The recipe was adapted from Pure Vanilla: Irresistible Recipes and Essential Techniques by Shauna Sever, which I had been sent to review.
The aim of this book seems to have been to show that vanilla is anything but boring and, in my opinion, the author succeeds.
There are chapters with recipes for breakfasts, cakes and pies, cookies and bars, candies and confections, custards and creams and drinks.
From oatmeal and french toast, through all of the vanilla baking you might expect in a book like this (cake, cookies, cupcakes, vanilla cream pie), to cocktails ice lollies and hot ice-cream sauce - this book really made me think again about vanilla. It also introduced me to new ingredients such as vanilla bean paste, or caviar.
The photography is dreamy and the only negative thing I could say about it is that the measurements are in American terms, meaning you have to go to the back page to see conversions.
I adapted the Nutty Vanilla Spread recipe (page 132, which claimed to be essentially vanilla Nutella) only because the original recipe makes 2 pints of spread and the measurements were in ounces).
Homemade White Chocolate Spread
50g macadamia nuts
50g blanched almonds
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup or 75ml milk
1 vanilla pod, split lengthwise
175g white chocolate
Blend the macadamia nuts, almonds and vanilla with a blender or food processor until smooth (I used my immersion blender and the tall thin container that came with it). The smoother this mixture is, the better texture the final spread will have.
Break the white chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl.
In a small saucepan, gently heat the milk with the vanilla pod until just before boiling (steaming, perhaps a bit foamy but not bubbling).
Remove the pan from the heat. Remove the vanilla pod, scraping any remaining caviar and adding it back to the milk. Discard pod.
Pour the hot vanilla milk over the white chocolate and leave for 3-4 minutes. Mix until all of the chocolate has melted.
Pour the chocolate mixture into the ground nuts and blend until completely smooth and combined.
Pour into sterilised jar(s) and place in the fridge.
I photographed mine after only 45 minutes in the fridge and so it's quite runny in the picture but after a few hours of cooling it became stiff like chocolate spread you can buy from the shops.
As if that tasty treat is not enough - there's more today. I have a copy of Pure Vanilla to give away to one of you lovely people!
This giveaway is only for people in the UK and Ireland - apologies to those in other countries.
Entries are now closed and a winner has been picked at random - congratulations Sarah! You have won a copy of Pure Vanilla! Send me an email with details of where to send the book and I'll arrange for it to be sent out asap.