We all love to indulge a little over the Easter Break, and why not, life is for living. But do you really want to be putting all that refined sugar, emulsifiers, bad fats, E numbers, flavourings and colourings into your body?
Here are three healthy treats from Victoria Norton at Training for Chocolate, who knows a thing or two about cacao cravings… All easy, all delicious and all hitting that sweet spot with simple honest real food.
These are all gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free. So, relatively guilt-free too, right?
HEALTHY BOUNTY BARS
For the coconut filling:
250g bag of desiccated coconut
400ml can of coconut cream
2-4 tablespoons rice malt syrup
(depending on how sweet you like to go)
4 tablespoons coconut oil
For the chocolate coating:
150g cacao butter, broken into small pieces
¼ cup coconut oil
1 cup cacao powder
1/3 cup maple syrup
First, the coconut filling. Mix all the coconut filling ingredients in a pan over a low heat. Then pour into a small slice tin (about 25x15 cm) that’s been lined with baking paper. Flatten the mixture out (I put a sheet of baking paper over the top and then press down gently with a chopping board.
Place the tin in the freezer for about four hours. When it’s solid, cut it into little rectangles and put these back into the freezer for at least an hour, ideally overnight. They need to be hard and cold when you’re covering with the chocolate so that the filling stays in its rectangular shape and doesn’t melt and get messy. When you’re ready to make the chocolate, gently melt all the ingredients in a pan over a low heat. Start heating the cacao butter first as it takes longer to melt. Then add the coconut oil and maple syrup, stirring to combine. Then add the cacao powder and salt and whisk (or blitz for a minute in the food processor) so that the mixture is nice and smooth. Set aside to cool a little before using. Place some baking paper on a tray. Take one little coconut rectangle at a time and dunk it in the chocolate mixture, fully coating. Rest each one on the baking paper. Yes, it gets a little messy!
Pop them all in the freezer for the chocolate to set. It should only take a matter of minutes. There should be enough chocolate mixture left over to do a double coat of chocolate. Once you’ve done that second coat, back in the freezer they go to set again.
To finish them off, you can sprinkle some more desiccated coconut over the top or even drizzle with some more chocolate, although they’re totally delicious just as they are.
Store in an airtight container in the freezer.
CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CUPS
This recipe makes about 24 mini muffin size Cups. If you have the silicone moulds, you don’t even need the paper cases.
1 cup coconut oil
1 cup raw cacao powder
2 tablespoons rice malt syrup
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt Peanut butter
– make sure it’s one of the healthy brands that have no added sugar or nasties.
Melt the coconut oil in a heat-proof basin over a pan with a little simmering water. When it’s all melted, add the other ingredients (apart from the peanut butter) and stir until smooth and runny.
With a teaspoon, put a little of the chocolate mixture in the bottom of each paper case (you don’t need to, but for ease, I put mine in a mini muffin tray). I use around two teaspoons’ worth (not the measuring teaspoons, the ones you use to eat with). Then transfer to the freezer to set.
When the chocolate has set, bring out the tray and add a little peanut butter to the middle of each one. About half a teaspoon. Then cover the peanut butter with more chocolate and pop back in the freezer to set. Shouldn’t take long, an hour maximum. And that’s it.
Store them in the fridge or freezer.
CHOCOLATE MOUSSE GUMMIES
1/3 cup cold water
3 ½ tablespoons gelatin powder
270ml can coconut milk or cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
Put the water in a medium sized bowl and add the gelatin, stirring straight away until it’s all dissolved.
Set aside for a few minutes while you heat up the other ingredients.
Mix the coconut cream/milk, vanilla, maple syrup and cacao in a small pan, and heat gently, stirring, until almost boiling.
Just before you pour the hot liquid onto the gelatin mixture, break up the gelatin into smaller pieces so it melts more easily.
Pour the hot chocolate mixture into the bowl with the gelatin and stir until all the gelatin has dissolved, no lumps.
Then simply pour into a glass or plastic container, or gummy moulds, and put into the fridge to set.
Once set (a few hours), pop out of moulds or cut into squares and store in the fridge for a week or so.