7 of the best chocolate spreads, tried and tested
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It's World Nutella Day on Wednesday (February 5). Now while we all might have an affection for the gooey, nutty spread, there are some luxurious alternatives to consider too. We put a selection of them to the test!
Gu Crunchy Chocolate and Hazelnut Spread, £2.50
A creamy, rich, decadent spread whose texture is closest to Nutella in mouthfeel. This one is palm oil free and on just the right side of sweet. Another one to sandwich between a sponge cake or luxuriate a scone with. The only downside is that the nuts on top had a slightly 'stale' flavour.
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Meridian Cocoa & Hazelnut Butter, £2.99
This spread is refined sugar, salt and palm oil free and is a 'healthier' option for those who have to follow a low-sugar diet. It's a little runny when you open the jar as it's an entirely natural product without stabilisers. But give it a good stir and it soon comes together. The defining flavour here is hazelnuts, then you get dark chocolate and a sweet hit of pure honey. A great one for smoothies, a protein hit after the gym, or for spooning from the jar for a less naughty snack.
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Thursday Cottage Chocolate Spread, £3.25
This East Anglian brand's spread is smooth as butter and at room temperature glides gorgeously over whatever vessel you choose to slick it over. Vanilla heavy and made with real butter, dark Belgian chocolate and double cream, it's rather indulgent and almost tastes a little like a Champagne truffle. The perfect filling for a warm croissant, chocolate cake or scone.
JimJams Hazelnut Chocolate Spread, £2.79
Another East Anglian brand. This easily spreadable concoction is made with 83% less sugar than leading alternatives, using naturally derived maltitol which doesn't have the artificial aftertaste some sweeteners can leave behind. Cocoa-rich on and with a great nutty balance it was an absolute hit with our child tasters who couldn't stop going back to the jar for more. If you regularly have chocolate spread on the breakfast table during the week this could be a great switch midweek.
Tiptree Chocolate Orange Spread, £2.99
Tiptree makes more than just jams, chutneys and marmalade you know. This thick spread is made with double cream, dark Belgian chocolate and butter, with real orange extract. The result? It tastes somewhere between a dark Terry's Chocolate Orange and an orange Smartie. Neither too sweet, nor too dark, it pleased the palates of children and adults alike in our taste test. Just the thing to ice an orange cake with!
M&S Smooth Italian Hazelnut Chocolate Spread, £3
Made with Peruvian cocoa, this one was love at first bite. Easily spreadable/spoonable it was very much at home over the top of a freshly toasted crumpet and warm scone. Mixed with whipped cream this makes a tempting and easy dessert as well. Delightful.
STAR BUY: Hotel Chocolat Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, £6
Another palm oil free spread. This one has a whopping 45% hazelnut paste and is crafted with 70% cocoa chocolate. Oh my days. It is liquid silk on the tongue. This is basically pure gianduja (praline) and is dangerously good, being carefully balanced towards a cocoa-rich rather than a sugary finish. The kind of thing you can quite happily eat from the jar with a spoon in secret. One reviewer said: "I just want to stick my face in it!". One of the pricier of the bunch, this is not for every day, but is worth having in the cupboard for those days when you need indulgence. Our only gripe is it's packaged in plastic.