Super Fast, Super Scrumptious Hazelnut Slice
My son is in the midst of exam swatting, so was prowling through the fridge & pantry the other night in search of nourishing snacks. "I don't want junk, but feel like something to keep my brain awake" he rumbled, pulling out a jar of his favourite Mayvers roasted peanut butter and dipping in a large glistening spoon without even thinking twice.
"How about I make a quick batch of hazelnut and cacao slice then?" I offered.
"That'd be delicious" he beamed as he wandered back to his study books, a much less full jar of peanut butter in his wake...
And thus, should you find yourself in dire need of a quick, nourishing snack to boost energy (and brain activity!), here is my highly-adaptable recipe for a super scrumptious, super fast Hazelnut & Cacao Slice. Dairy-free, packed with minerals & protein, a little piece will satisfy the hungriest Study Munchings.
HAZELNUT & CACAO SLICE
Dairy-free // raw // vegan
3/4 cup dates, soaked in hot water for 5 minutes, then drained
1 cup hazelnuts (I leave the skin on if they are fresh, but the skins can make it bitter, so remove if you prefer)
1/2 cup brazil nuts
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch ground chili
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup raw cacao (preferably organic - the flavour is so superior!)
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1- 2 tablespoons brown rice syrup (or golden syrup)
1/4 cup warm water
coconut butter, warmed slightly if very solid (approximately 1/4 cup - but adjust to taste)
What to do
Line a 20 x 20 cm cake tin with baking paper and set aside.
In a food processor, place the dates, hazelnuts & spices, and whiz until a paste starts to form.
Add coconut milk & cacao, and whizz again until evenly mixed through.
Press into the paper-lined cake tin and place in the freezer to set while you make the topping.
No need to clean out the food processor, it's about to be used again.
Place the cashews, sesame seeds and rice syrup in the food processor, and whiz until small crumbs are formed.
Add warm water through the tube while whizzing to form a thick paste.
Spoon in enough of the warmed coconut butter (while whizzing) to create a smooth consistency.
Scoop and swirl the topping mix on top of the chilled base, and return to the freezer for 5 minutes to firm up.
Slice into desired sizes, and either keep in the freezer or fridge (both keep well, but have a different texture).
A note on the ingredients: I mostly use organic nuts, spices and dried fruits, which we buy in bulk from the local market and health stores. The flavour of organic nuts and fruit is SO much better, but I also buy organic because it's better for the soil, the landscape where the products are grown, the health of the people growing the food, and of course for our own health. So yes, it's a bit more expensive, but that is offset by buying in bulk (using our own cotton bags as containers) and because we eat a vegan diet, we are miles ahead in the weekly grocery bill budget from not buying meat or dairy as we used to. (Compare the price of legumes per kilo with meat per kilo and you'll quickly be ahead in the weekly food budget - which allows for a higher proportion of organic foods wherever possible.)