Anyone who knows me will know that I have a SEVERE WEAKNESS for dark chocolate. I grew up (much the same as everyone else) absolutely in love with the Cadbury’s Purple Snack. Oh wait …. was it a blue snack or a purple snack? Well that in itself could be a whole blog post and has been the cause of many’s an argument/debate between my school friends over the years.
It’s safe to say that we agree to disagree, in much the same fashion as some of us say Santa and others Santy. And besides who actually eats Cadbury’s chocolate anymore? I have abandoned following year after year of continual disappointment……first the actual crumb……then the Roses……..and now the Crème eggs. Fait Accompli.
(The sacred substance is always there….no matter what the emergency or time of night. Pictured above in CUH A&E at 1am – a twix……but it may aswell have been a knight on a trusty steed)
So I have become quite the chocolate snob by the sounds of things…….but no! Not at all…..I guess my tastes have gone the same way as my body and mind. Aged!!! And Dark!!
So that brings me to my latest girl crush. Ella Woodward and her absolutely amazing website which you can see here. I have quite literally been cooking my way through it. As you can see below, 3rd born took quite the fancy to her Roasted Beet and Potato Soup.
(Shirley Temple Bar would be proud!!!)
It was on her site that I found inspiration for my latest indulgence. I simply adapted her amazing recipe for Candied Pecan Chocolate. And thus was born Red Hot Chilli Coconut Pecan Chocolate.
(My now Infamous IKEA (of course!!!) baking trolley – gets wheeled out to claps and cheers…….mostly by me!)
Why would you make your own chocolate I hear you ask? Well chocolate you buy in the shop is full of refined sugars & mostly devoid of anything that remotely resembles a nutrient. My feeling on treats is that if you eat it…..well enjoy it (what’s the point if not?) but also why not try eat a treat with some nutritional value as opposed to the one that is really just empty calories.
And so that brings me to Raw Cacao. I had thought this Cocoa like chocolately powder was simply a spelling mistake 12 months ago! However now I am aware (courtesy of the I Quit Sugar website here) that:
Raw Cacao is made from cold pressing unroasted cocoa beans – this keeps the living enzymes & removes the fat (cacao butter). It is therefore more nutritious compared to it’s more commonly found, roasted, counterpart Cocoa.
Benefits of raw cacao include:
- reduces risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke & blood pressure;
- protects your nervous system;
- guards against toxins – may reduce risk of certain cancers;
- boost your mood – raw cacao contains phenylethlamine which is the same brain chemical released when we experience feelings of deep love!!!!!!!;
- rich in minerals – magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, copper and manganese.
Surely by now you are convinced? It is more expensive than regular Cocoa but as Ella points out on her blog, you need less of it to achieve the same chocolately effect and thus your pack lasts longer.
Red Hot Chilli Coconut Pecan Chocolate – Adapted from Ella
100g Candied Pecans (I used 75g – that was the amount in the pack)
100ml Maple syrup
1 tablespoon Cococnut Oil
1 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 200C.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper and spread pecans on it.
- Put ingredients above into pan and heat gently until liquid.
- Pour over nuts and roast in oven for 10 mins – stir once or twice.
175g Cacao butter (I got mine on amazon but available in Holland & Barrett)
150ml Maple syrup (I get the Tesco own brand pictured – least expensive one!!)
Pinch of salt
100g raw Cacao
Goji berries, desiccated coconut and dried chilli flakes to taste.
- Melt the Cacao butter in a bowl over a pan of water until liquid.
- Pour melted Cacao butter into mixing bowl with cacao powder, maple syrup and salt.
- Allow to thicken for a few minutes.
- Pour onto a new tray lined with baking paper and allow to spread until it is about 1-2cm thick.
- Sprinkle with candied pecans, goji berries, dessicated coconut and chilli flakes.
- Set in Freezer for 2 hours.
Break it and enjoy!!!!!
I keep mine in the freezer as it doesn’t set rock solid and I love it cold.
I promise this is worth making – guilt free chocolate ………. just in time for Valentines!!!
Yours in everything chocolatey,