Despite its simplicity, this is one of those recipes I have been fighting with for a while. It is clear to me that to call it brownie, it is just a game, since it is very different from the original version (in all the senses).
But, what would it happen if using different ingredients and a different preparation from the original ones, we get something with similar appearance and that it is very close to the original one in taste? And what if it is something that gives you an enormous energy when you eat it, with whole ingredients and nothing refined in it?
I clearly had a challenge.
I had been seeing recipes like this in the web for a while. I did some of them and none of them was as good as I thought. One day I had the opportunity to try one of them in a vegetarian restaurant. To tell the truth, it wasn´t that bad but there was such amount of nuts in it that I ended up with a dry mouth, something really disgusting. And it was anyway very far away from its original brother. Because although every brownie is made of nuts, that amazing touch is something difficult to get, the taste of a esparto slipper is more common that we think.
So I go on with it. It had very few ingredients to play with: dry fruits, dates, cocoa and salt (yes, the salt is a VERY important ingredient as a taste enhancer), so the question was to find the exact proportion for each of them. I wanted it to be made of nuts to give it that crunchy touch but decided to make it with just half of crushed nuts, replacing the other half with almonds. But one day talking with one friend that is an enthusiast of the hazelnuts and the chocolate (lovers of Nutella or Nocilla, you are more than welcome here!), I thought of changing that amount of crushed nuts for hazelnuts. What a change! If it doesn´t matter to you that it is not 100% raw, I would advise you to toast them a little. The taste is simply incredible and honestly, it is quite up to the standards of the original one. And the best thing is that you are eating something that it is giving you the nutrients you need! Besides that, as it is quite filling, it is very difficult to eat a very big portion because it fills you up very quickly. And so it is just perfect for that moment you feel you need some chocolate, or something sweet, or some energy. You can cut it as you want, in squares or rectangles.
Another different way of doing it for a birthday is to make balls, put a toothpick on the top and freeze them. Later you will only need to bath them in melted chocolate, like in the bounty recipe, and cover them with crushed hazelnuts. If you want to make them for children you can also replace, partially or totally, the cocoa with the carob.
The best thing is that, although they can be kept in the fridge for up to a month, I always try to have a fair stock in my freezer (like with everything, to be able to alternate the preparations), and that way I am sure I will always have them on hand, in case of an emergency or an unexpected surprise.
So don´t wait anymore and try it! You may surprise a few people.
60 grams of hazelnuts (toasted or not)
70 grams of almonds
45 grams of cacao
250 grams of Medjool dates
1/4 tsp of salt
60 grams of chopped nuts
- Stone the dates.
- In a food processor mix the hazelnuts and almonds until they look like flour, be careful not to mix them too much because they will start to lose grease and will become a butter.
- Add the cocoa and the salt. Add the dates slowly as you mix. It must look like dough in order for you to press it and form a little ball.
- Put everything in a bowl and add the crushed nuts, mix with the hand to distribute it well and stretch it between two non-stick sheets of approximately 1 cm or 1,5 cm thickness.
- Put it inside the freezer for about one hour and cut it into squares or rectangles of approximately 3 or 4 cm x 2.5 cm. (or as you like it most!)
- You can sprinkle them with cocoa if you want.