Indy Power's finger-licking good hazelnut brownies
This sticky fudge dessert is a feast your tastebuds won't be able to resist.
These are bowl-lickingly irresistible, and so perfectly chewy, with a rich hazelnut flavour that makes it impossible to stop at one. All of the hazelnuts make them a little expensive, but worth every cent. If you can find hazelnut butter they're really quick, and if not, just have a little patience while you make your own.
Makes 16. Gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo-friendly.
330g hazelnut butter or 400g hazelnuts
250ml maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
50g cacao powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
Optional: 25g extra hazelnuts
Preheat the oven to 180˚C. If you're making your own hazelnut butter, add 400g of the hazelnuts to a roasting tray and roast at 180˚C for 8-10 minutes until golden.
Add the roasted nuts to your food processor and blend on high until you have a runny hazelnut butter (this will take between 3 and 15 minutes depending on your machine).
Combine the hazelnut butter and maple syrup in a large bowl.
Add in the eggs and vanilla essence and mix until combined.
Add in the cacao powder and baking powder and mix thoroughly. If you want some extra hazelnuts for crunch, roughly chop them and stir them into the mixture.
Line a baking tin with parchment paper and pour in the thick mixture.
Bake at 180˚C for about 28 minutes, depending on how you like them. I like mine fudgy and sticky, so I take mine out at about 26 minutes. Leave them to cool for about 15 minutes before slicing.
Making my own nut butter. I love experimenting with different flavours and combinations, I probably make a big batch once every two weeks. Traditional
favourites like almond and cashew are my go-tos, but you can use pretty much any nut or seed — pecans and pistachios make heavenly butters. Whatever you’re into, the process is the same: roast the nuts at 180˚C for about 8 mins or until golden, and blend in your food processor on high until you have a creamy butter. Add any spices or additions (eg cacao powder) before blending and don’t lose patience - it takes between 3 and 15 mins depending on your machine.
GO NUTS FOR HAZELNUTS
Hazelnuts are one of the most delicious nuts, especially in desserts, but they’re also full of loads of beneficial nutrients. They’re great for heart health as they are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, such as oleic and linoleic acid, which helps lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and raise HDL (good cholesterol). They also contain considerable amounts of magnesium for regulating blood pressure. They’re a powerful brain-booster because they’re full of folate, which promotes brain health in adults and foetal brain development during pregnancy. In addition, they’re bursting with vitamin E manganese, thiamine, and fatty acids, to help keep your brain sharp, improve memory, hinder anxiety, and help prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Their vitamin E content makes them great for your skin too, improving moisture and elasticity and even preventing premature ageing.
If you’re like me, you’ll probably be eating these brownies straight from the tin, but if you have the willpower to dress them up a bit, they make an amazing dessert for dinner parties or a Valentine’s date. Serve them warm with a scoop of dairy-free ice-cream (I love Nobó) or a drizzle of oat cream and some fresh berries. Your date will be in for a serious treat!