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EASTER EGGS

danielle copperman

I love how pretty much all traditional holidays and celebrations revolve around food. Christmas and thanksgiving are parties of meat, sweets and puddings. Easter begins with a day devoted to pancakes, a phase of fasting and then an entire weekend (if not longer) of hunting for chocolate and general feasting. Birthdays are mainly about the cake, and about 50% of any presents given and received are in food form. I won’t even go into Halloween…

Nowadays, I don’t eat much chocolate and if I do it is either dark or raw. I love chocolate so much and will never be able to understand people who despise it. But since I now avoid eating refined sugar and dairy products, my intimate relationship with Galaxy has come to an end and I have replaced my former favourites with Raw Cacao. I love Raw Chocolate bars more than regular ones, raw chocolate covered nuts and goji berries and Raw Cacao Powder used for hot chocolate and baking. One of the beauties of Raw Cacao is that it is so versatile yet so easy to use. I make my own raw chocolates out of Cacao Butter and Cacao powder and use both ingredients in baking. Cacao is the purest form of chocolate and is totally unprocessed. You can taste the difference if you were to compare it with regular chocolate, and now when I eat something like Galaxy, it just doesn’t taste right! Cacao has a much richer taste and is more bitter, like dark chocolate. You can reduce the bitter taste my adding your own natural sweeteners, but the intense, dark flavour will still remain. Cacao is full of essential vitamins and minerals, high in a pure form of energy, completely unprocessed, dairy free, sugar free and gluten free, and full of antioxidants. If ever you needed an excuse to eat chocolate, use all of the above to justify working cacao into your diet every single day.

With Easter coming up I’m sure a few of you are feeling rather passive towards the thought of the family feasting and the easter egg hunting. It is for that reason I have developed my simple raw chocolate recipe into something a little more special. Raw chocolate is so easy to make that it came as no surprise that making it into eggs shells wasn’t too complicated either. Ive come up with my favourite quick and easy puddings and snacks to fill these delicious eggs with, so that you can get a huge dose of nutrients - on top of what you’ll obtain from the cacao alone - instead of having to give in to sugar-coated, processed chocolates which will only do you damage and make you feel rubbish. All it takes is a little time and effort, so put aside a few hours of an evening this week and get creative.

FOR THE EGG SHELLS

INGREDIENTS
200g Cacao Butter (coconut oil works, too)
10 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
Pinch of Salt
1 Teaspoon Organic Vanilla Extract
1-2 Teaspoons Agave, Date Syrup or Coconut Palm Sugar

1 Teaspoon Cinnamon or Maca, optional
1 Teaspoon Chia Seeds, optional
Essential Orange Oil Extract, optional

METHOD

Melt the cacao butter in a heatproof bowl and set in a saucepan of boiling water. When more or less fully dissolved whisk in the cacao powder. When completely combined, add the other ingredients, whisking constantly. (Depending on your filling of choice you may not even need the sweetener in the shell - it’s really up to you). Once combined and everything is fully melted, set aside but leave the bowl in the hot water so the raw chocolate doesn’t thicken or begin to set again.

Take your easter egg mould (you want something like this preferably - http://www.chocchick.com/easter-egg-decorative-plastic-mould-11-medium-easter-eggs-with-bow-design.html). I used small-medium moulds as i wanted to experiment with several fillings, but if you know what you like, have a go at making some larger ones). 
Using a silicone pastry brush, paint a layer of chocolate on the inside of the mould. Set in the fridge for 10-15 minutes, and when fully set, add another coat of raw chocolate. Continue this process at least 3,4 or 5 times, until the inside of the egg becomes thicker and the sides look sturdy. When completely set, turn the moulds upside down so they are lying face down and flat on a surface and press gently on the raised side of the mould to pop the eggs out.

