How to Make a Chocolate Spread from Scratch

Homemade Chocolate Spread

Necessity is the mother of… making things from scratch. I’ve found this to be true time and again. In the past, the need usually arose from the mistaken notion of having a better-stocked kitchen. Finding that, contrary to my expectation, I didn’t actually have pancake mix, confectioner’s sugar, apple pie filling, tortilla, taco seasoning, et cetera, et cetera, and having already made and announced plans that required them, I had no choice but to turn to the Internet for a solution. Recipes and tutorials always unfailingly came to my rescue.

We just had a full weekend and failed to do the groceries then and so Monday was met with a meager cupboard. I had planned to make pancakes from scratch, but found that my husband had visited a nearby bakery the previous night and came home with a passel of pan de sal (tasty local rolls considered a breakfast staple in the Philippines).

Okay, that worked. It meant I didn’t need to make pancakes. We had butter and blueberry jam, so we had something to put on the rolls. Nonetheless, I was primed to make something that morning. Also, I had to deal with picky eaters who had certain preferences.

Around here, the favored sandwich spread was either peanut butter or Nutella. Unfortunately, we were out of both, so I had to be resourceful. I had peanuts, but they were garlic flavored. I had no hazelnuts except ones embedded in chocolate bars. I had loads of chocolate chips though. I had butter, sugar, cocoa, vanilla extract… I could make a chocolate spread.

I had to make some choices though. I had Hershey’s milk chocolate chips and Nestle Tollhouse semisweet chocolate chips. I had Dutche cocoa tablets (side note: I have a couple of Dutche products in my kitchen, which means my eyes frequently come across the brand name, which then means I usually find myself singing “Pass the Dutchie”) and Swiss Miss instant cocoa mix. Since my recipe will be using sugar, I decided to go with the less sweet options.

This is the recipe I ended up using:

Homemade Chocolate Spread

Ingredients:

  • ½ C sugar
  • ¼ C water
  • 1 T grated cocoa tablet
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • A stick of butter (½ C), cubed
  • ½ C semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Mix sugar, water, cocoa, and salt in a saucepan. Place over medium heat and stir until sugar and cocoa are dissolved. Continue stirring over heat until it reaches a simmer. Remove from heat.
  • Add vanilla extract, butter, and chocolate chips. Whisk until chocolate chips and butter melt and the mixture is smooth.
  • Pour into a container. Don’t worry that it’s too runny. It will thicken as it cools. Store in the fridge for two weeks.

Like I said, it’s a chocolate spread, so don’t expect it to taste like Nutella. In any case, it was a hit with my family.

I have to tell you though, making things from scratch is quite addictive. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and self-importance, kind of like Tom Hanks in Castaway when he made fire. If I had the time, I’d prefer to make most things from scratch. Nothing hardcore though. I’m not quite up to milling my own flour. Stop that thought. I was just talking to my husband about making our own brown rice flour and corn flour for when we finally go gluten-free, casein-free. At any rate, I’m not ready to pioneer a settlement in some lost frontier.

What are the things you have made from scratch? Do you enjoy the process? Or do you prefer the easier route? No judgment here. We’re very much familiar with the demands of modern living. Let us know your thoughts.

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