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By Nourishing Amy

Secretly Healthy Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies

timerPrep Time: 35 minutes plus cooling

groupsServes: 16 People

Just like their name suggests, these rich and fudgy chocolate hazelnut brownies are secretly healthy, made with whole foods but taste just as delicious as “regular” brownies. They are easy to make in one bowl, are naturally vegan and gluten-free, and are studded with chunks of hazelnuts and a Dark Hazelnut Chocolate bar.

Ingredients

FOR THE BROWNIES

3/4 cup applesauce or mashed banana

⅓ cup runny almond or cashew butter

¼ cup maple syrup

⅓ cup coconut or refined sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 tsp ground coffee (mixed with 1 tbsp hot water)

¾ cup + 2 tbsp oat flour* or plain flour

½ cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

A pinch of salt

85g Dark Hazelnut Chocolate, chopped (1 bar of Divine Chocolate)

⅓ cup hazelnuts, chopped

*to make your own oat flour, add oats to a blender and blitz to a flour-like consistency.

TO DECORATE

Melted chocolate

Extra hazelnuts

Flaky salt

Method

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 355*F and line an 8-inch square tin with parchment paper.

Step 2

Add the applesauce, almond/cashew butter, maple syrup, sugar, vanilla and coffee to a large mixing bowl and whisk until smooth.

Step 3

Pour in the oat flour (or if using plain flour, be sure to sift it into the bowl), and sift in the cocoa powder and the bicarbonate of soda and add the salt. Whisk to a smooth batter with no specks of flour.

Step 4

Fold in most of the chopped chocolate and hazelnuts. Pour into the baking tin and smooth over the top. Sprinkle over the remaining chocolate and hazel nuts and bake for 25-30 minutes until firming up at the edges and slightly softer in the middle – there will be some specks of batter if you insert a skewer into the centre (you don’t want it to be clean otherwise they will be overbaked and cakey not fudgy).

Step 5

Allow to cool for 10 minutes, lift out the tin and cool for another 30 minutes before slicing with a sharp hot knife into 16 squares.

Step 6

Drizzle with melted chocolate, some extra hazelnuts and flaky salt.

Step 7

Once cool, store at room temperature in a sealed container for 2-3 days or in the fridge for 3-5 days although best eaten at room temperature. To enjoy warm and melting, pop the brownies in the microwave for 10-20 seconds.

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