The first thing to know about this fudge is that it isn't fudge. That's a little bit irritating of me...but bear with me. According to wikipedia, fudge is made from three basic ingredients: butter, milk, and sugar. I left all three out of this recipe! But I still have the audacity to call it fudge. Just look at the texture of these! That is fudge! I don't care what Wikipedia has to say about it. Here’s how to make fudge the vegan way: Hazelnuts, Almonds, Cacao powder, Salt, and Dates. —Kathryn - The Scratch Artist
Line a 9 x 9 baking pan or dish with parchment paper.
Bake hazelnuts at 350F for 8-10 minutes. Watch them closely to prevent burning. If your hazelnuts still have their brown skins, peel them off once they have finished roasting. Don't worry about getting every last piece of skin off. (You can leave them raw if you prefer, roasting draws out the oil in the nut and makes it easier to transform them into a butter.)
While the nuts roast, blend one rounded cup of dates until they reach a paste consistency. Set aside. (I like to use 2 cups of dates anytime I am making date paste. Two cups gives the food processor something to dig into when it blends and I think the result is better, you will only need to use 1 cup worth of dates for this recipe, but you might want to blend 2 cups worth and reserve the extra for another project.)
Place slightly cooled hazelnuts, almonds, and salt into food processor. Blend until you have a nut butter consistency. This will take about 10 minutes and requires a bit of patience. Don't get discouraged, your powdery nuts will turn to a creamy, nut butter consistency, it just takes time.
Once you have a nut butter consistency, add in the cacao powder and blend until fully incorporated.
With the food processor on, drop in your date paste bit by bit. The mixture will become thicker and should clump together when pressed between your fingers.
To add a final bit of creaminess, add 1/4 cup of smooth almond butter and blend for another minute or so.
Scoop your fudge into your prepared pan and loosely spread so that the fudge is evenly distributed across the pan. Do not firmly press down.
Pour chocolate chips evenly across the top of the fudge and now press down firmly creating an even and compact top. The fudge will be warm and the chocolate will start to melt into the fudge (this is a good thing!).
Sprinkle your espresso grounds evenly over the top, using your hands to distribute.
Place a piece of parchment paper snuggly over the top of the fudge and place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Remove and serve. Store, covered in the refrigerator.