Intensely Dark Chocolate Bites
This recipe was pie-shaped to begin with, based on the recipe “Dark Chocolate Ganache Tart” from the book Raw Food Real World.
But, as soon as we tasted it, I turned them into smaller “bites,” because they are so RICH. Here’s how you can make them for yourself:
For the “filling”, blend:
1 cup cocoa or carob powder (I used about 1/2 of each)
1/2 cup coconut oil (some call it coconut butter)
1 cup agave nectar, honey, or maple syrup (I used 1/2 raw honey and 1/2 raw agave)
I use this funny little “small blending jar,” which makes me think of the “Magic Bullet,” but you could try a regular blender or food processor.
Empty the thick chocolately mixture into a bowl and set aside.
For the crust: Blend or process about 1 cup of almonds (okay, so I didn’t measure, but I think it was about a cup). Oh, and these almonds had been soaked for about 8 hours and then dehydrated a few days earlier. It should look like the photo below when it’s done. If you use a processor, it probably won’t be this fine, but it will still work quite well:
Add a pinch of sea salt, about 1/2 Tbsp. liquid sweetener (I used agave nectar), about 1 Tbsp. of coconut oil, and 1 tsp. cocoa or carob powder to the almonds and mix well. There are so many options for this crust. You could use pecans instead of almonds, soaked dates instead of honey or agave, more or less cocoa powder…do whatever sounds best to you!
Press the crust mixture evenly into the bottom of a pie pan or cookie sheet.
Pour the chocolate mixture on the crust, and spread evenly with one of those neat plastic spatulas. Refrigerate for at least 2 or 3 hours.
Use a sharp knife to cut it into these cute little squares. The cuts seem to come out cleaner when you wipe off the knife and wet with warm water between each cut.
I put a little dollop of cashew cream on each bite by pretending that a plastic baggie was a pastry bag. Then, I sprinkled some extra cocoa powder on the top of each square. I don’t remember exactly how I made this cashew cream, but it was something like this: 1. Soak cashews overnight. 2. Blend cashews with a bit of vanilla and agave nectar. Taste-test and add more sweetener until it tastes like light fluffy cream. mmm. I think you might need to have a pretty powerful blender to make this cashew cream smooth. But go ahead and try it and tell me how it worked out!
Here’s a close-up of these tasty little squares. Boy, are they rich and creamy…
Coconut oil: Rich in short- and medium-chain fatty acids, which are quickly metabolized and used as energy. This means they are less likely to cause weight gain. The fatty acids lauric acid and capric acid are transformed in the body to substances that have antimicrobial, antiviral, and antiprotozoal properties. It is NOT true that the saturated fat in coconut is bad, and it does not increase cholesterol.
Cocoa powder: Okay, so I’m not really sure what to say about cocoa powder, except that it has some vitamins, protein, and is a good source of iron.
Carob powder: Commonly used as an alternative to cocoa powder, because it does not have the stimulants (caffeine and theobromine) that cocoa has. It has many vitamins and minerals, including A, B, and D.
Raw honey: This is unheated and unprocessed honey, which means it retains all enzymes, antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. It doesn’t affect blood sugar level as much as refined white sugar.
Agave nectar (raw): A low glycemic sweetener, which means it has less effect on blood sugar. It is very sweet, and you don’t need to use much. Also, it is not processed with chemicals.
Almonds, soaked: High in healthy fats and protein. Nuts are said to be easier to digest when they have been soaked first. Also, soaking is supposed to make the nutrients more available to our bodies.
Sea salt: Unlike refined table salt, sea salt retains minerals.