I feel like a really bad flu is nesting in my body. In German, we have a colloquial phrase: “I feel like I’m breeding something” is the go-to sentence when you aren’t feeling up to life and are worried that you’ll be sick soon. It sounds a bit pathetic when translated into English, after all, I’m not a crazy mother-hen (I mean, I can be, just ask my sister), but you get the picture.
But seriously, besides all the exhaustion, gnawing headache right behind my eyeballs (you know the kind), and more than lacking motivation to do anything besides sleeping and wailing at my boyfriend, I am getting really annoyed. I wasn’t up to life on Monday already, having to skip choir practice and going to bed so early that I felt like an 80-year-old grandma. So haven’t I paid my dues this week?
Instead of getting up completely refreshed very early in the morning, busting up a sweat with my usual pre-breakfast work-out , and smiling at the pile of study stuff on my desk to display how delighted I am (which is, obviously, totally my normal routine), I slept soundly until 8.30 this morning, and felt like it was still 5 am when I then crawled out of bed. I somehow got to my desk, started flipping through the pages disheartedly, read some words, then read those same words again, until I carried myself to the sofa to take a nap. This is just not working in the grand study scheme of things, and it’s not working in any other kind of scheme either.
What did work out, however, is the breakfast coffee loaf I made to use up the brown rice flour still sitting in my fridge, and left-over coffee from the weekend. Adapted from my sugar/fatfree banana-bread, I made this on Sunday, so the coffee wasn’t that “old”, and I am especially proud of the chocolate hemp seed crust I topped it off with, adding a crunch and hint of chocolate without any sugar!
This is a breakfast bread, but not as sweet as you may expect. The texture, due to the brown rice flour, is rich, dense, and a bit “wet”, making it seem like an awesome buttery-egg cake, even if it is completely vegan! As you will see in the recipe, you could opt to switch the brown rice flour for some hazelnut flour, making this bread just as dense and moist, but lower carb (and higher fat).
Coffee Hazelnut Loaf With Chocolate Hemp Crust
- 130g dates (1 cup)
- 2 bananas
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground vanilla
- 250ml coffee (1 cup)
- 350g brown rice flour (3 cups) (option: switch up for hazelnut flour for a lower carb version)
- 125g whole-spelt flour (1 cup) (substitute with oat flour for gluten-free version)
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 8g baking powder (1 1/2 tsp.)
- 125ml hazelnut milk (1/2 cup)
- 55 g hazelnuts (1/3 cup)
for the chocolate hemp crust:
- 2 Tbs. cup hemp seeds
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- 1-2 tsp. cocoa powder (unsweetened)
- a dash/sprinkle of vanilla (liquid would work out better in this case, but I used ground vanilla and it worked fine as well)
Note: When I made this the other day, I also added a Tbs. of cacao nibs to the dough, to add a little bit more chocolate flavor and even more crunch!
1. In a food processor, blend the dates, bananas, cinnamon, vanilla, and coffee together to form a smooth paste.
2. Excepting the hazelnuts, mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then add the banana/date/coffee paste. Stir to form a smooth dough. Pour in the hazelnutmilk, and mix together well.
3. In a small pan, roast the hazelnuts until their skins have browned. Allow them to cool, then remove the skins that have fallen off, and chop them. Add the chopped, roasted hazelnuts to your dough.
4. Preheat oven to 150°C. Line a baking form with baking parchment (or, if you prefer to use oil/fat, spread around some vegan margarine in a baking form). Pour the batter into the form.
5. In the small pan, roast hemp seeds, cocoa powder, and vanilla. Stir frequently to keep from burning. Make sure the hemp seeds and cocoa powder mix thoroughly. Depending on how chocolatey you want your crust to be, add 1-2 tsp. of cocoa powder. After the hemp and cocoa have thoroughly mixed, add 1 tsp. of coconut oil and turn down the heat. This will produce small “hemp chocolate clusters”, which you can then spread on top of your unbaked loaf.
6. On top of the dough in the baking form, spread out your chocolate hemp seeds. Press them down lightly into the dough.
7. Bake for 60 minutes, then allow to cool! Don’t slice until has cooled down, otherwise it will crumble.
This bread will make your kitchen/apartment smell absolutely fantastic. The coffee, hazelnuts and chocolate hemp-seed combo will remind you of hanutas, without the sick sweetness of those things. Feel free to dip a slice of this wonderful loaf into your morning coffee, or spread some almond butter mixed with maple syrup on top. It tastes fine just on its own, but don’t expect it to be too sweet!!
I found a fantastic tahini cocoa spread at the store the other day, which does pack some additional fat, but tastes amazing:
But, even enjoyed plain, dipped in some strawberry banana milk, it really is the perfect treat for breakfast, and will fill you right up! Two slices for breakfast are more than enough for me.