Tag Archives: hazelnuts

Recipe: Chocolate and Hazelnut Cookies with Wattleseed

What’s this?  Could it be… another nut based cookie?  Why yes, yes it is! As you may possibly have noticed, I’ve been breaking out the Australian native herbs and spices for this little round of cookie fetishisation, and I decided to play with a brand new ingredient, wattleseed.

Wattleseed tends to get used in sweets, because it has an allegedly coffee-like taste.  To me, it tasted a bit like burned chocolate, with hints of hazelnut and coffee.  It’s pretty much an Andrew-repellant, because while he likes chocolate, he loathes coffee, and is also fairly firmly against people ruining perfectly good chocolate with hazelnuts.

Good thing he wasn’t going to be eating these biscuits, then, eh?  I decided to expand on this flavour profile with hazelnut meal and cocoa, and would probably have considered garnishing the biscuit with half a coffee bean had I had such a thing to hand (though, on reflection, the flavour would probably be too strong).

Anyway, like the other biscuits in this series, these are very simple and leave you with a nice, slightly chewy little biscuit.  That tastes like hazelnuts and coffee and a little bit like burned chocolate.  Sorry, Andrew.

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Your shopping list

185 g hazelnut meal
15 g cocoa
2 tsp wattleseed, ground (have a good sniff before you use it, so you know what you are dealing with)
1 egg
50 g sugar

Now what will you do with it?

You know the drill by now.  Preheat the oven to 165°C, and line a baking tray with paper.

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.  Taste to see if you like the flavour.  Roll into little walnut-sized balls, flatten, then bake for 15 minutes.

Done!

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Variations

As usual, this recipe is gluten- and dairy-free, also low in fructose, but full of nuts and contains eggs.  There are a lot of ways you could vary it.  I think, were I making this again, I might go half hazelnut meal, and half ground macadamias – the hazelnut flavour was quite strong, and nearly overwhelmed the wattleseed.  You could also add more cocoa – my box was nearly empty – just make sure the nut + cocoa portion of this biscuits adds up to 200g.

Enjoy!

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Recipe: Ridiculously Decadent, Sin-Black Biscuits for Purim

OK, so the first thing you will notice about this post is that it isn’t Purim.  (Perhaps I am overestimating my readers’ grasp of just when all the Jewish festivals are, but then again, since my readership is full of bakers, and Purim always seems to me as a religiously-mandated excuse for baking – you’re supposed to make little baskets of biscuits and give them to people, this is the festival I would make up if I made up festivals – my chances might be better than I think.)

The second thing you will notice about this post is that my last sentence went on and on and on and on and on…

The reason for both these things is Project Grants.  They are due tomorrow.  There were 19 of them in my group, plus a few little Cancer Council and Cancer Australia bagatelles, and I have been reading them.  And proof-reading them.  And, occasionally, inserting sarcastic marginalia into them.  This has been phenomenally time-consuming, and has probably not improved my ability to write sensible sentences.  Next week, we have fellowships, the week after that we have more fellowships, then there is Easter, at which point I will escalate my current insane Lenten singing schedule into something that borders on the impossible, or at least the highly improbable, after which we have more fellowships, a grant report, two events that I am running in late April, and a Program Grant due in May.  And a concert the day before the grant goes in.  Hooray!

All of which is a very long way of saying that yes, I’m cooking, yes, I’m thinking about food, and yes, I’m even making up recipes.  But sometimes it’s going to take me a few weeks to write them down, because, as you may by now have grasped, I am hardly ever at home, and when I am, it is for sleeping.

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Anyway, back to these cookies, because these cookies are awesome.  They are basically a riff on some cookies in Claudia Roden’s Book of Jewish Food, only I changed virtually all the ingredients.  As you do.  But they are still sort of the same cookies, in texture, personality, and, most importantly, in their really, really spectacularly easy method.

Also, they really do look coal-black when they go into the oven.  It’s rather awesome.

These cookies take about ten minutes to put together, and then 25 minutes to cook, and they would probably keep very well if I didn’t have hungry scientists who don’t give anything the opportunity to keep well.  Claudia Roden says that the original biscuits keep well, and that’s good enough for me.

