I have a feeling that this is going to come off as a Valentine's Day post...
I don't know how to convince you that it completely wasn't intended to be a Valentine's Day post, because the chocolate and raspberries and overall vibe of the photos really suggests it. All I can say is that I didn't even remember that Valentine's Day was coming up when I planned this in my mind, but I guess I was subconsciously influenced by the not so subtle marketing that seems to have popped up everywhere. Ah well. Moving on.
Lately, I've been picturing green hills and blue skies filled with that kind of dusty sunshine I rarely get the opportunity to see - that kind of California weather that seems so elusive and spectacular.
With all the love I have for Montreal, I can feel my time here dwindling. I've been following outdoorsy adventure accounts and googling "cheap flights" more often than I'd like to admit. I love my apartment and the coziness of winter and twinkle lights and cups of tea on the couch, but the promise of a different landscape and new adventures is calling more persistently than ever.
I have these pictures in my mind:
I'm standing on a hard outcrop of rock at the foot of a mountain, salty spray tickling my face. The sky is streaked with sunshine and dark clouds, single rays beaming out across the shades of grey.
A dirt path, rocks and tree roots winding for hours to the top of a mountain. Sweaty and mud streaked, just to stare out at the beauty of the world unfolding below. There is a pure magic, something that comes from being so small and seeing something so grand and magnificant, yet simple and right in front of your eyes.
The question that keeps circling round my mind is: why not? If that is where I most want to be, if those are the things that bring the most joy into my heart, then why wouldn't I make them happen.
Maybe this is a kind of love letter. A reminder to care about myself and listen to those singing thoughts that push aside the slushy salted sidewalks and freezing winds.
Is that too much for you? It's a bit romantic, but sometimes you just gotta say fuck it and write down the silly dreamy things that are floating through your head <3
Another dreamy creamy decadent romantic thing? These almost raw nutella brownies. Yes.
I don't make desserts that often, to be honest with you. I always have a bar of dark chocolate - usually 85% - in the cupboard, and that is enough to satisfy my sweet cravings. Usually.
These brownies came about because last week I made homemade nutella for the first time. It was amazing. So simple and absolutely addicting. I ate most of it with a spoon out of the jar.
These brownies were the logical next step. I imagined the base for the brownies made out of the same ingredients as the nutella (toasted hazelnuts + chocolate), but with extra substance like oats and dates to hold them together, and a few pinches of this and that for extra flavour. They couldn't have turned out better! I love these because not only do they have that classic toasted hazelnut quality, but they also have a rich and creamy chocolate ganache topping. The raspberry jam adds a brightness and zing, plus, look how pretty?
I hope you make these. I really, really do. I want to share them with everyone! <3 <3 <3
SONG OF THE WEEK: Foldin Clothes by J. Cole
almost raw nutella brownies w/ chocolate ganache & raspberry chia seed jam
Makes 16 brownies & apprx. 1 cup of jam
Almost Raw Nutella brownies
- 1 cup raw hazelnuts
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 100g chopped dark chocolate
- 6 pitted dates (medjool or similarly soft gooey dates)
- 4 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp plant milk (coconut, cashew, almond etc.)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup coconut cream (liquid not solid)
- 100g chopped dark chocolate
- 1/4 cup cocoa or cacao powder
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
Raspberry Chia Seed Jam
- 1 pint fresh raspberries
- 2 tsp chia seeds
Preheat the oven to 300. Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper - one piece going across each direction of the pan to make it easy to pull the brownies out. Set aside.
Place the raw hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes, until golden brown and aromatic.
To make the brownies place the toasted hazelnuts, rolled oats, chopped chocolate, dates, coconut oil, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor and blend on high until it forms a dough, about 2 minutes. While blending, add in the 2 tbsp of plant milk. It should come together to form a dough that sticks together when pressed between two fingers. Add more plant milk if needed. Press the brownie dough into the prepared baking dish and set in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
To make the chocolate ganache heat the coconut milk over medium-high heat in a small saucepan. Once simmering add in the chopped chocolate, cocoa powder, and coconut oil. Whisk until smooth and thick, and remove from heat (this should only take about a minute after adding the ingredients). Pour the ganache over the brownies in the baking dish, and place back in the freezer for 30 minutes.
While the brownies/ganache is setting, make the jam. Place the raspberries in a small saucepan over medium heat. Mash them with a form until they are pulpy and completely squished. Bring the mixture to a boil and then remove from heat and stir in the chia seeds. Pour into a glass jar and let set in the fridge.
To serve, drizzle the raspberry jam over the brownies and top with additional raspberries. Cut into 16 even squares and serve! These should be kept in the fridge in an airtight container and will last for up to a week.