Originally we featured our hazelnut and cacao slab in our second book, Little Bird Goodness, you’ll also find it in our cabinet at our vegan cafe in Ponsonby. This slab is made from organic whole food plant ingredients like almonds, hazelnuts and cacao, and the filling—SUPER creamy, topped with sumptuous crunchy activated hazelnut creating a slice that all chocolate lovers can feel good about!
Hazelnuts not only make a delicious dessert they also make a great healthy nut milk, they are high in good fats, vitamin E and vitamin B along with other minerals to help your skin glow and regulate a healthy blood pressure. Activated, the nutritional benefits of hazelnuts are heightened—all the vital minerals, enzymes and nutrients more available to your body for absorption.
Don’t have the time to activate your own? See notes below.
Make time: 45 mins
Setting time: 6 hours
Makes: 1 medium slab – 12 portions
Equipment required: food processor, blender
1/2 cup dried activated hazelnuts (or lightly roasted)
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup dried coconut
1 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
Pinch sea salt
Pinch vanilla bean powder
2 tbsp cacao butter, melted
3/4 cup dried activated hazelnuts (or lightly roasted)
1/2 cup hazelnut milk
3/4 cup organic maple syrup
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
Pinch sea salt
1/4 cup cacao butter, melted
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp cold-pressed coconut oil, melted
Optional - 1 tsp of hazelnut extract
1 1/2 cups activated hazelnuts (or lightly roasted)
In a food processor, blend hazelnuts, cashews and coconut into a coarse couscous texture.
Add the dates, cacao, salt and vanilla powder and blend until combined and until mixture is slightly sticky.
Add the melted cacao butter and pulse a few times until well incorporated.
Line a small rectangular container or tin (approximately 12 x 15 cm) with plastic food wrap. Press mixture firmly into the tin - it will need to be approximately 4 - 5 mm thick on the bottom to maintain the structure. Place in the refrigerator while you're making the filling.
Place hazelnuts, hazelnut milk, maple syrup, salt and hazelnut extract if using in high speed blender (like a Vitamix), blending well until very smooth.
With the blender still running, slowly pour in the melted coconut oil and cacao butter and blend until completely combined into the mixture.
Lastly add the cacao powder and blend until completely incorporated. Pour into the prepared base, spreading well with the help of a spatula.
Top with the activated hazelnuts, pressing them down slightly into the cream.
Leave to set in the refrigerator for approximately 6 hours. Once set cut into 3cm x 6 cm rectangles and store in the fridge
When we call for dried activated nuts on a recipe we mean the nuts have first been soaked to remove the phytates (enzyme inhibitors), then we rinse and dry them until really crispy in our dehydrator. If you don’t have a dehydrator you could lightly roast your hazelnuts in the oven first before using. Being careful not to overheat or burn them and damage all those wonderful healthy oils – lightly roasting also removes some of the phytates and is preferable to using un-soaked raw nuts.