As are these delicious, chocolatey, ever-so-slightly boozy biscuits.

Your Shopping List (makes about 16 little cookies, if I recall correctly)

100 g almond meal
100 g hazelnut meal
50 g dark, dark cocoa
75 g caster sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons brandy (make sure you roll the R when you say it, it’s that sort of biscuit)

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Recipe: Teeny Tiny Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes with Spices

I think we all knew it wouldn’t take long before I felt compelled to create a recipe modelled on those fantastic vegetable-based cakes from Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache (also known as My Favourite Cookbook Ever Ever Ever).

Of course, if one is going to create a recipe full of stealth vegetables and following Harry Seaton’s methods, one must naturally provide a suitable introductory paragraph.  Hmm, let’s see…

This recipe is sophisticated, yet comforting, like the scent of your mother’s Chanel No. 5 perfume as she kisses you on her way out the door.  The chocolate and hazelnut hug you into a Nutella-flavoured embrace, while the cinnamon and ginger wink slyly at you like your favourite babysitter – the one who lets you stay up way too late and watch all the things on TV that you’re not supposed to.

(OK, I have to say that those blurbs are harder to write than they looked. Or at least, they are if you want to keep them G-rated.  The ginger and cinnamon kept on trying to slide the whole thing into some very dubious territory indeed.  Good grief.)

More straightforwardly, let’s just say that these cupcakes are lovely little bites of spicy, chocolatey goodness – far less ferociously hot than my chilli cupcakes, but still gently warming.  Just right for a winter’s night.

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Your Shopping List

75g hazelnut meal
50g rice flour
25g cocoa + 20 g for the icing1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
70 g caster sugar
1 egg
100 g zucchini, peeled and very finely grated (do this at the last minute)
100 icing sugar
30 ml boiling water
24 roasted hazelnuts, optional Continue reading

Recipe: Winter Tuna Salad with Fennel, Orange and Hazelnuts

I love salads, but it feels weird to buy tomatoes and capsicums and cucumbers and other summer vegetables when it’s freezing cold outside and probably pouring with rain, too.  So as the year changes, I start swapping out my summer greens and vegetables for more wintry fare – red cabbage, apples, celery, citrus fruits, fennel, kale, and lots of nuts and legumes.

This is a recent lunchbox favourite of mine, making the most of the cooler weather and the beautiful things that are in season even now, when the idea of getting out into the garden isn’t terribly inviting.  I think I even prefer this to my summer tuna salad – I like the acidity of the orange and the earthy flavour of the hazelnuts and chickpeas, and even fennel has started to grow on me.

But mostly I’m posting this recipe because it made my office-mate envious last time I brought it in for lunch, which is a good indicator in my book!

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Your Shopping List (serves 1)

1/4 red onion
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 x 125 g tin chickpeas
1 small or half large fennel bulb
1 orange
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts
2 handfuls baby spinach, rocket or parsley, or a combination of both (or any other likely winter greens that aren’t too bitter)
1 x 90g tin tuna packed in olive oil

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Recipe: Not-tella Quinoa Slice

dessertRemember the recipe which was not at all what Scott asked for?  Well, hopefully, this one actually will be more useful, though I’m not sure it entirely fills the brief.  Especially once you have it for dessert with spiced cherries, ice-cream and fancy nougat…

Technically, one could say that this recipe is based on one of my favourite cakes from Wayfaring Chocolate, but since I veganised it and then changed all the proportions and half of the flavours, I very much doubt Hannah would recognise it in its current state.

I’ve kept this slice pretty plain – it has a rather nutty, wholemeal texture to go with its Nutella taste – but there is a fair bit you could do with it to liven it up.

