This recipe came about by mistake. I was going to a clothes swap and, as usual, was doing too much and trying to fit it all in. I had set out to make a dragon fruit and lime pie with a chocolate crust but had over processed the nuts for the base! Not wanting to waste such divine ingredients, I made a new base and turned the old base into the fudge topping. As is often the case, the mistake turned into something quite lovely. I took it to the clothes swap-cum-afternoon tea party and everyone loved it. I thought it was a little gem too; I love that salty chocolate flavour.
So my advice for the day is go with the mishaps, you never know what they may morph into. Some of my greatest creations have come from what appeared to be a terrible mistake. Sounds like a metaphor for life.
Makes about 32 pieces
2 cups hazelnuts
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tbs coconut butter (recipe here)
1/3 cup cacao powder
½ cup cacao butter, melted
½ cup cashews
1 cup brazil nuts
½ cup cacao powder
1 tbs coconut oil
1/3 cup currants
1/2 cup maple syrup or agave syrup
1 tsp good salt
1 tsp vanilla paste
Making the base
Process the hazelnuts in a food processor until they resemble a fine meal but in no way look oily or like nut butter. Add the remaining ingredients and blitz for another minute until all the ingredients have been mixed through. They should resemble a crumbly texture. Press the base evenly into a 26 x 16cm tin lined with baking paper. Place in the fridge and allow it to chill while you make the filling.
Making the fudge filling
Firstly place the cacao butter in a stainless steel bowl over boiling water. Once it begins to melt remove from the heat to allow it to fully melt while you gather the rest of the ingredients.
Process the nuts in a food processor until they resemble a fine meal and begin to release their oils; this time it can begin to turn into nut butter. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth with a sticky fudge-like texture.
Spoon the fudge into the tray and spread evenly. Place a piece of baking paper on top of the fudge and use your hands to get the top even and smooth. Chill in the fridge with the paper on. After a minimum of 6 hours (or when set firm), remove from the fridge and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Remove the paper gently. If a little stuck, warm the paper with the palm of your hands by rubbing it, then peel back slowly.
Cut into pieces and relish!
This is an edited extract from PASSION: organic vegan recipes to live for by Anthea Amore. Available from the website here, or available in select book shops and health food stores across Australia.