No bake hazelnut brownies

INGREDIENTS

Brownies:

  • 1 cup whole hazelnuts

  • ½ cup almond flour

  • ½ cup raw cacao powder

  • A pinch tsp sea salt

  • 1 cup pitted chopped dates

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/3 cup coconut milk

Creamy layer:

  • ¼ cup coconut oil

  • ¼ cup honey

  • ¼ cup raw cacao powder

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • ½ bar dark chocolate

Topping:

  • chopped hazelnuts

  • cacao nibs

  • chopped coconut flakes

 

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius and spread the hazelnuts on a baking tray, toast until golden and fragrant, about 15 minutes, while that is cooking prepare a rectangular tin about 8x4in and line it greaseproof paper,

  2. Remove from the oven and let cool completely, then place them in a clean kitchen towel and rub off as much of the loose skins as comes off, discard the skins,

  3. Place ¾ cup of the hazelnuts into a tall bowl, as I use a hand blender to mix these ingredients (or if you prefer, use a food processor) save the rest of the hazelnuts for toppings at the end, add the almonds, cocoa powder and salt and process until the mixture starts to clump and stick, then move the mixture into a bowl and set aside,

  4. Chop the dates into pieces and in a mug soak with a little bit of hot water to soften them, for about 5 minutes, then add the dates, milk and vanilla to the bowl and blend to a paste then mix this with the nut mixture, and stir well together, scoop out the mixture into the prepared tin and press down gently to compact the layer, place this in the fridge to chill,

  5. To make the creamy ganache layer, add the coconut oil and broken up dark chocolate to a bowl and microwave for up to 2 minutes until it starts to melt together (you can alternatively  melt them in a heatproof bowl over a pot of water on the stove), mix the oil and chocolate well, then add the almond milk, maple syrup, cocoa powder and vanilla, and mix thoroughly,

  6. Pour this mixture over the brownie layer in the tin and return to the fridge to chill once more,

  7. Meanwhile, roughly chop the remaining baked hazelnuts into large pieces, and once the tin has been chilling for about 5-10 minutes but not yet fully set, sprinkle the top with nuts, cocoa nibs and coconut flakes,

  8. Let the tin chill in the fridge until completely set, about 1 hour,

  9. Once it is set, you are ready to cut it, gently use the parchment to lift it out of the tin and onto a chopping board, using a large sharp knife, cut the desired sized squares, these are quite rich, so I find cutting them into small little squares is a perfect enough size for a choccy nibble,

  10. Store in a box in the fridge, although they normally get eaten so quickly!

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