Raw chocolate brownie hearts


First published in 2016
Share recipe

Traditional chocolate brownies require an oven and a fair bit of sugar and butter with perhaps a few chocolate chunks thrown in for good measure. These raw chocolate brownie hearts have all the yumminess of a cooked brownie but they require no cooking, are super easy to make and are much better for you.

The sugars in these brownies take the forms of maple syrup (which is not raw but rich in minerals), Medjool dates and coconut sugar. Coconut sugar has a lower GI than refined sugar, helping to level out blood sugars and the body to be able to metabolise fat more efficiently.

Coconut sugar, if you’ve never used it before, is sometimes called coconut palm sugar. It has a beautiful molasses-like flavour, a little like muscovado sugar and comes from the sap of the coconut tree. Coconut palm sugar is not to be confused with palm sugar which is made from a different type of palm tree.

Let's be honest about it. All decent brownies should contain a fair amount of chocolate and I think that this is pretty non-negotiable. I like to use raw cacao powder (which is unroasted) but a good quality, strong cocoa powder will also work in terms of flavour.

I also use raw chocolate bars in my brownies and as luck would have it, I have just produced a raw bean to raw bar fine chocolate in collaboration with Mayhawk Artisan Chocolate, so I happen to have a few bars of the 71% plain laying around the house. Chocolate can be made from either using melted cocoa mass or produced straight from the bean, and ours uses the latter technique.

Raw chocolate, or cacao as it is often called in raw food circles, is full of antioxidants but when the bean is roasted it loses many of these. It is then called cocoa rather than cacao. So, if you are looking for a super nutritious brownie, do ensure that your ingredients include a good quality chocolate bar (either raw or roasted), which isn’t laden with refined sugar and has a very short list of ingredients.




  • 195g of walnuts
  • 195g of pecan nuts
  • 110g of cocoa powder, or raw cacao powder
  • 3 tbsp of coconut sugar
  • 4 Medjool dates, stones removed and roughly chopped
  • 30g of chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil, melted
  • 1 pinch of salt
Add the walnuts, pecans, cocoa powder, coconut sugar, dates and a pinch of salt to a food processor. Pulse the mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs – the dates will make it slightly sticky
Transfer the nut mixture to a bowl and stir through the finely chopped chocolate so you have evenly distributed chunks. Add the vanilla extract, maple syrup and melted coconut butter, mixing thoroughly until it comes together as a stiff dough
If the mixture is not sticking together, you may need to add a little water to help it bind – add a teaspoon at a time, being careful not to make it too wet, it should be a firm, stiff dough
Line a baking tin (approximately 20cm square) with greaseproof paper, leaving an overhang to help you lift it out. Press the mixture firmly into the tin, using the back of a spoon to make sure it is in an even layer. Transfer to the fridge to chill and set for a few hours
Once the mixture has firmed up, use the greaseproof paper to help you turn the mixture out on to chopping board. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to stamp out hearts from the mixture. Any leftover dough can be squashed back into a ball and rolled out again to cut more shapes
If not eating immediately, the brownies will keep for 5 days in the fridge wrapped well or stored in a sealed container. Otherwise the brownies can also be frozen for up to a month
First published in 2016
Share recipe