This didn't start as a brownie, it started as a vegan chocolate-hazelnut spread. I had some hazelnuts to roast, and after doing that I decided to use a few for a nutella like spread, but vegan... and more chocolaty :-).
Vegan chocolate-hazelnut spread
5 tbps roasted hazelnuts (remove all skin too!)
3 tbps rice bran oil
100 gr dark chocolate (72% and dairy free)
50 ml hot water
Blend the hazelnuts and oil with an immersion blender until you get a cream. In the meantime melt the chocolate with hot water at bain-marie (nothing bad will happen, just keep stirring!). Mix everything together. If the hazelnuts are not fresh or oily enough you may need a bit more oil.
But my problem is that when I have a chocolate spread I don't spread it, I eat it all with a spoon! Too dangerous, I had to make something with it. What about a Vegan chocolate slice, a bit like a Vegan chocolate brownie...
Vegan chocolate brownie
6 tbsp of Vegan chocolate-hazelnut spread (recipe above)
100 g ground almonds
2 tbsp sugar
100 g self rising flour
200 ml soy milk
100 g dark chocolate broken into small pieces with a knife
Icing sugar to dust (optional)
Gently heat the chocolate-hazelnut spread until is soft (not melted) enough to make it easier to fold in the rest of the ingredients. Start with the ground almonds first, then add the sugar, half of the soy milk and half of the flour. Fold in the rest of the ingredients (if it looks too thick add a bit more soy milk) and the chocolate, then pour into a square or rectangular baking tin lined with baking paper. Bake at 160 C for about 30 minutes, or until the surface looks cooked but the centre is still a little soft. Dust with icing sugar (optional) and set aside to cool down. Cut only when completely cold and set (in fact wait for a day if you can!).
It is yummy and delicately nutty with lovely pieces of dark chocolate melting into every bite.
Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©