Chocolate spread: how to make it and what to eat it with

20 Dec 2021

Food + Drink

Chocolate spread: is there anything it doesn’t go with? Here’s how to make your own — and get the most out of it

Chocolate spread — ah, the rich, thick chocolatey goodness. As a tasty toast topper and dessert ingredient, it’s a great excuse to eat chocolate every day. It’s the perfect savoury or sweet accompaniment, and we just can’t get enough.

At Hotel Chocolat, we simply adore chocolate spread, but… It has to be the homemade kind. While supermarket chocolate spreads are full of sugar and far too sickly sweet, made-from-scratch recipes tend to be much healthier and cacao-rich. Chocolate spread can transform a variety of dishes, but the quality of the spread will determine whether this is a welcome addition or a culinary faux pas. Whip up a batch of sumptuous cacao-packed spread from scratch and ensure it’s always the former…

Dive into our world of delectable chocolate indulgence. Here’s our guide on how to make the best chocolate spread and what to eat it with.

Chocolate spread on pancakes, served with fruit

How to make homemade chocolate spread

Chocolate spread can be incredibly satisfying to make yourself. A jar of this good stuff will last one or two weeks when stored in the fridge. Whip up a big batch and give some jars to your friends or stick to one pot for you and your family.

The key to making great chocolate spread is the chocolate. As you can imagine, the higher the quality of chocolate, the better the flavour will be. Likewise, the higher the cacao percentage of the chocolate, the richer and more indulgent the taste will be. We always recommend using at least a 70% cacao percentage but feel free to use higher to achieve a darker, more intense spread.

We always use our chocolate batons when making chocolate spread. Easy to snap, they melt like a dream. They’re also available in a range of cacao percentages, so you can choose the intensity of your spread.

This recipe makes one medium-sized jar of chocolate spread.


You’ll need the following ingredients:


  1. Heat your oven to 180C. Scatter the nuts on a baking tray and bake until golden. This tends to take 10-15 minutes — but keep an eye on them! Once baked, let them cool down.
  1. Grind the nuts into a paste using a food processor. If you like a smooth spread, whizz the nuts for longer. If you prefer a touch of crunch, either blend for less time or put aside some of the crunchier mixture early on to add back in at the end of your whizzing. Expect this to take up to ten minutes.
  1. Next, you’ll want to melt the chocolate. We prefer to do this on the hob rather than in a microwave. Add the chocolate pieces to a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. The hot water will slowly melt the chocolate and you can stir as you go to ensure it doesn’t burn.
  1. Add the milk powder, milk, and sweetener of choice to another small pan and heat to a gentle simmer. You can stir these ingredients together.
  1. You can then add the melted chocolate, milk mixture, plus the salt and vanilla into the hazelnut paste in the food processor. Continue blending the mixture. Once combined, stop the food processor and taste. Add extra sweetness if needed. If you’ve kept aside some of the chunky nut paste, add it back in now.
  1. Pour the mixture into a glass jar and let it cool until set.
Chocolate spread on toast

Indulgent recipes using chocolate spread

Now that we’ve covered how to make chocolate spread, we can turn our attention to what to eat it with. Chocolate spread isn’t just perfect for a quick and satisfying toast topping. A high cacao spread can add an element of rich, slightly bitter, slightly sweet luxury to a wide range of sweet and savoury dishes. These are just a few of our favourites…

Chocolate Calzone

Chocolate calzone combines savoury, filling pizza dough with moreish chocolate. It’s the ultimate dessert-for-dinner meal or indulgent Italian dessert. The concept of a calzone is relatively simple — it’s made from dough and a chocolate filling. But, with your homemade chocolate spread, it’s even easier to quickly whip up a batch of these sweet and savoury parcels.

To make ten calzones, you’ll need:

  • 1kg 00 pizza flour— and a little extra for dusting
  • 7g dried yeast
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Two pots of homemade chocolate spread
  • Knob of butter


To make your calzones, first heat the oven to 200℃. Sieve the flour and a pinch of salt onto a work surface, then create a well in the middle. Add the yeast and sugar to 650ml of water (room temperature) — wait a few minutes until it begins to froth. When it is frothing, pour it into the flour well. Use a fork to carefully bring the flour into the liquid. Form a ball of dough and knead until it becomes smooth and springy.

Cover the dough in a flour-dusted bowl and leave it to rise for one hour in a warm place. Once risen, knock back the dough and divide it into ten balls. Then, roll out each ball into a round (ensure you do this on a flour-dusted surface). Spread 1 to 1.5 heaped tbsp of chocolate spread over one side of each round. Then, fold over each round to form half-moon shapes. Use a fork to crimp the edges — this will seal the pastry.

Add a knob of butter to a large frying pan. Melt it on a medium heat and add a few of your calzones. Cook each calzone for 6 to 10 minutes or until golden and slightly crispy. Remember to turn them over halfway through to cook both sides. Leave to cool slightly and serve.

To create a truly Italian dessert experience, serve your calzones with a shot of espresso. Our aromatic Rabot Estate coffee blends are particularly perfect for pairing with chocolate.

Preparing pizza dough for a chocolate spread calzone

Poached Pears

Poached pear is a classic winter-warming dessert. Though poached pears are traditionally dipped in a homemade chocolate sauce, a high-cacao chocolate spread works just as well. These pears are delicately spiced for a festive flavour that’s sure to warm your cockles.

To make four poached pears, you’ll need:

  • 4 ripe pears, peeled
  • 600g golden caster sugar
  • A few strips of lemon zest
  • 1 medium-sized (1cm) piece of root ginger, peeled
  • A cinnamon stick
  • Star anise
  • A vanilla pod (split lengthways)
  • 4 cloves
  • Half a pot of homemade chocolate spread


To poach your pears, choose a pan that can fit all your pears snug inside. Fill the pan with water (just over half full should be fine), plus all your spices and the sugar. Bring to the boil.

After ten minutes of gentle simmering, add the pears and cover the pan with a lid. Poach for 20 – 30 minutes or until soft. Turn off the heat and remove the pears.

Leave them to sit for a few minutes before smothering the lower half of your pear in your chocolate spread.

You can also choose to serve deconstructed pear by chopping up each pear and adding it to a bowl along with plenty of chocolate spread. Add a sprinkle of cocoa powder as an indulgent garnish.

Poached pears

Other chocolate spread ideas

If neither chocolate calzone nor spiced poached pear is up your street, there are plenty more options if you’re still keen to experiment with chocolate spread. For a quick yet luxurious snack, try smothering your spread over some delectable biscuits. Use it to add a wonderful dose of chocolate to your french toast or pancakes. Or, step up your dessert game by serving it with brownies, ice cream or profiteroles instead of cream. You can even add it to your cakes and bakes — chocolate banana bread, anyone?

Whichever ideas you try, we just know you’ll adore the thick, smooth homemade texture and fabulously high-cacao taste of this irresistible spread. Enjoy!