Since my next class 'Raw Handmade Chocolate' is happening this Sunday, I've been absorbed in everything chocolate recently...
Nothing unusual really, but more so than ever, especially since I now have a permanent recipe taster / a handy 2 year old roomie that loves raw chocolate!
(You MUST check in on Instagram @tanyasliving later today for a video of her approving the below recipe! Here's a preview...)
Random side note: While I was listing the below cacao facts, I contemplated on telling you that during the Aztec times, cacao beans were used as currency. Ended up flagging that one (due to lack of wow factor) but I still had a good chuckle because Lake's word for chocolate is 'money'! Not even kidding. I once brought home dark chocolate coins and they left such a lasting impression that she holds out her hand saying 'mama, money peeease' like, all. the. time! Pretty hilarious until you're out in public and strangers do a double take, then stop to observe what sort of parent has a kid begging for cash before she can talk.
SOME LITTLE KNOWN CHOCOLATE FACTS
CACAO FACT #1
Just like peanut butter (stoneground peanuts), cacao paste (stoneground cacao beans) also has a 50/50 ratio of fats to solids. However, unlike peanut butter, which is liquid at room temperature, cacao paste is rock solid. This is how you can get a thin chocolate bar to stay in one piece and even require force to snap in half.
CACAO FACT #2
A woman often experiences cramps in her leg muscles during pregnancy. That's a sure sign of magnesium deficiency. The same woman also often craves chocolate. That's your clever body telling you that chocolate contains lots of magnesium, so you should definitely eat it! More on cravings will be covered in my March 11th class, but I thought it's about time you had a good excuse to NEVER say 'no' to dark chocolate again :)
CACAO FACT #3
Raw chocolate powder contains over 40 times more antioxidants than blueberries! There's a handy system called ORAC which measures the ability of antioxidants in foods to absorb free radicals and Cacao's ORAC score is 98,000 per 100g versus 2,400 in blueberries.
[A little bit on free radicals: "The body is under constant attack from oxidative stress. Oxygen in the body splits into single atoms with unpaired electrons. Electrons like to be in pairs, so these atoms, called free radicals, scavenge the body to seek out other electrons so they can become a pair. This causes damage to cells, proteins and DNA. Free radicals are associated with human disease, including cancer, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and many others. They also may have a link to ageing." - LiveScience]
Mini Raw Chocolate and Orange Cupcakes
For the cupcakes
- 1 cup almond meal (what is left after making almond milk)
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts, soaked overnight
- juice of 2-3 oranges
- 20 pitted dates, soaked overnight in above orange juice
- 1/2 ripe avocado
- 3 heaped tbsp cacao powder
- 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
For the icing
- 80g orange infused raw chocolate (buy at the store or see below for recipe)
- 100g (almost 1 cup cashews), soaked 4-8 hours
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 2 tbsp coconut nectar or maple syrup
- zest of 1 orange
- Set cashews and hazelnuts to soak in water, using separate bowls. In a third bowl stir the dates in with the orange juice, making sure they are well covered or at least coated. If there's not enough juice to cover dates, make more juice or keep stirring over a few hours.
- Squeeze the dates a little (keeping plenty of moisture in) and place them into a food processor. [Keep the sweet date/orange juice in the fridge to add to yummy smoothies later.] Add avocado and cacao powder. Process to a paste.
- Add all the remaining ingredients and process again for 2-4 minutes. You should get a thick dry mousse type of mixture.
- Take a spoonful, roll it in your hands, pop into mini muffin/ chocolate cases and gently press down so it forms a flat surface and looks like a baked cupcake. Repeat till you run out of mixture. Transfer to the fridge while preparing the frosting.
- Grate the raw chocolate and gently melt it in a double boiler. Transfer to a blender.
- Add remaining frosting ingredients and blend on high, using a tamper (or pulse, until smooth).
- Transfer the mixture into a piping bag and pipe in a spiral motion inwards. Transfer to the fridge to set for 30 minutes. Store in the fridge.
For the basic orange chocolate
- 45g (1/2 cup) raw cacao powder
- 90g (1/2 cup melted) cacao butter
- 1/4 cup maple syrup or less to taste
- 1/3 tsp Himalayan salt
- 10 drops sweet orange essential oil
- Grate the cacao butter and melt it gently in a double boiler.
- Add cacao powder and stir out the clumps with a fork or a hand whisk.
- Take away from heat and add the remaining ingredients. Continue whisking till the chocolate sauce is smooth and free from bubbles.
- Pour into forms and transfer to the fridge to set. Store in the fridge at all times.
P.S. This Sunday's workshop will be the only Raw Handmade Chocolate class I hold all year. Don't miss out, book your spot here>>
P.P.S. For more simple yet delicious raw chocolate recipes, check out my eBook 'Seduced- Raw Chocolate Recipes to get very excited for' here>>