Raw Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Hedgehogs
So I was feeling nostalgic this morning, and was really craving some comfort. I think it might have something to do with this hideously cold wet weather we've been having. So anyway I started to think back to puddings of the past. Remember chocolate hedgehogs? We used to have them for school puddings at least 3 times a week. Sticky, caramel-y with a bitter sweet almost burnt after-taste. Also I'm almost certain they put a tonne of salt in them because I was always desperately thirsty after having one...or three.
Anyway, so I decided to try out a slightly healthier and nuttier version of these little treats. I adore the flavour of roasted hazelnuts and chocolate and it really works in this recipe too.
Try to find medjool dates over any other kind because these are the stickiest and have a slight burnt toffee taste. Most supermarkets sell them for about £2.
2 tbs raw cacao
1 tsp vanilla extract
10 medjool dates (stones removed)
1/2 tsp quality fine seasalt
1 cup coconut oil
2 cups hazelnuts. I leave the skin on but it can be a little bitter so its your call
1/2 cup of dessicated (unsweetened) coconut OR rolled oats
1/2 cup of milk alternative of choice, preferably something creamy like cashew or macadamia but doesn't really matter as this is just in case the mixture becomes too dry and sticky to blend.
Preheat the oven to 180 and roast your hazelnuts for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them as you don't want them to burn. Transfer to a food processor.
Chop the nuts in your food processor but make sure there a still decent chunky pieces, then add the rest of the ingredients into a food processor. Blend until a sticky gooey consistency that still has chunky hazelnut pieces. If the mixture is too sticky then add a teeny bit of your chosen milk to loosen it. Be careful here as you don't want it to become sloppy.
Roll out some none stick parchment and use two spoons to place little chocolatey domes onto the paper. If you have an ice cream scoop then this would be ideal, or you could just get right in there and use your hands!