What is it about pumpkin that makes it such an appealing and popular food for autumn consumption? There’s certainly no comparable aroma to that of pumpkin cooking. It’s a rich, warm scent that evokes comfort, compels hibernation and reminds us fondly of cozy days inside, watching the leaves crisp and fade in the cold. Pumpkin also pairs well with an incredible variety of other foods, not the least of which is chocolate.
I went vegan before Nutella really became an international fad. I think I had tried it once and didn’t care for the flavour. From what I recalled it tasted like chemically sweetened palm oil, which is what it mostly is. Making your own chocolate hazelnut spread is fairly easy and requires only a handful of ingredients. I’m sure there is a variety of applications for this spread, but the sweetness of it does meld perfectly with the savoury pumpkin
I like to think of this recipe as being a bit of a cheerful spin on the traditional autumn comfort foods. It’s not reminding us about the impending winter but rather the joy of eating decadent hearty harvest foods.
6 apples (Crunchier varieties tend to work better. I prefer Gala)
165g (5.8 oz) of Hazelnuts
1 cup of chocolate (either chips or bar)
2/3 cup of margarine + extra for frying the pancakes
2 1/2 cup of plant-based milk
2 cups of flour
1 398ml can of pumpkin
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 tsp of vanilla
2 tsp of brown sugar
1 tsp of salt
2 tbsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of nutmeg
1 tsp of ground cloves
1/4 cup of agave or maple syrup
1 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of baking soda
For the apples.
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
2. Dice apples into small cubes and place in a medium-sized mixing bowl with 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tbsp of cinnamon, 2 tsp of brown sugar. Stir until apples are coated. Spread out evenly on a baking pan and bake for 20 minutes.
For the Chocolate – Hazelnut Spread
1. Soak 165g (5.8 oz) of hazelnuts in water for at least 8 hours prior to blending.
2. In a small saucepan, melt 1 cup of chocolate with 1/2 cup of margarine at low heat.
3. Drain the hazelnuts and in a food processor combine the nuts with 1 cup of plant-based milk and the melted chocolate. Blend until smooth.
For the Pumpkin Pancakes
1. In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups of flour, 398ml can of pumpkin, 1 tsp of vanilla, 1tsp of salt, 1 tbsp of cinnamon, 1tsp of nutmeg, 1 tsp of ground cloves, 1 1/2 cup plant-based milk, 1/4 cup agave or maple syrup, 1tsp of baking powder, 1/2 tsp of baking soda. Stir until smooth.
2. Melt some of the margarine in a frying pan at medium heat. Ladle some of the pancake mix onto the pan and cook until brown on both sides.