Ever since I did a barista course at Chiasso down in the local village, I have developed an unprecedented taste for coffee. Before I hated the stuff, I just couldn’t understand why it was such a star in western society, but now I have jumped on the band wagon and coffee has become a part of my life and, I must say, we are very happy together. Admittedly, I still can’t quite handle the full taste of a straight shot of coffee, so I like to tone it down with a cheeky dose of chocolate and still call myself a coffee drinker…fraudulent I know!
So anyway, our oven broke a couple of months ago, which was incredibly inconvenient as it was when the winter months began to impose their icy fingertips upon New Zealand shores, and we resorted to only stove-top meals- no cookies or roasted anything for us! Nevertheless, I recently encountered this wonderful little recipe when I was searching for raw recipes on the internet. I had began to suffer a drought in my culinary creativeness with the absence of a functioning oven and all I wanted to do was just bake something but I was stuck with microwave mug cakes as the next best thing. Until I discovered on my Instagram feed this picture below…
Now, I don’t know about you but two things run through my mind when I see this picture. The first is ‘oooh yum!’, the second- ‘that looks healthy…’. I have trialled many, many “healthy” foods before and they haven’t gone down half as well as this one has with the members of my household. I put “healthy” in inverted commas for the reason that only half of these slices are actually healthy and that is the bottom half. The top half is made up almost entirely of icing sugar.
I prefer to overlook this detrimental flaw because they are just too delicious to spurn, and my family loves them! Originally, the recipe calls for Natvia Icing Sugar, which is obviously less fattening than icing sugar, but I have no real motivation to drive to a organic food store to purchase special sugar…apologies to the health nuts out there, but icing sugar will do just as well, even if my own “my body is a temple” motto does not benefit at all. You have to sacrifice a little sometimes to achieve greatness, do you not? Now, in all honesty my version of this recipe turned out slightly less attractive than the picture depicts, which is very typical. However, trust me they are worth trying despite the decent presentation that I fail to advertise here. Close enough though!?
Nevertheless, the main reason I have chosen to share this recipe with you all is that it was received so well by my family and manages to simultaneously fulfil my cravings for chocolate and give me a sugary, coffee hit as well! Although, I have to steal myself away from the fridge at times, finding myself picking endlessly at the tupperware full of these slices, with each piece becoming slightly smaller in size each day as I try to subtly take a bit off each in an attempt to assure myself that I haven’t just eaten two whole slices in one sitting, and my ‘healthy’ mindset is maintained.
The best part I like about this recipe is that you can play around with it. You aren’t restricted to just hazelnuts and dairy-free options. You can pretty much use any nut, I used ground almonds for half of the hazelnut meal amount, and decided to use peanut butter instead of hazelnut butter, and it produced an equally delicious slice. Similarly, I would definitely use Nutella in this recipe if you cared little about the health-benefits of this recipe. I would have done it myself by now if we had Nutella in the cupboard, but that would open doors to a whole new level of temptation. Similarly, I would definitely advise squeezing a layer of melted chocolate on the top, if not for extra yumminess, for the purpose of good presentation.
- 1 1/2 cups/165g/5.8 oz Pitted Dates soaked in boiling water until soft. Approx 10 minutes.
- 1 tbsp/20g/0.7 oz hazelnut butter or hazelnut spread
- 1 cup/90g/3 oz Hazelnut meal
- 1/3 cup/80ml Coconut oil solid
- 1 1/2 cups/165g/5.8 oz Natvia Icing mix
- 3 tbsp/60ml/2 oz Almond Milk
- 4 tsp Raw Cacao Powder
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla
- 2 tsp ground coffee
For the base:
- Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Add soaked dates to a high speed food processor and pulse until they are just broken up.
- Add hazelnut butter and process until combined.
- Pour in hazelnut meal and process until all ingredients are well combined and the mixture begins to stick together.
- Press into prepared pan and refrigerate until topping is ready.
For the topping:
- Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or a hand beater, beat coconut oil until soft.
- Gradually add Natvia Icing Mix to coconut oil, beating well after each addition.
- Alternately add cacao powder and almond milk to the mixture. Adding more or less almond milk until desired texture.
- Add in ground coffee and mix through until well combined.
- Spread evenly on top of the base layer. Refrigerate until set.
Cut into slices, serve and enjoy!
Original recipe here from Wholesome Patisserie, who makes the most inviting things. Just check out her website, you wouldn’t ever believe that it is all actually good for you. She makes being vegan sound quite tempting…but then again maybe not!