Hazelnut and cocoa spread

Taken from Claire Thomson’s National Trust Family Cookbook. With a delicious combination of chocolate and hazelnuts, this simple recipe is popular with children and adults alike.

Claire Thomson's Hazelnut and cocoa spread on a crumpet
  • Preparation time 15 minutes (prep. time)
  • Cooking time 20 minutes (cooking time)
  • Serves 1 pot


  • 200g (7oz) shelled hazelnuts
  • 2 tsp groundnut or hazelnut oil
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 tsp caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Wash a 400g jar (and its lid) in hot soapy water, rinse well and place in a preheated oven at 110°C (100°C fan) for about 10–15 minutes until dry. Alternatively, put the jar through a hot cycle in the dishwasher.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (170ºC fan).
  3. If the hazelnuts have their skin on, spread them in an even layer in a roasting tin and bake for 10–15 minutes until the skins are dark brown and the nuts are nicely roasted.
  4. Put the hot nuts in a clean tea towel, draw the sides together, and rub the tea towel vigorously on the work surface. The friction should be enough to take the skins off the nuts. There might be a few prudish nuts – pop these back in the oven for another few minutes and repeat.
  5. If using skinned hazelnuts, roast them for 5–8 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Put the roasted skinned hazelnuts into a food processor and blitz with 1 teaspoon of the oil for a couple of minutes; the nuts will break down into dust and begin to form a buttery paste.
  7. Add the remaining oil and blitz to combine. Add the cocoa, vanilla, sugar, salt and blitz for 30 seconds or so to combine.
  8. Transfer to the sterilised jar, seal and store in the fridge. This will keep well for a month or so.
A section of the 'National Trust Family Cookbook' jacket

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