Category Archives: Chocolate

Basic Raw Chocolate Recipe

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It does seem to be all about chocolate this weekend. Must be the magnesium I’m craving! Lol! If you’re not sure what I mean read my last post here and it will explain everything! Anyway I’m going to get straight into it. This recipe is a basic raw chocolate recipe I use to make a variety of different truffles and other chocolate goodness. It comes courtesy of the New York Times Bestseller, Practical Paleo, by Diane Sanfilipo, BS, NC. If you have not checked her out please do. She is a leader in the paleo-sphere! I also use my own recipe, which is nut-free too. You can find it here.

Recipe

Makes 10 chocolates

Ingredients

2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted

2 tbsp. almond butter

3 tbsp. coconut butter

2 tbsp. raw cacao powder

1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 tsp. pure maple syrup

Cacao and/or coconut for dusting truffles in

Method

1. Combine all ingredients in a small-medium sized bowl, stirring until forms a smooth paste. It will be quite runny. Add in any of the extra ingredients you may want to use at this stage (see below for suggestions).

2. Place bowl in fridge for 20 minutes or until mixture starts to firm up enough to roll into balls or shape into rounds.

3. Shape chocolate into desired shapes and roll in cacao or coconut and return to fridge.

4. Store in fridge but take out 5 minutes before you eat them to allow them to soften slightly.

Variations

Add  3tbsp. of shredded coconut, 1 tbsp. of goji berries and 1 tbsp. of cacao nibs

Add slivered almonds and fresh raspberries.

Add 2 tsp. of mint extract for an after dinner mint chocolate.

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Chocolate Therapy

cacao

So I am doing the city to surf tomorrow! For those of you not from Sydney this is an annual 14 km running race that starts from the CBD and ends at Bondi Beach. I am totally unprepared as I signed up only 2 weeks ago and I have never run this far in my life! I am more of a swimmer than runner. The longest distance I have run is 8km and in the past year I have gone for a run probably 5 times, 4 of which were in the last 2 weeks lol! But hey, it has been on my bucket list for years and it just felt like the right time to do it! I’m not in it to win it, just to have some fun. It’s a bit late for tips for tomorrow but if you have any please share as I plan to do the bridge run in September (thankfully this is only 9km). How do you prepare for a relatively long run?

Now you’re probably wondering what has running got to do with chocolate? Well there is one more set back. This week I hurt my calf while running and I still do not seem to be able to run. Jog maybe but not for long. So it looks like I may be walking all the way to Bondi! And no I do not mean I have been drowning my sorrows with chocolate but it has played a role in my attempt at recovery.

So how do you help calf muscles recover? My wonderful trainer at Enliven Fitness gave me some simple yet valuable advice to rectify a calf injury: rest, stretch, heat, hydration and diet. Rest means I have not run but kept it moving with my walks to work. Stretching means I have stretched it out every night and lay my calf on my lacrosse ball to really release the localised pain in my calf muscles. Heat means I have applied heat with hot baths with Epsom salts and deep heat at night. Having a bath before stretching is especially helpful too as it warms the muscles up, allowing for deeper stretches.

My trainer advised that staying Hydrated is also very important which I am doing by drinking 2.5 L of water per day with a pinch of Celtic sea salt to aid absorption and drinking fresh coconut water after training. For my diet I should be increasing my magnesium intake by taking a magnesium supplement but I have run out. I remembered though that cacao is high in magnesium, which upon researching online I found that I was right. So whoopee!!! An excuse to eat chocolate! No seriously while it does sound tempting to eat chocolate every night this is not what I did, as chocolate also contains lots of sugar! Which we all know is not good for you.

The highest level of magnesium is found in raw cacao, however on its own this is very bitter and astringent. So I thought up some simple ways to eat raw cacao but still enjoy it. All of the recipes are gluten, grain and processed sugar-free and if you omit the dairy they are vegan and paleo-friendly too.
Every morning I made a delicious hot cacao drink instead of a coffee. This was great to have with my breakfast or for morning tea and with the coconut milk it is vegan and paleo-friendly. It is so simple too:

hot cacao

Just heat my choice of milk (full fat dairy or coconut milk are my choices) and whisk in 1 tbsp. of raw cacao. Pour it into a milk frother, froth it up or just pour it straight into the your mug. I like it like this but if that’s too bitter, you can sweeten it with cinnamon and/or maple syrup, or honey.

Now through my research I did find that the best combination for magnesium and hydration is coconut and raw cacao, so I also made my coco-berry power smoothie for breakfast, using the cacao variation. With the coconut water this is extremely hydrating and is paleo-friendly too! For a cheeky dessert I made a simple yet delicious raw coconut chocolate mousse. This is a paleo and vegan friendly dessert, so enjoy without the guilt!

See below for recipe:

 mousse

Serves 2

Ingredients
1 can of coconut milk, refrigerated over night
4 tsp. raw cacao
2 tsp. maple syrup (optional)
Raspberries, mint and/or bananas to serve
Toasted shredded coconut and/or cacao nibs and mint leaves to garnish

Method

1. Take coconut milk out of the fridge and do not shake it. Open the can and scoop the separated coconut cream from the top into a separate jar and pour the remaining liquid into another jar.

