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Olive Oil Chocolate Spread

Israel’s own Hashachar Ha’Oleh (“Rising Dawn”), a cheap sugar rush of spreadable chocolate originally created as a way to get calories into young Israelis for breakfast or after school, used to give Nutella a run for its money. But its base of cheap chocolate and vegetable oil has caused it to suffer from a bit of bad PR in recent years. For a kid, the parent-endorsed idea of being able to spread chocolate on any sort of supporting vehicle (my favorite: matzah) holds massive appeal—and it still does for adults (well, at least this adult). This is my version, made with good-quality chocolate, olive oil, cocoa, and a healthy amount of salt. You can use any kind of chocolate you like, from milk to dark, and you need to refrigerate it after cooking for an initial firming up.


⅔ cup sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup (6 ounces) chopped bittersweet, semisweet, or dark chocolate

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Matzah, for serving

Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, for sprinkling


In a small saucepan bring ⅓ cup water, the sugar, cocoa, and kosher salt to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, whisking, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the chocolate, olive oil, and vanilla until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Transfer to a bowl, press plastic wrap onto the surface of the chocolate, and refrigerate until thick but spreadable, 2 hours. Remove from the refrigerator to soften for 30 minutes, or microwave for 10 seconds, then stir before serving. Spread on matzah and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Refrigerated in an airtight container, chocolate spread keeps for 2 months.

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