Delightful Chocolate and Hazelnut Bars

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Chocolate and Hazelnut Bars, Pastry Maestra

I

magine a dessert that is shockingly delicious, and at the same time sugar free, dairy free, gluten free, and egg free! “Yeah, sure…!” , I can hear you say, but – it’s true! Desserts that fit this description do exist, and today I will teach you how to make one – chocolate and hazelnut bars!
As we all know, a marriage between hazelnuts and chocolate is a match made in heaven, so I say, why mess with something that works so well?

Chocolate and Hazelnut Bars, Pastry Maestra

This recipe is super easy and insanely tasty. First things first – pit and soak the dates and cashews in cold water, at least couple of hours before making the bars, but you can also soak them overnight. You will need to toast your hazelnuts, and the best way to do that is to put them in the oven at 180°C (350°F) for about 10 minutes. When you smell that special, enchanting aroma of toasted hazelnuts rescue them from the oven and leave them to cool down a bit. After that, put them in a cloth and rub to remove the skins. You can use any cocoa powder you have at home as long as it isn’t sweetened, and if it’s difficult to find a cocoa butter where you live, you can easily purchase some online. You can melt cocoa butter in the microwave or in a pan, just be careful it doesn’t burn.

Vitamix blender Pastry Maestra

Now, blend everything thoroughly, preferably in Vitamix blender until you get a smooth mixture. If you have less powerful blender, this recipe will also turn out fine, just not as smooth as if you use Vitamix. When the bars set in the fridge, you will quickly start planning a new, bigger batch of these little addictive puppies, I promise!

Chocolate and Hazelnut Bars, Pastry Maestra

Chocolate and Hazelnut Bars Recipe

by:Tereza Alabanda,The Pastry Maestra

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Prep. time : 30 minutes

Cook time : 10 minutes

Ready in 40 minutes plus cooling

Level : Basic

Ingredients
Base:

  • Hazelnuts 200g (7oz)
  • Dates – pitted 60g (2.1oz)(weight before soaking)
  • Maple syrup 20g (2Tbsp)

Chocolate Layer:

  • Cashew nuts 200g (7oz)(weight before soaking)
  • Cocoa butter 120g (4.2oz)
  • Cocoa powder 45g (6Tbsp)
  • Maple syrup 120g (4.2oz)
  • Almond milk 220g (7.7oz)

Hazelnut Layer:

  • Cashew nuts 200g (7oz)(weight before soaking)
  • Hazelnuts 100g (3.5oz) plus extra for topping
  • Coconut oil 100g (3.5oz) (neutral tasting)
  • Almond milk 200g (7 oz)
  • Maple syrup 120g (4.2oz)

Directions

  1. Line one 20cmx20cm (8″x8″) pan with parchment paper.
  2. Pit dates and soak them in cold water for a couple of hours or overnight. Make sure you weigh them before soaking.
  3. Soak all the cashews in cold water for a couple of hours or overnight. Note that when they are soaked, they will be about 30% heavier.
  4. Toast all the hazelnuts, including some extra for topping. Put them in the oven at 180°C (350°F) for 10 minutes, until they become golden brown. Remove hazelnuts from the oven, put them into a cloth and rub them to remove the skins.
  5. For the base coarsely grind 200g (7 oz) of hazenluts in a food processor. Add soaked and drained dates and maple syrup, and pulse until you get crumbly mixture that sticks together when pressed with your fingers.
  6. Press the mixture into the prepared pan and leave in the fridge.
  7. Melt the cocoa butter in a microwave or in the pan. Do it gently, on low heat, and don’t let it burn!
  8. To make chocolate layer put drained cashews, melted cocoa butter, cocoa powder, almond milk and maple syrup into a blender. Blend thoroughly until you get a smooth mixture.
  9. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan over the base, and place the pan in the freezer until the chocolate layer completely sets.
  10. Melt neutral tasting coconut oil in the microwave or in the pan. Do it gently, on low heat, and don’t let it burn!
  11. Put drained cashews, hazelnuts, melted coconut oil, almond milk and maple syrup into a blender and blend the mixture until nice and smooth.
  12. Pour the hazelnut layer over the chocolate cream.
  13. Put the pan into the freezer until hazelnut layer is completely set.
  14. Decorate the cake with melted dark chocolate and some chopped hazelnuts.

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