2.Measure out 8 tbsp. of the cream into small bowl.

3. Add raw cacao and 1 tbsp. of the coconut liquid to the coconut cream and mix to combine. Add the maple syrup if you are using it (I don’t use it but for some people it is a bit too bitter without it). Add more liquid if the mousse is too dry or more cream if it is too runny.

4. Return to fridge for 1 hour.

5. Serve mousse with fruit and garnish of choice.

Variations

Mix some crushed raspberries and lime zest through the mousse.

Drizzle some raw chocolate through the cold mousse that has been in the fridge. Chunks should form throughout the mousse.

Decadent Chocolate Cups

IMG_3185 If you’re looking for a treat for mother’s day. These hit the spot. Super decadent chocolatey goodness but no processed sugar or lecithin in sight! They are also vegan and Paleo friendly. I have given you  the basic recipe which you can use to play around with different flavours or you could just make the almond butter cups (pictured). I have a few other variations that I’m working on, which I will add as I make sure the recipes are blog worthy. Some possibilities are raspberry coconut and cacao rocky road, walnut butter cups, pistachio and mint or just the all time favourite coconut rough! Would love to know if you try any of them or if you make up your own creations! Let me know how you go!

Basic Chocolate Recipe

Makes about 12 mini sized chocolates and 1 portion of chocolate for the other variations.

Ingredients

1/4 cup coconut butter

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup raw cacao

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 – 4 tbsp. coconut nectar

Method

1. Combine raw cacao, vanilla, coconut oil and coconut nectar in a small bowl and mix to combine until no lumps. Add coconut butter and mash together with a fork until forms a paste.

2. Pour mixture into mini or medium silicon/paper cupcake moulds (or if you have them, use chocolate moulds) and place in the fridge for 1 hour or until set.

3. To serve take out of their wrappers/moulds and place on a platter. Nice with a warm chai or coffee or a glass of full bodied red wine.

Almond Butter Cups

Ingredients

1 portion of basic chocolate

3 tbsp. almond butter

1 tbsp. coconut oil

small pinch of Celtic sea salt

Method

1. Divide half of the chocolate mixture between your chosen moulds. Make sure it covers the base adequately. If it is too thin the chocolate may break after it is set. Place in fridge to set.

2. In a small bowl mix almond butter coconut oil and salt together until well combined. Divide between the chocolate filled moulds, to cover the layer of chocolate.  This is the middle layer that will be the filling.

2. Pour remaining chocolate mixture over the almond paste and return to the fridge for 1 hour or until set.

 More Variations being tested, so watch this space!..

Bitter-Sweet Vegan Chocolate Truffles

If you follow me on instagram, you would have seen some experimenting going on in my kitchen last night. I was working on a healthier version of the sweet potato chocolate truffles I made earlier this year. The older version was a a bit of a cheat as it used chocolate, which had processed sugar and some milk solids in it. They were delicious and I don’t mind eating chocolate as a treat but  I wanted to challenge myself to make a true vegan and paleo version. I guess just to see if I could but also, of course, for the health benefits. I didn’t use any recipes so this was a true experiment! You can use the ganache` mixture to make truffles or as icing for a cake, like my paleo chocolate cake. For this deliouse ganache`  I used cacao butter, cocoa, dates, coconut flour and sweet potato and boy are the truffles made from it delicious! A great addition to the end of a meal or to accompany a coffee, tea or a nice glass of full-bodied red wine. I hope you enjoy them.

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Recipe

Ingredients

1 medium sweet potato

120 g raw cacao butter

4 tbsp cocoa, plus about 1 cup extra for rolling the truffles in

3 medjool dates, roughly chopped

1 tbsp coconut flour

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Bake sweet potato whole with skin on for 30-40 minutes or until it is soft and squishy to touch. Set aside to cool enough for you to peel it.

2. Place cacao butter in glass or metal bowl set over a small pot of boiling water and melt gently. Once it is melted, whisk in the cocoa.

3. Peel the sweet potato and place the flesh in a food processor with the dates. Pulse a couple of times to combine. Add the warm cacao butter mixture and pulse to combine.

4. Pour mixture out into a medium mixing bowl and sprinkle over the coconut flour. Mix together and if using as icing on a cake spread over the cooled cake. If using for truffles, set aside for 10-15 minutes to cool and start to set.

5. To make the truffles, place the remaining cocoa on a plate for rolling the truffles in. Roll the truffles into small bite sized balls and then roll in the cocoa. Place in a container or on a plate large enough to let all the truffles sit flat. Leave covered in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set.

6. Serve straight from the fridge with your chosen beverage or as a dessert plate with some bliss balls.

Paleo Chocolate Cake

IMG_2633These little cakes are absolutely divine! Being paleo means they are sugar, dairy and grain free so they are also a relatively healthy treat. The ganache` icing is not quite paleo but there is no sugar or dairy added, just what is in the chocolate. The icing compliments the cake so well, I could not use a different one!I cooked this with kids, so it is super simple. They ate it all up too, which means it must also be delicious, as we all know kids can be the toughest and most honest critics. Their parents loved it too making it a winner all round!

