Friday 8 February 2013

Chocolate Hazelnut Milk GF DF

Flavoured milk has never appealed to me. In fact, would you believe, I've never ever tried chocolate milk of any kind until this year on holiday in Canada. The chocolate almond milk tasted heavenly, perhaps a little too sweet but the texture was incredibly smooth, almost velvety.

Everyone knows that chocolate and hazelnuts are a classic combination of flavours so I decided to make Chocolate Hazelnut Milk. And you can really taste the hazelnuts! Of course everyone's palate is different, I actually don't like things to be too sweet so you may have to play around with the sweetener to your own taste and since there is no emulsifier, you will never achieve a silky smooth drink. But it's lovely and refreshing and very easy to make.

Chocolate Hazelnut Milk GF DF

1 240ml cup hazelnuts
3 cups filtered water
6 to 8 dates or 2 - 4 tblsps honey or other liquid sweetener
3/4 to 1 tsp vanilla extract (to taste)
2 tblspns cocoa powder
pinch sea salt

Begin by soaking the hazelnuts overnight in filtered water.

You can skip the next step if you want to and tip the soaked hazelnuts straight into the blender. The milk will have a milder hazelnut flavour which you may prefer. For a more intense hazelnut flavour, roast the hazelnuts first. Set the oven to 150° C (fan/convection oven). Rinse the hazelnuts well and tip on to a baking sheet.

Roast in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the skins begin to crack.

Meanwhile, if you are using dates, soak for about 15 minutes in warm filtered water and tip into the blender but save the water. 

Rub the skins off the hazelnuts with some kitchen towel or a clean tea towel.

Don't worry if you can't scrape all the skin off. Tip the hazelnuts into the blender. Pour three cups of filtered water over the dates and hazelnuts. You can use the water the dates have soaked in as part of this measure. If you are using a liquid sweetener this will be added later. Add the vanilla extract and sea salt and blend well.

Lay a milk bag or muslin cloth over a bowl with a spout if possible. Remove the scum from the top of the milk and pour the milk into the bag. 

Squeeze all the milk out of the bag and tip out the pulp. Pour the strained milk back into the blender, add the cocoa powder and the liquid sweetener if you are not using dates then blend well. I suggest you taste the milk as you blend the final time, adding in more vanilla extract and sweetener if necessary. Strain through the bag again.

Pour into a bottle and store in the fridge. You will need to shake the bottle before pouring since the solids tend to separate out from the liquid as you can see from this picture. If you look at the bottle it has a dark brown layer in the bottom.