No Bake Chocolate Fudge Cashew Butter and Hazelnut Slice

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Ok, these babies are sure to to hit that rich chocolate dessert craving! I’ve made them twice now and they are a true crowd pleaser. My friends from the gym absolutely love them, especially as they are dairy free, grain free and vegan friendly, yet they taste very decadent. The only sweeteners I used here are coconut sugar and maple syrup and instead of using grain flour, I opted for almond flour. I suggest keeping these in the freezer as they melt quite quickly. You can take them out 10 minutes before serving or have them straight as a yummy icy slice 🙂

Recipe (yields about 18 medium sized slices):

Cocoa-hazelnut layer:

  • 600g almond flour
  • 240ml maple syrup
  • Vanilla bean
  • 80g cocoa powder
  • 4 handfuls roasted blanched hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • (optional) 2 shots of strong espresso

Second layer:

  • 300g cashews (soaked for at least an hour)
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4-5 tbsp almond milk
  • 4 tbsp melted coconut fat

Caramel sauce:

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 150g coconut sugar
  • Vanilla bean

Chocolate coating:

  • 100g dark chocolate (85% or more)
  • 4 tbsp coconut fat

Start with the caramel sauce. Mix coconut milk with coconut sugar and vanilla bean in a saucepan and stir it with a whisk until until it starts boiling. Lower the heat and continue cooking the caramel sauce for about 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally and scrapping the sides.

While the sauce is cooking, mix all the ingredients for the cocoa-hazelnut layer and shape the mixture into a ball and cut it in half. Take a medium size brownie tin, grease it and line it with parchment paper. Evenly spread one half of the cocoa-hazelnut mix and leave it to rest in the freezer.

For the cashew layer, put the nuts, the syrup and the milk in a food processor (powerful enough to deal with nuts!) and pulse it until you get a smooth and silky texture. You might need to pause the food processor and scrape the bits from the sides or give it a little bit of  a shake to get there.

Once the caramel sauce is done (you’re looking for a thick texture here) let it cool on the side for about 15-20 minutes. Then mix half of it in the cashew mix.

Spread half of the cashew-caramel mix on the the cocoa-hazelnut layer and let it sit in the freezer for 30 minutes. Take it out and repeat with the remaining mixtures, adding two additional layers.

For the chocolate coating, melt the chocolate bits and coconut fat over boiling water. Let it cool for a couple of minutes and then spread it on top of the 4 layers. Let it chill in the freezer for another 30 minutes, take it out and drizzle with the remaining caramel sauce (I always end up with leftover caramel sauce in the end, but you can use it for other desserts or add it to smoothies, ice creams or fruit!).

As I mentioned in the first paragraph, it’s best to keep these in the freezer and take them out 10 minutes prior to consuming.

These yummies go amazing with your midday coffee or as a treat after lunch when plain chocolate just doesn’t do the trick 😉

Enjoy!

Love,

AS

 

 

Hi-ya stranger!

Soooooo this blog has been a long time coming! I’ve been contemplating it for over two years now and it’s  just one of those things that you really want to do but for some reason keep holding it off as you want it to be perfect. But I’m done with excuses, this is it! It will be a learning curve for sure and even though it’s far from what I wanted my blog to look like, I’m glad I finally started it.

Given the name, I believe it’s quite obvious my blog will be dedicated to FOOD. It won’t be all peanut butter and jelly though! 🙂 For anyone that’s known me for more than 5 minutes knows that I am somewhat obsessed with food. Cooking, baking and reading about food is something I’ve always been really passionate about. My favourite thing about it is probably the emotional aspect of it. Just think about it – how many times has a certain dish taken you for a trip down memory lane to when you were a child or to your favourite summer holiday? Or how many times have you had a bite of something so delicious that you forgot all about the outside world and troubles and just relished the excitement going on in your mouth. No wonder people associate food with happiness so much.

More to the point, in recent years and with the rise of social media, food has become a worldwide obsession with everyone posting pictures of their dirty burgers, group brunches and home-baked goods. It may be annoying to some, but I’ll take food pics over selfies any day! And yes, I am one of THOSE people who love taking pictures of food wherever they go- so sue me!

Apart from being an absolute food-aholic, there’s a bit of a health and fitness freak in me as well and I love to indulge in foods with a healthier feature to them and to which your body responds better. On that note, I am a big proponent of moderation as well as I’ve learnt the hard way what excessive dieting and exercising might do to your body. To give you a quick overview on this, I started dieting when I was in my early teens (I know, if I could slap my teenage-self right now I would) which resulted in me losing a drastic amount of weight, only to gain double back a few months later. And this vicious cycle went on for years,  up to a point where I became quite ill and my body basically crashed. I was feeling depressed, did not want to socialise and I started to have severe pains in my joints that kept me awake at night. My skin was in a pretty bad condition and my hair started falling out.  My hands and arms up to my elbows were pretty much numb for the first couple of hours in the morning and I had no strength whatsoever so even doing light stretches felt too much for me. That was a clear sign that I needed to make a drastic change in my life.

Because I was dieting, I felt like I couldn’t enjoy good food anymore and would then either eat solely broccoli and steamed fish or go full out on pasta and cheese when I wanted to indulge. This led to me not enjoying food anymore which made me absolutely miserable. So when I decided to put my health first as opposed to physical appearance, and start seeing food again as a friend, not a foe, I started researching more about the health-side of food and how certain foods affect our metabolism and hormones and then trying to apply that knowledge in the kitchen. Seven years down the line, I am still learning and experimenting! I find it so interesting how our bodies react to the same foods differently over time. And I am definitely not a believer in one-size-fits all! There are so many factors contributing to how our bodies respond to certain foods, and not one reacts the same as the other – thus, it is a trial-and-error journey (like everything in life hey).

Whenever I’m developing a new recipe, my aim is to always try and make lush, comforting food that hits the spot and soothes the crave, but has less nasties and fuels your body so it can perform better on a daily basis and at different tasks. Like I mention earlier, I am a fitness freak too and as I do Crossfit at least 5 times a week, I need to fuel my body accordingly and keep it interesting as I don’t want to be stuck with boring meals.

You will mostly find recipes on my blog, from brekkie to dinner ideas to snacks and treats – all with a healthy (er) twist. I will also post tips on meal prepping, holiday baking and hosting dinner parties, with the odd restaurant review, video of me eating (ok, maybe not), food markets, healthy cheap bites and buys etc. – I mean who knows, I’ll play it by ear to be honest 🙂 Like I said, it will be a learning curve-type of process and I intend to enjoy the ride – hope you do to!

Love,

AS