I have a confession to make. I, unlike the majority of college students around me, do not like Nutella. Call me crazy, I know, but the whole chocolate-hazelnut creamy combination is just not my cup of tea. I suppose there could be worse things. My battle to beat the “Freshmen Fifteen” was significantly easier thanks to my disdain for this ever-popular and ubiquitous dining hall staple.
Last Sunday, as I was strolling the over-crowded, borderline unpleasant aisles of my neighborhood Trader Joe’s I came across a new jar in my favorite nut butter aisle. Cocoa Almond Spread. My first thought was a passionate, “No way just Nutella by another name!” Upon closer inspection I realized my gut reaction was far from accurate. You see, Cocoa Almond Spread gets rid of the ingredient that throws me off in Nutella, the hazelnut. No hazelnut, just chocolate and almond, heck yes, bring this baby on! I grabbed a jar (or two) with glee.
I may have beat the “Freshmen Fifteen” but it’s never too late for the “Senior Seventeen”…
Sarah Buchanan is a senior at NYU where she studies history and creative writing. When she is not planning her upcoming June wedding or daydreaming about her Antigua honeymoon, she is searching for the city’s best pickles!
**A Recipe for Polishing off a Jar of Cocoa Almond Spread in No Time**
Combine the sugar, salt, and cornstarch in a large saucepan. Whisk in the kefir/milk and water. Stir over low heat for 3-4 minutes, until it’s starting to generate some steam.
Add in the egg yolks one at a time, whisking them into the milk mixture quickly. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes. The pudding should thicken during the course of this step.
Remove the pudding from the heat and add in the vanilla and butter. Stir until the mixture is uniform.
Add in 3/4 cup of Cocoa Almond Spread. Whisk until thoroughly blended. You may need to return the pot to low heat if the pudding is not combining well enough.
Strain the pudding through a mesh sieve over a medium bowl. This will remove any lumps that may have formed during cooking. Note: if you do not have sieve, the end result is still delicious, it’ll just have a little more texture!
Serve warm or cold with fresh fruit or cookie garnish!