14.9.12

home-made chocolates & a chocolate nut crunch recipe (sugar free, of course)

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen one of my latest sugar-free treat inventions:

choc nut crunch yum yum

Thing is, I have a real obsession with concocting the Perfect Chocolate Snack that's easy to make at home. I want something that smells and tastes and feels like chocolate. But without the sugar.

I came up with these, and I reckon they’re pretty close.

Home-made chocolates

my home-made chocolates, with roasted almonds

This recipe uses raw cacao butter, which is the edible fat of the chocolate bean. Cacao butter is packed full of skin loving vitamin E and healthy essential fatty acids omega 6 and omega 9 (which is also in olive oil). It looks like this:

cacao butter, via mynewroots

The fragrance of cacao butter takes you to a whole other place. I’ve never smelt anything like it. It makes your brain explode with pleasure. Melted, it’s almost unbearably good. You can find it at any decent health food shop (I bought the Loving Earth brand). You can also use cacao butter to make your own lip balm and moisturising cream (just slap it straight on, I say). Apparently it also makes for a very sensual massage lotion. So says the internet.

So anyway, to make the chocolates...

You’ll need:

2 tablespoons raw cacao butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
Tiny pinch of salt
1 ice cube tray or chocolate mould

Makes 16 chocolates (in an ice cube tray).

To make:
Melt the cacao butter and coconut oil over a very low heat, being very careful not to burn. Once melted, take off the heat and stir in the cacao powder and the pinch of salt. When mixture is nice and smooth, pour into ice cube tray or mould and pop in the freezer to set (at least 20 minutes).

Store in the freezer.

To jazz up your chocolates:
That’s the basic chocolate mixture. There must be a gazillion ways to flavour it, so play around with different ingredients you fancy. I toasted some chopped almonds in a moderate oven for about 10 minutes until golden, then popped these in the ice cube trays before pouring over the melted chocolate mixture. It was heaven. I’m thinking hazelnuts would also be great.

Other optional flavour ideas:
Chilli, peppermint oil, ground cardamom, orange zest, frozen berries, coffee, peppermint gum, rosewater or rose essential oil, dried lavender, shredded coconut, vanilla bean, cinnamon...

 
Chocolate nut crunch

Really similar recipe, slightly different presentation, no cacao butter. This recipe is more about the nuts than the chocolate mixture.

my chocolate nut crunch
You'll need:

1 cup raw mixed nuts (I like almonds, hazelnuts, cashews and walnuts), chopped roughly
2 tablespoons coconut oil + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (organic, grass-fed or biodynamic), melted
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder (I like my crunch quite chocolately, so I use 2 tablespoons, you might like more or less)
1 small pinch of salt
a sheet of baking paper
shallow baking tray or small roasting dish

You might like to play with one or more of these additions:
Handful coconut flakes
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch chilli powder
Pinch vanilla powder

To make: 
Preheat oven to 140 degrees celcius. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, then spread on the baking paper-lined tray or roasting dish and pop in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until nuts are golden brown.

Remove from the oven and pop tray in the freezer immediately to set and ensure nice crunchy nuts. Once the crunch has set, break into bit-sized pieces and store in a jar in the freezer.

Give these a shot and let me know how you like them. And do share any amazing flavour combos you come up with!

3 comments :

  1. Bless you for working on the perfect chocolate snack recipe! I really enjoy your blog; so happy to have found it. Thankyou.x

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  2. Both of these recipes sound delicious so I guess I'll have to try them! Love good chocolate. Thank you.

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