Let me introduce you to these mini decadent cups of pure deliciousness.
I think that in the history of desserts, there is no better combination than chocolate and hazelnuts. Something (MAGICAL!) happens when those two flavours are combined into one dessert.
Maybe a big part of it, is because many of us grew up eating Nutella and those flavours are associated with childhood and comforting memories... I definitely know that for me it is the case. When I was a child, one of my favorite ways to eat Nutella was to take a slice of plain ol’ white bread, remove the crust spread a thin layer on Nutella on it and eat it super slowly to really taste the hazelnutty, chocolaty flavour of this decadent spread. Then, would come my favorite part: I would take the remaining soft & doughy bread and make a ball with it. I would spoon a huuuuuge tablespoon of Nutella on half of it then bite that half off and repeat with the second half. OMG, those were the days! I used to love doing that so so much.
We would not have Nutella at my house very often but when we did, you bet I would let my taste buds go wiiiiiild, having upwards of 3 tablespoons per sitting hahaha!
Since then, things have changed to say the least. First of all, I am now vegan and do not consume animal products – Nutella contains powdered milk, which means that this spread that was once my favorite is no longer part of my pantry.
Furthermore, I have been trying to follow a more whole foods plant based lifestyle, which also means that I try to avoid processed foods that contain ingredients that have been heavily processed. You might ask yourself then what does she eats?! Well, it’s fairly simple, I eat lots of vegetables, fruits, legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils), whole grains, nuts and seeds. To some people it might seem very restrictive, but honestly, there are so so many different fruits, veggies, grains, beans and nuts that I am never bored PLUS spices are the best way to add flavour to dishes and make them super unique and tasty.
Since, I have made the switch to this lifestyle, I am having so much fun recreating classic childhood flavours, using more wholesome ingredients.
That is how these mini chocolate hazelnut cups were created. Lately, I have been really craving the choco-hazelnut combination. I had made energy balls a couple of months ago that were basically like a Ferrero Rocher style energy ball made only with dates, hazelnuts and cacao and the result was so tasty that I wanted to bring this recipe to the next level. I wanted it to be more decadent and even more chocolaty.
These little cups are what I call the “perfect package” type of dessert. They are:
Made with wholesome ingredients.
Sweet enough to satisfy any sweet tooth.
Better than the packaged & processed hazelnut truffles ;)
Yep, I said it.. The classic, widely available hazelnut and chocolate truffles are delicious, do not get me wrong. I have eaten a large number of them over the years, but contrary to these guys, they have 76 more calories per serving, 15 grams of plain white sugar, 4 more grams of fat, 3 mg of cholesterol and no potassium. You know what that means... You can have an extra one of these mini chocolate hazelnut cups and you would actually be making yourself healthier!
I really hope you guys try making these little cups of pure deliciousness, they are really worth the small extra effort to put them together and I promise they will make you, your belly and your body happy!
If you do try this recipe and decide to share it on social medias, I would love to see your creation. So tag me at @muriellebanackissa!
Decadent Chocolate and Hazelnut Cups
Prep time : 20 minutes
Cooking time : -
Total time : 20 minutes
Yield : 18-20 cups
1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts
1/2 cup packed pitted dates (+/- 10 dates)*
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp cacao powder
1 tsp maca powder (optional)
Pinch of salt
30g of 80% or more dark chocolate**
1 tsp coconut oil
Chopped hazelnuts, for topping
Fleur de sel or flaky sea salt, for topping
Fill two mini muffin pans with liners. Set aside.
Add hazelnuts, dates, almond butter, cacao powder, maca powder and salt to a food processor and process until a ball in formed, while keeping a couple of smaller hazelnut pieces intact to add texture.
Fill each cup with 1 teaspoon of the mixture. Gently press using your fingers to even it out.
Place in the freezer while you prepare the chocolate layer.
Add chocolate and coconut oil to a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Mix until silky smooth.
Pour 1 teaspoon of the melted chocolate onto the hazelnut-date base.
Garnish with chopped hazelnuts and a sprinkle of fleur de sel. Freeze until set.
Remove the cupcake liners and place in an airtight container. Keep in the fridge or the freezer.
* I used mazafati dates for this recipe, but feel free to use any dates you have on hand. If your dates are hard, make sure to soak them in boiling water for 30 minutes, drain and use in the recipe as indicated.
** I used Alter Eco’s Deep Dark Super Blackout 90% chocolate.