While checking the hives this week I noticed the catkins on the hazel trees. It reminded me of all the nuts I picked last autumn. Each time I visited the bees I brought home a pocket full and now we had 2 1/2 jars that were still sitting in the pantry. I didn’t want to leave then there much longer for fear of them either drying out or being forgotten ( and drying out!) Either way I could see them being wasted which is never a good thing. Miss C patiently spent an hour shelling them all. Shells flew in all directions, she took a direct hit in the eye which she wasn’t best pleased about, and the kitchen surface was covered. In the end a bowl full of shells equalled 2 cups of nuts. Miss C felt the exchange rate seemed high and was not impressed. She brightened up no end when I took a block of chocolate from the cupboard and suggested she diced that while I roasted the nuts in a hot oven for 10 minutes or so and then gave them a good rub in a clean tea towel to remove some of the skins. It was more difficult than it sounds and we made do with just some coming off. We dropped the nuts in the food processor and blitzed them for 5 or 6 minutes, knocking them down from the sides regularly. The smell was divine. Although they got very moist they weren’t buttery so I added a tiny drop of olive oil before dropping in the 1/2 cup of chocolate. Blitzing it in in stages. It soon looked amazing.
When it looked fairly smooth we poured it into a bowl. The chocolate has melted and although it’s quite runny at the minute I think it will thicken a bit once it cools down.
Miss C tells me it tastes even better than the shop brought equivalent but as I’ve never tried that I can’t comment. I just know it’s pretty good and smells delicious. Less preservatives is an added advantage.
As I never like to miss an opportunity, I’m wondering what to do with all those shells. I wonder if they would keep the slugs away from something in the veggie garden this spring. Another blog offering later on perhaps??