-hazelnut-spread/ 

My version incorporates walnuts and is influenced by the toffee-notes in the agave nectar I used.

  • ½ cup raw cocoa nibs (look for it in a health food store)
  • ¾ cup lightly bashed walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 6 Tablespoons agave nectar – use a little less if you don’t want too sweet a spread (I found a bottle at Pick N’ Pay)
  • 2 Tablespoons Canola oil
  • 1 crack of rough salt

Lightly roast the cocoa nibs and walnuts in a oven set to 180 degrees Celsius for about 5-7 minutes. You want to release their flavours, not overly brown them.
Finely grind the cocoa nibs and walnuts once they’ve cooled down.
Add the instant coffee and a crack of salt to the ground mixture.
Pour in the agave nectar and canola oil.
Stir until everything is incorporated.
Decant into a glass jar and serve as a sandwich spread or biscuit filling.