Have you tried Trader Joe’s Cocoa Almond Spread?
It’s basically an almond version of Nutella, and although it’s suuuuuper sweet, it is pretty delicious… in small amounts. By now you must know how much I adore desserts, but this spread on its own is almost too sweet for my palate (I know, I know… I also hate it when people say that, but in this case it’s true).
I was wracking my brain in an effort to come up with a recipe featuring the rich spread weeks before I made that outrageous Peanut Butter Cheesecake Pudding, which became the inspiration for this chocolate almond version.
To highlight the almond flavor, I added 1/4 tsp almond extract to the pudding; although that doesn’t sound like a lot, almond extract is very potent… and a little goes a long way.
I didn’t add any sugar, because – as I mentioned above – the cocoa almond spread is very sweet (sugar is actually the first ingredient). The whipped cottage cheese mellows out the sweetness, but additional cocoa powder ensures that the chocolate flavor is not muted. For even more chocolaty goodness, you can add a touch of chocolate extract, but this addition is not absolutely necessary to achieve chocolate decadence.
As for the consistency, I’ll let the following photo do the talking:
I mean, c’mon. Just look at how thick and fudgy this pudding is (especially after chilling in the fridge)!
I polished off the two servings for dessert on back-to-back evenings, and felt bereft on the third night; so I highly recommend doubling the recipe ;).
I could totally go for a cup right now…
Ingredients (2 servings)
- 3 Tbsp Trader Joe’s Cocoa Almond Spread (available online here if you don’t have a TJ’s near you)
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup whipped 1% cottage cheese, such as Friendship
- 1 oz neufchatel (1/3-less-fat) cream cheese
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1/8 tsp chocolate extract, optional
In a mini food processor (or medium-sized mixing bowl) combine the cocoa almond spread, cocoa powder, cottage cheese, cream cheese, almond extract, and chocolate extract (if using). Puree (or beat with an electric mixer) the mixture until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
251.7 calories, 14.3 grams fat, 3.8 grams saturated fat, 2.5 grams fiber, 15.8 grams sugars, 12 grams protein