The inspiration for this recipe came from my facial scrub! Yes, really. I don’t like coffee (except in emergencies – and then it needs a dash of Amaretto) and would never have thought of it with orange. But I realised that I was exfoliating every day just to get a whiff of the beautiful mandarin peel and coffee seed powder aromas of zk’in so I decided to make an edible version before I scrubbed my face raw. These squidgy raw treats have just a hint of coffee, lots of chocolatey orange and I’ve taken the opportunity to add some super food powders – maca for hormones and baobab for vitamin C – for extra, er, brownie points in the nutrient stakes.
One of the things I love about this recipe is the simplicity. So if you can’t be bothered to toast the hazelnuts, then don’t! But it does bring out the flavour, especially if you reserve some of them to add a bit of texture – as suggested in the recipe – rather than blending the whole lot to a smooth paste. Do try to marinate the dates as long as possible in their coffee-orange bath – I leave mine for a couple of hours if I can.
You will need a food processor to grind everything up.
Ingredients (makes 16-18 squares)
200g medjool dates – around 12-14
2 tsps coffee powder
3 tbsp cacao powder
1-1 ½ tbsp maca powder
1 tbsp baobab powder
- Zest the oranges first – it’s easier before juicing. Leave the peel to one side.
- Pit the dates and place to soak in the coffee powder dissolved in 150 ml hot water and juice of 1 orange for at least 20 minutes.
- Toast the hazelnuts either in the oven for 20 minutes on 200 (fan)/220 (conventional) or in a frying pan or under the grill. Transfer them into the food processor and give it a couple of blasts to break the nuts up into rough and random chunks rather than a powder. Leave to one side.
- Drain the dates of their coffee-orange marinade – shaking off the excess liquid – and put in the food processor along with the cashews, the remainder of the toasted hazelnuts, orange zest, cacao and superfood powders. Blend until smooth.
- Finally pulse in the reserved hazelnuts for a bit of texture.
- Scrape the mixture into your dish or tin – I use a silicon baking tray. Leave to firm up in the fridge for half an hour before slicing up and getting stuck in.