Oh, and Scott?  Still no Nuttella.  Sorry.  But I’m not going to the trouble of sweetening something with agave and then adding a spread that is mostly composed of sugar.  That would just be silly…

Your Shopping List

75 g quinoa, raw, or 150 g cooked
150 g hazelnut meal
30 g cocoa, as dark as you can find
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup apple sauce
1 tbsp vanilla extract

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Recipe: Amaranth and Not-ella Truffles

ballsThis recipe is the fault of my friend Scott, which seems a little unfair, since it actually isn’t the recipe he asked for, and in fact probably isn’t going to do him  much good at all!  Sorry, Scott – the quinoa one will happen later in the week.  He requested a recipe for a high-protein snack that used cooked quinoa and Nutella and was sweetened with agave nectar.

I had every intention of doing this, but currently my oven is full of a cake that will take 4 hours to cook, and my ideas involving cooked quinoa all necessitate baking, so that the snack ends up crispy rather than soggy.  And I wanted to try something *now*.  Also, I had this popped amaranth sitting around, waiting to be used.  And then there was the fact that I don’t actually like Nutella, and that if one is wanting a snack sweetened with agave nectar, it’s a bit silly to include Nutella, which is full of sugar…

And it all went downhill from there, really.  But in a good way, because these little snacks taste gorgeous, and look incredibly cute, all black-brown with little white dots of amaranth through them.  Try them and see…

Your Shopping List

120 g hazelnuts
30 ml cocoa
30 ml agave nectar
30 ml almond butter (can you tell I had this 30 ml measure just sitting there, looking convenient?  So many recipes develop proportions based on what’s clean and nearby at the time…)
3 dates
1 cup popped amaranth

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Recipe: Nearly Raw Truffles of Two Kinds!

Between work, singing and this allegedly-healthy global walking challenge, I seem to be in a constant state of exhaustion at present, which is not conducive to blog posts.  It doesn’t help that I’m so tired I’m actually following recipes at the moment…  However, I have a big excursion planned tomorrow for my walking team – we’re going to leave work at 3:30 and walk 13 kms to Williamstown, and then go on a Ghost Tour after dinner.  My team is, in fact, the slowest of the three teams at work, but we are also the coolest, because we do outings!  And surely that’s what really counts?

I’ve planned this outing in ridiculous detail – 8 weeks into the challenge, a lot of us are flagging or have minor injuries, so not only have I planned a very precise route, I have arranged it so that every kilometre or two, we get within shouting distance of a railway station or a bus stop, to allow anyone who needs it to ride the rest of the way. 

And, of course, I am providing snacks – healthy, energy-giving snacks, to speed us on our way.  I recently made Almost Vegan’s Five Minute Blondies with Hannah’s Raw Chocolate Icing (with avocado!), which were awesome, but a bit messy for my purposes, so I turned the blondies into truffles, and added a bit of ginger and cinnamon to suit their caramel goodness.  But I couldn’t stop at one recipe, and I had leftover dried figs and dried apricots from a pilaf yesterday, and hazelnuts and pistachios also hanging around the house, and raw cacao, and before I knew it, I had two recipes on my hand. 

Herewith, before I fall asleep on my keyboard, Nearly Raw Chocolate, Hazelnut and Fig Truffles and Raw Apricot, Orange and Pistachio Truffles.  The chocolatey ones are kind of amazing – I didn’t think they tasted very chocolatey, but the chocolate sort of creeps up on you – you taste it for several minutes after you have one.  The apricot truffles are a lot like those little apricot delight squares they used to sell at the canteen at my primary school, but with pistachios and orange-flower water giving them a lovely, perfumed flavour.   And they are so healthy!  Ish…

Your Shopping List for Hazelnut, Chocolate and Fig Truffles

150 g raw hazelnuts
2 tbsp (40 ml) raw cacao, or good cocoa powder
200 g soft dried figs
50 ml maple syrup
50 g goooood dark chocolate, chopped

Your Shopping List for Apricot and Pistachio Truffles

300 g dried apricots (the soft kind work better)
zest of 1 orange
50 g pistachios
1/2 teaspoon of orange flower water

Optional Extras

You could roll the hazelnut and chocolate truffles in cocoa powder, if you liked.  And, while it seems a pity to spoil the middle-eastern nature of the apricot ones, by doing this, you could roll them in coconut.  Or dip them in white chocolate and the others in dark chocolate, which point you’ve pretty much admitted that you aren’t trying to be health-foody any more.

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