Saturday, August 13, 2011

SIngle Origin Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Beyond their bars, we'll feature these in a month or two, Sisters and Brothers, the folks from Askinosie Chocolate also make a Chocolate Hazelnut Spread which uses single origin cacao from the Phillipines and hazelnuts from a single farm in the USA -- doubly single origins.  The jar is 6.5 oz and contains only natural and several organic ingredients.  No preservatives so plan to eat this within a month or two of purchase for best quality.

The spread is very thick and dark looking and when I saw that I was immediately concerned.  It had a good chocolaty hazelnut scent but I couldn't get beyond how thick it looked.  With natural peanut butters thickness generally signals a problem I'll have with spreading it, a problem generally created when the oils separate. If I stir it, it will spread but it always tastes a bit uneven.

I should not have worried because Askinosie's Chocolate Hazelnut Spread spread very easily yet remained very thick.  This alone is even to set this particular spread about natural peanut butters but this isn't a peanut butter of course.  Compared to other natural chocolate hazelnut spreads, the Askinosie also spreads more easily.  For all it's thickness it was very smooth both in the spread and when I mushed it around in my mouth from the remains on the knife I used to spread it -- I couldn't just let it go to waste, right?  That chocolate flavor and hazelnut blended very well, I didn't feel short-changed on either flavor.  One on the plain French bread in this photo, it tasted good with the same balance at the beginning though it did fade into more hazelnut with each chew then the bitter chocolate came back right at the end.  The thicker the slice of bread, the more hazelnut came out -- for more chocolate then you can spread this Askinosie product thicker or slice your French bread thinner.

Then I had to try it on other products just for variety.

 On the everyday wheat and whole grain bread we use, the spread melted well onto the toast.  The chocolate parts of it came through much better on these thinner slices compared to the French bread slices.  The cocoa scent was even stronger probably because it was warm.  I've found that when heated, cocoa and chocolate give off more fragrance in general.

Of course I had to try it on graham crackers as well.  Around here we put peanut butter, frosting, chocolate, just plain old marshmallows or fancy gourmet marshmallows on graham crackers.  This was a bit difficult to spread without damaging the crackers, I problem I always have with these things.  Again the chocolate came out more in terms of flavor but not in terms of scent where the sweetness of the cracker was fairly strong.  For the most cocoa essence with this spread, go for the everyday, simple, thin slices of bread toasted.

Askinosie's Chocolate Hazelnut Spread is not for milk chocolate lovers.  It has a good bitterness that only darker cocoa lovers will fully appreciate.  If you can find it, or if you order it, know that you're getting a lot of product for what may seem a high price but that your money is doing far more than merely making some rich guy richer.  For the quality of the spread and the good the company is trying to do, this product is a worthy Sacrament for The Chocolate Cult.


Evan Thomas said...

I've never seen this brand in stores before. Sounds like a great dark chocolate alternative to nutella.

TheChocolatePriestess said...

I don't know if you can find it many brick and mortar stores, Evan. Look at the website and see if they list any in your area.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Christine's Pantry said...

Another great review. Always a pleasure to visit you.

TheChocolatePriestess said...

Thanks, Christine! You need to put up more chocolate and cocoa recipes on your site!

Nava.K said...

From the review, it must be a great and good product, wonder if I can find it over here. Would also be great to bake a cake with adding it.

TheChocolatePriestess said...

That's a good idea, Nava. It spread as easily as other chocolate hazelnut spreads so I'm sure it would work as well in recipes.

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