You can cut the cake into little baby cakes like I did or if your cooking it for a birthday you might like to keep it as a whole cake.

Recipe adapted from my favourite blogs paleospirit.com and live right be healthy.

Since writing this recipe I have created a vegan and paleo version of the ganache`. You can get the recipe here.

Recipe

Serves 10 small slices.

1/3 cup coconut flour, plus 1-2 tbsp extra if needed

1/4 cup good quality cacao powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp celtic sea salt

3 eggs

1/4 cup coconut oil

Butter or oil for greasing cake tin

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup water

1 batch of sweet potato chocolate ganache`

1 punnet of strawberries, thinly sliced into rounds.

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180 C.
2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl: coconut flour, cacao powder, baking soda, salt. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with electric beater until pale, light and very fluffy. Try to make them as fluffy as possibly as this will create a light and moist cake but keep an eye on them as you don’t want to them either.

4. Add the oil, maple syrup, water and vanilla extract into the egg and continue to whisk until combined.

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5. Gradually pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir in gently to combine with a wooden or metal spoon. The batter should not be too runny but still fluffy and thick. You want it to be a batter that can pour out with the help of a spoon and scraper. If it is too runny add a tablespoon of coconut flour and if it is too thick add some more water, 1 tbsp at a time.

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6. Pour batter into prepared cake tin and spread it out evenly.

7. Bake for 15-20 minutes in a fan forced oven/20-25 min in a conventional or gas oven or until a skewer come sout clean.

8. Allow to cool in tin for 10 minutes and then on a wire rack until room temperature.

9. Cover cake with ganache`.

IMG_262010. Cut the edges off each side to make the cake even.

3. Top with strawberries.

4. Cut into small squares or serve as a whole cake with a bowl of creamy coconut ice cream to dollop next to each slice.

5. Enjoy!

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Sweet Potato ChocolateTruffles

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These truffles use the sweet potato chocolate ganache` in my previous recipe, with a few little changes to the ingredients. They make a great addition to any afternoon tea platter or a little after dinner sweetie. Wrap them up in a little foil and they are also a good pick-me-up to take to work! I am working on a paleo friendly version. I will keep you posted on my progress! In the meantime enjoy this version. Which may be a cheat but are super delicious for a little treat!

You can now find the recipe for the paleo and vegan version here.

Ingredients

1 cup sweet potato mashed (see method in sweet potato chocolate ganache` recipe)

200 g chocolate

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp honey

3 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

Cacao and desiccated coconut for rolling the truffle balls in.

Method

1. Gently melt chocolate in a metal or glass bowl over a pot of boiling water. You don’t want the water to be touching the bowl so put in about 1 inch of water. Set aside, once melted.

2. Puree` sweet potato in a food processor until there are no lumps and it is forming a smooth paste.IMG_2617

3. Add chocolate, maple syrup, honey, vanilla and coconut oil. Blend until combined.

4. Leave to cool, stirring occasionally until the mixture is thick enough to roll into balls.

6. Roll the ganache` into small bite sized balls.

7. Roll the balls in coconut or cacao.

8. Store in fridge for at least 2 hours. Serve straight from the fridge.

Sweet Potato Chocolate Ganache`

Ganache` is usually a beautiful combination of chocolate and cream that, when left to cool, forms a  decadent chocolate paste great for a rich icing or filling for cakes. This one though is a bit different as instead of cream it mixes sweet potato with the chocolate along with some clean natural sweeteners: honey, vanilla and maple syrup. It really is quite amazing how the combination of sweet potato pure` and chocolate creates the same rich but light mouth feel as the traditional recipe. I am working on a paleo and vegan version of this, which replaces chocolate with raw cacao and cacao butter, but for now this definitely does the trick. I hope you enjoy them!

Recipe

Makes enough icing to cover 2 of my Paleo chocolate cakes.

Ingredients

1 cup sweet potato mashed (see method below)

180 g chocolate

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp honey

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

Preparing the Sweet PotatoIMG_2584

1. Preheat Oven to 180 C.

2. Once oven is hot place the whole sweet potato (do not cut it or remove the skin) onto a baking tray and bake for 45 minutes or until very soft all the way through (test with a skewer).

3. Take sweet potato out of the oven and cool for 10 minutes.

4. Peel the baked sweet potato and mash the flesh in a bowl, measuring 1 cup of it for the ganache`.

Making the Ganche`

1. Gently melt chocolate in a metal or glass bowl over a pot of boiling water. You don’t want the water to be touching the bowl so put in about 1 inch of water. Set aside, once melted.

2. Place sweet potato in a food processor and pulse until it forms a smooth paste.

3. Add chocolate, maple syrup, honey, vanilla and coconut oil. Continue to pulse until combined.

4. Spread over cakes or in between cake layers.

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