Mini Chocolate Hazelnut Cups

A friend of mine came over yesterday to help look after Jasper (my 5 month old) while I got my nails done - lucky me, right? To say thank you I gave her some of my raw lime cheesecake to take home with her. Selfishly I also wanted to know what she thought of my latest creation, so I was over the moon when I received her message later that night asking me to marry her... She LOVED it! Whilst I'm not sure what my, or her, husband would have to say about the marriage bit, the sentiment was much appreciated, and it inspired me to get back into the kitchen today to work on another raw recipe.

I saw the recipe for these mini hazelnut cups on my daily Mind Body Green email, just had a new batch of raw cacao delivered (all of my ingredients come from Whole Foods Online) and most importantly, Jasper had just gone down for a nap! For all you mummies, you'll know at 5 months old they start to demand a lot more attention, so it hasn't been quite so easy getting into the kitchen of late. Even though Jasper woke up half way through making these, I managed to sing him Jungle Book songs (his new favourites) whilst simultaneously mixing, pouring and whizzing away to keep him entertained. And thank god I did because these little bites of deliciousness are definitely going to be a staple in my raw recipe book.

As with most recipes I've tweaked it slightly to suit my tastes. For example, I don't like a strong vanilla flavour so halved the suggested amount. If you like it though just use 1 teaspoon for the filling instead of 1/2.

Mini Chocolate Hazelnut Cups

Makes 20 cups

Hazelnut filling

  • 3/4 cup raw hazelnuts
  • 1 + 1/2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 4 tablespoons coconut milk (canned)
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Coating

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (raw/organic honey or agave would also work)
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder

Topping

  • 20 hazelnuts (one for each cup)

Preparation

1. Preheat your oven to 80ºC, spread out the hazelnuts onto some baking paper and cook for 5 minutes. Some of the skins will darken and split in that time, so take those out of the oven and leave the rest in, checking every 2-3 minutes until they're all in the same state. When they're all done, wrap the hazelnuts in a tea towel and rub them until the skins come off (it's ok if they don't all rub off!)

2. While you're waiting for your hazelnuts to roast you can get on with the chocolate coating. Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan on low heat. Once melted, transfer it to a bowl and add the maple syrup, stirring until it's well combined. Then add the cacao powder, and keep stirring until it's all mixed together.

3. Lay out 20 mini cupcake liners into your mini cupcake tin, or just a regular baking tray like I did, and spoon 1 teaspoon of the chocolate coating into each holder. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes (or as long as it takes you to make the hazelnut filling) to set.

4. Now make the hazelnut filling. Take 20 of your best looking hazelnuts out of your pile and save them for the topping. Place the rest of the hazelnuts into your blender and process until they form a smooth(ish) paste. Now, I used a small hand blender as my Blendtec only blends larger quantities. Slightly annoying for such an expensive blender, but it did the job and it tasted fab! I've also asked for a Blendtec Twister Jar for Christmas as apparently it makes killer nut butters and humous... yuuumm!  

5. Add the cacao powder, coconut milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract to the paste and whiz until combined. Then pop it into the fridge for 10-30 minutes (mine was only in there for 10 but if your filling is super smooth it will need longer).

5. Take your cupcake liners out of the freezer and spoon the hazelnut mixture on top of the set chocolate, smoothing the mixture down with your finger. Make sure the filling doesn't sit above the top of the liner as you want the top layer of chocolate to be smooth.

6. Finally spoon the remaining chocolate over the top - I wasn't sure I had enough chocolate when I made this but it was the PERFECT amount, so no licking the spoon as you go! Use the tip of the spoon to push down any little bits of filling that poke out the top. Then place one of your beautifully skinned hazelnuts on top of each one.

7. Place in the freezer for 1 hour to set, and store in there until you're ready to scoff the lot. Just remember to take them out for 10-15 minutes before hand so it can thaw a little (frozen chocolate can be hard to bite!)

These little hazelnut filled cups are a great treat to have with an afternoon cuppa, and I just love knowing that they're dairy free and refined sugar free. So yes that means you're allowed another one ;) Thank you Vanessa Vickery for the recipe; the original of which you can find here. You can find more of Vanessa's recipes on her site www.becomingness.com.au

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