Pancake Day/Shrove Tuesday is in 9 days time, and since I have made quite a few pancake recipes, I thought maybe I’d try making fillings that can be eaten with pancakes and crepes. I stumbled upon a recipe of this hazelnut spread called gianduja and it was so rich-looking in ingredients – cream, butter… I wanted something light and I want the hazelnuts to be prominent in this, and not the cocoa and cream. I like the brown sugar flavour in this and it gives the spread a darker colour, too. I used ready roasted hazelnuts that you can find in abundance here in Greece (with its skin removed) but I do toast it lightly in a pan beforehand as well.
I have used this spread/paste as an alternative in this recipe, and changed it from savoury to sweet palmiers, and they taste superb!
Ingredients: (makes enough to fit a jam jar)
- 100g of brown sugar
- 50ml of water
- 250g of hazelnuts, lightly toasted in a pan
- 30g of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 2 tbsps of olive oil
- a pinch of salt
- Combine the brown sugar and water in a pot. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved into the syrup. Reduce slightly, but make sure it doesn’t burn.
- In a mixer, add the lightly toasted nuts and the syrup. Process for a few minutes until it has become a paste.
- Add the cocoa powder, vanilla extract, a pinch of salt and olive oil, and continue to process until it turns into a spreadable paste. If not add 1 tbsp of olive oil, every time in between processing until you reach your desired texture.
- Store in an airtight container, and refrigerate. It may last for a week or 2, but it has never lasted that long in my fridge.