I had previously posted a raw version of this nut butter recipe but I was never quite satisfied with it - the flavor was spot on but the texture was not at all what I had envisioned. Being an insane perfectionist, I could not let it rest.
I threw out the old recipe and decided to use roasted nuts. Perhaps because my food processor is just not powerful enough to get the creamy, drippy, gooey texture that we all associate with a well-made nut butter, I found that I could only achieve this state of creamed perfection by roasting the nuts first. The roasting process brings out all of those great natural oils. Once the nuts were roasted, processing the ingredients into a creamy, chocolate consistency reminiscent of Nutella took no time at all.
An added benefit of roasting beforehand is that there is no need to add any additional oil. This is an oil-free recipe, if that means anything to you. The enthusiasm with which some people (myself included) label recipes as "oil-free" always amuses me - because when you're home alone and eating nut butter (or something equally fattening) by the spoonful out of a jar instead of being productive, it's that extra 100 calories worth of oil that will push you over into excess.
While raw nut butters are far healthier and I will continue to use them on a daily basis, this roasted macadamia version is a delicious occasional substitute. Even my selective, overly demanding perfectionism has been subdued by bitter, sweet, creamy spoonfuls of chocolate and espresso - at least for now.
Serve it on gluten-free toast with more toasted macadamia nuts or sliced bananas, spread it on fresh warm crêpes instead of Nutella, use it as a dip for dried or fresh fruit, stir it into hot oats or quinoa, or just eat it by the spoonful (safe from anyone's judgment).
Mocha Macadamia Nut Butter (v/gf)
Makes approx. 1 1/4 cups
2 cups raw macadamia nuts
3 tbsp cacao powder
3 tbsp coconut palm sugar (or other sweetener - see Note) 1 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp sea salt
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Spread the macadamia nuts out on a baking sheet in an even layer and roast for about 10 to 15 minutes, checking the nuts halfway, until lightly browned.
Allow the nuts to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes and then add them to your food processor. Pulse a few times to break them up. Process for about 5 minutes until the mixture becomes creamy and buttery, scraping down the sides as needed.
Add the cacao powder, espresso powder, coconut sugar, vanilla, and sea salt and continue to process for 3 to 5 more minutes until the butter is perfectly creamy.
The nut butter can be served right away or stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. For long-term storage, freeze for up to 1 month.
Notes: I used coconut palm sugar as a sweetener in this recipe but you can definitely substitute an equal amount of another natural sweetener. I've been curious about coconut palm sugar for some time now - there is a lot of debate about whether or not it's as healthy as everyone claims or whether it's simply another overhyped product (see our recent history with agave). I do like it here for its intensely sweet, caramel flavor as it works well with the bitter espresso, the rich cacao, and the roasted nuts. Feel free to substitute a different sweetener.
There is a new Grizzly Bear track out and it's kind of lovely.