There are some things that you just need to know to get by in life.
For example, running along a wet and slippery boardwalk in a crowded marketplace will almost always end in tears (and a sore bottom).
If you engrave your initals on the back of a CD to prevent your flatmates from stealing them, it will make the songs inaudible and prevent you from listening to them yourself (though evidentally, your original intention will prove fruitful as your flatmates will no longer want to steal your CDs!)
NEVER wear lacy underwear under see-through pantryhose to go to the physio (you just know that one ended badly… Why did no-one explain to me exactly what going to a physio would entail!)
Throwing dates, raw cacao powder and nuts into a food processor and blending will result in the easiest, healthiest, and quickest way to make the most ridiculously delicious brownies you’ve ever tried.
These are all discoveries I have made at some point in my life and while the first few would have potentially saved me a lot of embarrassment and blushing had I known these beforehand, the latter would have also saved me lots of not-so-satisfying chocolate treats over the year. I’m not sure if it’s maturing taste buds or due to my healthier diet (or both) but these days instead of the super-sweet, articifially flavoured treats I used to go crazy for as a kid, today I prefer sweets which highlight natural flavours and allow you to really taste the ingredients without masking them with a bunch of additives and sugar.
On our recent trip to Bali, we spent a few days in Ubud which is somewhat of a health food haven, with wholefood cafes and smoothie bars tucked in all over the place. Two sweets which really stuck out were an all-natural, vegan banana-flavoured ice-cream that actually tasted like real banana – a rarety! – and a spiced raw brownie.
With a snow-covered mountain making a rather romantic backdrop to greet us with upon arriving back to Hobart, the chilly temperatures did not evoke cravings of the delicious ice-cream, so instead I set about recreating the brownies last weekend.
Raw brownies are pretty simple – you can make the most basic version by combining just three ingredients – dates, nuts, and raw cacao powder and blending until they form a ball. However a few extra tweaks will result in a more fudgier brownie
- Blend the nuts and dates seperately until broken down before combining. This allows for a smoother texture and more even taste throughout the brownie
- Add a little coconut oil, or even better, cacao butter. You only need a little, 1 – 2 Tbsp per batch, to add an extra fudginess
- Add a simple chocolate frosting for extra fudgy texture
- The brownies should be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge or freezer but are at their fudgy best when served at room temperature
I’ve flavoured these with cardamom and orange, similar to the flavours of the brownie I ate in Ubud, but if you’re not a fan of these flavours you could just as easily leave them out or swap them with another flavour – a little fresh vanilla would go down beautifully with these.
- 2 cups nuts
- 2 cups || 330g unpitted dates
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp grated orange zest
- ½ cup raw cacao powder
- 2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
- 2 Tbsp raw cacao butter (or coconut oil), melted
- 3 Tbsp coconut oil/cacao butter
- 1 Tbsp orange juice
- ¼ cup raw cacao powder
- 1 Tbsp rice bran oil
- Remove the pip's from the dates. Process nuts and dates separately, then combine in the food processor together with the remaining ingredients. Process until combined and starting to come together in a ball.
- Remove from food processor and pour the mixture into a lined slice tin. Press down using a spatula or your fingers.
- To make the frosting, heat a small saucepan over low heat. Turn off the heat and add all ingredients. Stir as the oil melts to form a thick paste. Once combined, pour onto the brownies and spread out with a spatula. Allow to set in the fridge or freezer a few hours before serving.