Wednesday, April 16, 2014

chocolate cashew butter - this takes more time explaining than making

Those of you who know me, know that I love desserts disguised as breakfast items. Like coffee cakes, muffins, and danishes. But this Chocolate Cashew Butter is the most incognito of them all. This is like the nutella of kidney shaped nuts. You can market nutella all you want with multigrain bread and floating bubbled nutrition facts. But at the end of the day, all it is is eating chocolate for breakfast. Which is precisely why I love this recipe. It taste similar to nutella, except creamier and nuttier but without all the high fructose corn syrup and artificial additives. 
Right so, as you can probably infer from the title, this cashew butter is really easy to put together. All you need is a jar of cashews, and like +or- four other household staples like salt and sugar - just wait. I don't want to spoil it. Not only is this creamy, rich and delicious, based on my highly qualified high school freshman Biology 100 credentials, I want to say it's good for you as well. Something about antioxidants and monounsaturated fats, I don't know, I got like a C. But it doesn't matter because the real reason why we eat butters of sorts is not for their health benefits. It's because they taste good.

I know, but now you're that guy who makes his own nut butter. Well it might come as a shock to you but homemade nut butter is much healthier than store bought nut butter. Plus all your foodie friends will be so jealous. Did I mention it only takes 5 minutes to make. Enough chidily chowdiling - let's get started! By the way I'm gonna start coining that phrase.

In a food processor pulse your cashews until you have small crumb resembling pieces. I'm using salted cashews, but it really doesn't matter. All it means is that I'll add less salt later than someone who used an unsalted nut. The longer you pulse it for, the more oil you are going to release. You'll see that the bottom will begin to moisten and maybe clump together. 

When it does, stop and add the rest of your ingredients. You don't want to pulse it too long because the friction from the blades can actually burn your nuts. And no one likes burnt nuts. 

Keep going. No clumps. Scrape the sides and bottom.

Blend it until everything is as smooth as you can get it. Taste it. If you want it a little sweeter add more sugar, if you can't taste the cashews enough add more cashews. I think the most important ingredient, however, is the salt. You probably know from watching all those celebrity chefs that salt brings out the natural flavors of food. So maybe if you have one of those moments again where you just can't put your finger on what's missing, it's probably because you don't have enough salt. The more you know - or should I say the more you chow. Oh gosh, I think that one was the worst of all. 

I like to keep my hand on the side of the processor to make sure it doesn't get too hot. If it does, just wait a couple seconds and resume. Pour it into a mason jar, or in my case, a cleaned out cup that used to hold black bean sauce. I'm chinese, we're resourceful and love black beans. Serve it on bread, crackers, for breakfast or for lunch. I like mine on a nice hearty slice of multigrain toast. The malty earthy tones of the bread really compliments the sweet, bitter, nutty spread. 

So there you have it. I think it took longer to explain and write bad puns, than it took for me to make this recipe. Thank you to everyone for getting this far. I'll have a new dessert every week. If I don't I'll come up with some punishment. And as always, 



1 cup roasted cashews, salted is fine
3 tablespoons olive oil, or any non-flavored oil
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 + 1 tablespoon sugar
dash of sea salt

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