Cashew Chocolate Spread (Cashewtella)

August 21, 2014
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes about two 8-ounce jars
Author Notes

Every now and then I get mad -- mad! -- that I didn't know what gianduja and Nutella were until I was in my 20s. Two decades wasted! But I've made up for lost time, I have. I may run out of jam or eggs or milk; I don't run out of Nutella (the brand name for the chocolate-hazelnut spread gianduja). But I've never made gianduja, and I thought making it would be a feather in my cap.

It's not nearly as complicated as I'd hoped (bragging rights deflated) -- all you do is grind toasted hazelnuts with sugar, whisk butter and cream into melted chocolate, and stir the ground nuts and some flaky salt into the chocolate. At this point, you are one step away from toast with gianduja, crêpes with gianduja, and gianduja icing. But I had a problem along the way: I couldn't find hazelnuts (what's up, Hamptons?!). So I put my chips on cashews. And invented a whole new, amazing treat: Cashewtella. Bragging rights restored.

This recipe is adapted from Bon Appétit. —Amanda Hesser

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Heat the oven to 350° F. Spread the cashews in a medium baking dish, and toast in the oven until lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes, shaking the pan every few minutes. Let cool completely.
  2. In a blender or a food processor, combine the cashews and sugar and pulse to a powdery paste.
  3. Heat an inch of water to a gentle simmer in the base of a double boiler. Set the top pan on the double boiler base, and add the chocolate to the top pan. When it's melted, turn off the heat. Whisk in the butter, a few pieces at a time. Then beat in the cream. Remove the top pan from the base and set it on a counter. Stir in the cashew mixture and the salt. Divide among two 8-ounce jars. Let cool, then seal, and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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Amanda Hesser

Recipe by: Amanda Hesser

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.

9 Reviews

tamater S. July 20, 2017
I love how 52's old recipes pop up on the sidebar. This would be great in a pinch, for when the kids show up 'out of nowhere'!
tamater S. July 20, 2017
If I get enough notice, I'll soak those cashews overnight, as tune suggested, and serve it on cinnamon toast. I like to make recipes like this for them - recipes that I wouldn't necessarily want to eat all by myself. :-O
Anne M. October 15, 2014
Would coconut milk work, in lieu of the heavy cream for those with lactose issues?
Amanda H. October 15, 2014
I haven't tried it but seems worth giving a whirl.
Debora B. August 26, 2014
How long does this nut butter keep in the Frig? Thank you
Amanda H. August 27, 2014
At least 2 weeks.
tunie August 26, 2014
The raw food community has eaten this for years, but uses soaked raw cashews overnight instead of roasting them so that they become silky and creamy after blending with cocoa powder, just like regular nutella. Using liquid agave keeps up the creamy theme and a pinch of sea salt brings it all together. A high speed blender is vital for ultimate creaminess, but you'll still get good results whatever you use. Enjoy!
tunie August 26, 2014
and now that it's easy to find raw cashew butter, you can just empty a jar of it into the processor, add agave, cocoa powder and a little salt and you're good to go. Dangerously easy!
Amanda H. August 27, 2014
Thanks for the tips.