COOKING WORKSHOPS + Strawberry & Hazelnut Chocolate Cups

And the Homegrown Kitchen Cooking Workshops are here! What started as an idea in my head while walking last month, and followed by a little survey to gauge interest, has overwhelmed me with the positive response. For the last 5 years I have enjoyed a break from teaching to start a family and now I am excited to be getting back into it. And hopefully meet some of you lovely people who leave comments here and on Facebook.

So without further ado, introducing the Homegrown Kitchen Cooking Workshops for Nelson/Term 2. You can book onto one workshop or many, dipping into what interests you most. If you have any questions please send me a message through the contact form on the site. *And If you live out of Nelson don’t go far as there are exciting plans in the pipeline! Make sure you join my *Workshops & Events* mailing list to be the first to hear about happenings HERE.

Check out my new *Workshops & Events* website HERE.

*I would LOVE your help spreading the word. You will definitely know better than I do who may be interested in joining a workshop in Nelson or elsewhere in NZ. Please share this post using the ‘sharing buttons’ at the top or bottom of the post – you can send a link directly to a friend/s. Or you can ‘tag’ your friends on Facebook HERE. Thank-you kindly, and hopefully see some of you soon! Nicola xx

Strawberry & Hazelnut Chocolate Cups / HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

Strawberry & Hazelnut Chocolate Cups / HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

To celebrate Easter this weekend I have made these little Strawberry & Hazelnut Chocolate Cups to share with family and friends. I have used fresh local hazelnuts that are sweet and meaty fleshed. In several years [OK, maybe 5] I hope to be using our own nuts in the kitchen as we have planted 4 nut trees – 1 almond, 1 walnut and 2 hazelnuts – along the river bank at the bottom of our garden. A few weeks ago we found our first hazelnut lying on the ground under one of the very small hazelnut trees. The single nut was surprisingly large when we broke open the shell. We split it into four and ate it straight away, and of-course it was the best hazelnut I have ever tasted!

Strawberry & Hazelnut Chocolate Cups / HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

Strawberry & Hazelnut Chocolate Cups / HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

Strawberry & Hazelnut Chocolate Cups / HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

Strawberry & Hazelnut Chocolate Cups / HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

Strawberry & Hazelnut Chocolate Cups

Have you tried making 'raw' chocolate and found the honey just sinks to the bottom? Yeah, me too. I don't really mind as it is a nice bitter chocolate/ sweet honey experience, however, luckily there is a way to get around it. Simply by adding nut butter to the mix it seems to bind with the honey and happily marries together with the oil/ cacao butter. Problem solved!


1/2 cup local hazelnuts

pinch of salt

50g cacao butter

100g virgin coconut oil

1/2 cup cacao/ cocoa powder

2 tbsp sweetener - honey/ maple syrup/ coconut nectar

1 tsp vanilla paste/ essence

{OR use 175 g good quality-dark chocolate}

12 slices freeze-dried strawberries OR use dried fruit of choice


  1. Preheat the oven 150C*. Place the hazelnuts in a shallow dish and toast for 10-15 minutes until the skins crack. Tip onto a plate to cool a little. Once the hazelnuts are warm, tip them into a clean tea towel and rub off the skins [note: not all hazelnut varieties have loose skins so don't fret if the skin won't rub off completely, just do the best you can]. Place the nuts into a food processor with a pinch of salt and blend for 2-5 minutes until a smooth paste/ nut butter is formed. Scrap down the sides several times during blending. Note: Warm hazelnuts will blend faster. Set aside and prepare the chocolate.
  2. Place the cacao butter and coconut oil into a small bowl and place this bowl over a large bowl containing recently boiled water. Leave to melt, about 10 minutes. Once melted remove from the hot-water bowl and whisk in the cacao/ cocoa, sweetener, vanilla + 3 Tbsp hazelnut butter. {OR melt dark chocolate in a bowl suspended over a saucepan of simmering water and add the hazelnut butter.} Spoon into 12 mini-muffin paper cups and arrange a slice of strawberry on top of each chocolate. Place in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours.


*When toasting nuts it is important to toast them using a low heat [150C max] so to protect the delicate poly-unsaturated oils that can easily be damaged by high heats. It also reduces the risk of burning the nuts.

4 Comments on “COOKING WORKSHOPS + Strawberry & Hazelnut Chocolate Cups”

  1. Congratulations on your return to hands-on teaching! I’m sure your workshops will be a huge success as you share your passion and knowledge with others (btw website looks great!) x

    1. Thanks Sam, kind of excited about it. I really wasn’t sure whether I would get back into after stopping for so long but enjoying writing the recipes and getting the material ready for the workshops and looking forward to it!

  2. Thanks for your detailed post regarding cooking workshop with photos.

    I will surely try with this recipe immediately. Once I have tried making raw chocolate and found the honey just sinks to the bottom but got some problem and now it is over.

    Misu@ Sachie’s Kitchen

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