A lush no-bake vegan hazelnut chocolate fudge dessert recipe. Also gluten-free, grain-free, and refined sugar-free.
- ½ cup creamy natural hazelnut butter
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp water*
- 2 tbsp cocoa butter, melted**
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp instant espresso powder (or more to taste)
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 4 whole espresso beans (optional)
- approx. ½ cup melted dark chocolate***
- Make sure hazelnut layer ingredients are at room temperature before getting started. Process all hazelnut layer ingredients, except the espresso beans, into a uniform consistency in a food processor. Scoop the mixture out into 4 silicone muffin liners (have them set inside a muffin pan for support). Press down with the back of a spoon or with your hands to flatten the top. Optional: lightly press an espresso bean into the top of each fudge cup. Place the pan in the freezer for 15-20 mins to chill.
- While the hazelnut layer is chilling, melt the chocolate for the topping. Once chilled, divide the chocolate mixture evenly between the 4 fudge cups by pouring it on top of the hazelnut layer. Return the pan with the fudge back into the freezer to chill for 4-5 hours, then enjoy. Store the fudge in the freezer until ready to eat, and thaw it out lightly at room temp as needed to get a slightly softer texture.
*Note: I used water to keep the base layer a bit lighter. It also makes it softer. If you want a firmer or richer consistency, use some more melted cacao butter and proportionately less water instead.
**Cocoa butter also goes by the name cacao butter. It adds a beautiful chocolate flavor to the fudge, and also allows it to firm up.
***Alternatively use this vegan magic shell recipe for a DIY chocolate topping.