I call these psychotic brownies. They’re for those days where if you don’t have chocolate, you’ll hurt someone. Or when you can’t think of anything else till you get a hit of chocolate. They’re one of the few things that can satisfy the chocolate monster within.
These brownies also happen to be raw and gluten free. They’re nutrient dense because they’re full of cocoa (fiber, iron, flavonoids), nuts, fruit, and don’t have refined sugar. Of course they’re calorically dense too, but if you’re going to eat something delicious, it might as well be functional. Taste wise, I prefer them over most brownies (the exception being one recipe  with 12 ounces of chocolate and three sticks of butter, but come on). The coconut-oil ganache is my new substitute for Nutella , and if you use hazelnuts, you’ll have that flavor profile.
This recipe is a lose blueprint. The minimal amount of maple syrup (1/3 cup each in the brownie and ganache) was sweet enough for me. I used toasted nuts because I like the flavor better, but if you’re on a raw diet, simply use raw nuts and cocoa (unless labeled, cocoa is not raw). You also have a couple choices for the dates. Medjools are the king of dates because of their jumbo size and moistness, or you can use the cheaper, more common Deglet Noor. These brownies are difficult to mess up. Can you hit a button on a food processor? Good!
Adapted from Gourmande in the Kitchen .
- Grind nuts in a food processor until very fine (be careful to not over process the nuts into butter).
- Add the coconut and process till fine (as close to the consistency of flour as possible). Add the dates (if using old dates or the Deglet Noor variety, add a couple tablespoons water) and mix until a soft paste forms. Add the cocoa and process again.
- Add the maple syrup, salt, and a couple tablespoons water (if necessary) and process till creamy, scraping down the sides with a spatula as needed.
- Line an 8" x 8" pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap. Using the back of a glass cup or damp hands, flatten mixture into pan.
- Place in fridge while making the ganache.
- In the food processor (no need to wash), mix the maple syrup and coconut oil until well combined.
- Add the cocoa and salt and process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Pour ganache over the brownies and spread evenly. Return the pan to the fridge to firm up for at least one hour.
- Cut into one-inch squares, and for the best texture, let warm to room temp for 15 min. before eating. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
For raw brownies: use raw nuts and cocoa powder.