This 2013 winter is coming at me weak!! We’ve had no snow (not that unusual for December in London though) and it’s been pretty warm so far. The lack of wintery-ness has meant that the whole run up to Christmas has felt like nothing and now its the 22nd and I’m all ‘ITS CHRISTMAS IN 3 DAYS?’.
Total Christmas sneak attack.
I talked about the whole winter glutton thang last year when I made those 100 cal chocolate cupcakes, and it’s still all the same this year. Especially because my advent calendar has literally been a 20g chunk of 70% chocolate each day (WOOOH / NOOO.). So, while it’s still acceptable to just eat chocolate before breakfast (It’s festive. yeah?) I decided I’d make something sweet but actually filling. This nutella fudge is exactly that.
If you’ve ever attempted to make fudge, like the proper stuff where you boil it and beat the crap out of the mixture and end up with super hench arms, you’ll know it’s pretty hard going. You may have also then experienced the grainy block of ‘blah’ that isn’t fudge… and isn’t sand… – it’s something in between the two, like a sugary Sahara that nobody really wants.
And then you can’t lift your arms the next day.
Lose-lose situation to be honest.
If you go with no-cook fudge you’ll defs be less disappointed. It’s much easier (thanks to Señor food processor doing most of the work) and also, in my opinion, a lot better. It’s not sickeningly sweet, so you get a break from the holiday pure-sugar inhalation. Also the fats are healthy ones! Purely from the nuts/seeds which are also getting protein and fiber in there.
Friends – did you know that a Harvard study found that people who ate nuts every day were like 20% less likely to die from ANY CAUSE. Isn’t that incredible? Wow, they really got it goin’ on. That is just another REASON to eat this fudge, no joke.
We also be throwing in some dates and maple syrup for natural sugars, and cocoa powder for the chocolatey somthin’ somthin’. By the time you’ve eaten this fudge, you’ll have completely forgotten about the fact that your feet are cold and instead will be like this.
I pressed the mixture into a lined loaf pan, chilled it in the freezer and then cut it into leetle squares – two bite-ish. You could just as easily roll it into balls and then coat them in some bittersweet chocolate though.
The resulting candy is total dream material. Fudgy and soft with that nutella-esque flavour.
See, now I’m not regretting the fact that I didn’t buy those stupid, delicious ferrero rochers they were selling in Pound Land.
I mean, am I eating ice cream cake on Christmas Eve? Heck yes. But these squares are helping to stop me from caving and eating a packet of chocolate chip oatcakes (THEY COME IN PACKETS OF 6 OATCAKES. Why? Just, why do they do this to me?) and nutella toast for breakfast every morning.
It’s all about the balance, yo.
And if this is balance, I am a-okay with it.
Soak the pitted dates in boiling water while you prep the hazelnuts.
Toast the hazelnuts in a frying pan over a high heat, shaking the pan often, until the skins start to crack and peel away. Fold the hot hazelnuts onto a clean dish towel and rub together until the majority of the skins have come off. Transfer the hazelnuts with the almonds to a food processor and blend until mealy. Continue to blend, stopping every so often to scrape down the edges of the bowl, until pastey.
Drain the dates then add them in, along with the cocoa, flaxseed, vanilla and salt and blend until smooth. Add maple syrup to taste - start by blending in 2 tbsp, and add more if you want it (you can also sub the additional maple syrup for a few drops of liquid stevia, if preferred).
Press the mixture into a parchment small, parchment-lined loaf tin and freeze for at least 30 minutes. Remove from the tin and cut into around 20 small squares. Store in an airtight container.
Alternatively, you can roll the mixture into teaspoon-sized balls, chill until cool, then coat them in bittersweet chocolate to make truffles.