Chocolate Hazelnut Toasts w/ Salted Balsamic Strawberries

Yes, you’re reading that correctly. This toast is smothered with homemade Nutella.

I KNOW!

Best Fri-yay ever.

If you’ve never made your own nut butter before, it’s time to get with the program. Because homemade nut butter is crazy easy to make, SO freakin’ tasty, and not loaded with messy preservatives. It’s clean, it’s delicious, and you’re quickly going to become obsessed.

The key to nut butter is patience, and frankly you don’t need much. Simply take roasted, unsalted nuts — cashew, almond, etc. — and blend it in your food processor. That’s…. IT! The nut’s natural oils will release during grinding, resulting in a creamy, smooth texture that’s utterly delicious. So in order to make this homemade Nutella, the path is pretty clear. Roasted, unsalted hazelnuts, melted semi-sweet chocolate, and a pinch of sugar. It’s fast, simple, and proves that dreams do come true.

What’s great about this faux-tella is that it keeps beautifully in the fridge, so don’t be shy about making a big batch. I also prefer to eat it chilled, not straight from the food processor. That’s because the refrigerator solidifies it into a texture much easier for spreading, which is exactly what you need for this toast.

Obviously plain strawberries would work just fine here, but why be basic when you can be badass? A little strawberry-balsamic combo never hurt nobody — see here — so a repeat felt like a good idea. The gist is to marinate sliced strawberries in a mix of brown sugar, balsamic, and sea salt, then strain! The balsamic’s flavor is deeply potent, so the strawberries only need mere minutes to soak. And once they’re steeped and ready, it’s toast time.

There’s a lot of flavor going on here, but all of them are in harmony. Obviously the nut butter is a decadent combo of sweet, savory, smokey flavors, so it’s heaven all on its own. But the strawberries unique touch of tang is both unexpected AND completely delightful, it’s like a party on your tongue. Add a few chopped hazelnuts on top for even more texture (the obsession is real), and boom!

Best. toast. ever. xo

Chocolate Hazelnut Toasts w/ Salted Balsamic Strawberries

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz dry roasted, unsalted hazelnuts
  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tsps coconut oil
  • 2 tsps granulated sugar (optional)
  • 2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 4 – 5 oz strawberries, sliced
  • a pinch of salt
  • 4 slices rye bread (or any bread of your choice!)
  • crushed hazelnuts to top (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a food processor grind the hazelnuts until smooth, scraping the sides as needed.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan combine the semi-sweet chocolate and coconut oil. Heat over a low flame until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the melted chocolate and sugar (if using) to the food processor, then blend until incorporated. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 20 minutes.
  4. When ready, in a small mixing bowl combine the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, whisking well. Stir in the strawberries, then sprinkle with salt. Let this mixture steep until needed, no longer than 10 minutes.
  5. Toast the bread to your desired level of crispiness. As always, I suggest extra crispy.
  6. Strain the balsamic strawberries through a strainer, then lightly pat dry with a paper towel. Next, slather each slice of toast with a thick layer of chocolate hazelnut butter, then layer with the balsamic strawberries. Top with chopped hazelnuts, then eat.

>> As written, you’ll have about 1 1/2 cups of leftover chocolate hazelnut butter. Store in an air-tight jar in the refrigerator for up to one month.

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