THE EGG FILLINGS

CASHEW & COCONUT CHIA PUDDING

INGREDIENTS
1/2 Cup Soaked Cashews
1 Cup Coconut or Almond Milk
8 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
2 Teaspoons Organic Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon Agave, Date Syrup or Coconut Palm Sugar
-
1 Tablespoon Cacao Powder, optional
1 Teaspoon Maca or superfood of choice, optional

METHOD
Place the cashews, coconut or almond milk, vanilla, sweetener and superfoods, if using, in a blender and blend for 2-3 minutes. In a small-medium bowl, place the chia seeds. When the milk mixture is completely smooth and all the ingredients are combined, pour over the chia seeds. Use a fork to whisk the seeds around in the milk until everything is covered. Set aside and continue to stir regularly - every 5 minutes to begin with - to ensure the seeds absorb the liquid evenly. If the mixture become too thick, add a little extra coconut or almond milk. However, you don’t want runny chia seed pudding in the egg of it will be impossibly messy to eat! So i’d advise making the pudding a little thicker than you normally would.
When the mixture begins to thicken and the seeds become softer, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for half an hour, or as long as possible before filling the eggs.
Take one heaped teaspoon of the pudding to fill a small egg shell, or about 2-3 tablespoons if you are making a larger egg with a bigger mould.
Seal the sides and set in the fridge.

COCONUT ‘CREAM EGG’

INGREDIENTS
1 Bar Creamed Coconut (i use biona)
1 Passionfruit

METHOD
This one’s easy. Take your bar of creamed coconut and keep it in its plastic film. Place it in a medium bowl and cover with boiling hot water. Leave for 5-10 minutes, and when it is cool enough to touch, massage the bar to ensure it becomes fully dissolved and liquid. Cut the top of the film out and take a teaspoonful of the mixture, placing it in one half of your prepared raw chocolate egg shells. Next, gently positional some fresh passionfruit towards the top end of the egg shell. Seal the egg with the other half of the raw chocolate shell. You’ll bite it open and the flavours and colours with look like a cream egg, taste like a solero, and feel like an antioxidant overload. 

ALMOND & CASHEW BUTTER

INGREDIENTS
1 Cup Almonds
1/2 Cup Cashews (optional - can keep it purely almond butter if preferred)
Pinch or Himalayan Pink Salt

OPTIONAL
2 Teaspoons Desiccated Coconut
1 Teaspoon Cacao Nibs
1 Teaspoon Organic Vanilla Extract
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Agave, Date syrup or Coconut Palm Sugar

METHOD
Place the nuts in the oven at 150c for 10-15 minutes. Allow them to cool for a few minutes, then add them to your food processor and blend on full speed for 5-10 minutes. Scrape down the sides regularly and get beneath the blade to ensure all of the almonds blend evenly. After 3 minutes, add the vanilla, salt, cinnamon and sweetener (if using) and blend again. The mixture should become compact and paste-like. Continue to scrape the sides of the food processor and blend the mixture until everything is combined and the mixture becomes smoother. Place in a bowl or in a jar or Tupperware to store. Now mix in the desiccated coconut and nibs - if using. Take a spoonful of the mixture and fill your eggs as desired. You can add cacao powder to this recipe and substitute some of the nuts with roasted hazelnuts, or use my ‘Nutella' recipe from pancake day.

AVOCADO & CACAO MOUSSE

INGREDIENTS
1/2 Ripe Avocado, chopped
2 Tablespoons Cacao Butter or Coconut Oil, melted
8 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
100ml Almond or Coconut Milk
1 Teaspoons Organic Vanilla Extract
20g Soaked Cashews, optional
1-2 Teaspoons Agave, Date syrup or Coconut Palm Sugar, or 4 Pitted Dates

METHOD
Place the cashew - if using - into a blender with the coconut or almond milk (water will work too). Blend until smooth and then add the rest of the ingredients. Blend for 2-3 minutes until everything is smooth and combined and the mixture becomes a little thicker. Set in the fridge for 1 hour or in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Once set, take a teaspoon and start filling your eggs. This filling will be the least thick of them all so make sure you keep these eggs refrigerated up until you serve them. Add chopped nuts and Chia seeds for extra crunch, or even dried goji berries.

SWEET POTATO CASHEW PUDDING

INGREDIENTS
100g Cashews, soaked
1 Tin Coconut Milk (the solid bit and the more liquid bit too)
1 1/2 Tablespoons Cacao Butter or Coconut Oil, melted
1/4 Cup Steamed or Boiled Sweet Potato - skin removed
1 Teaspoon Organic Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoons Lucuma, Maca or OSB Skin Food
2 Tabespoons Cacao, optional if you want a chocolate version

METHOD
Blend the cashews with the tinned coconut milk until smooth. Add the other ingredients and blend on a high speed for 3 minutes, until the sweet potato is fully combined and there are not lumps from the cashews. Transfer to a small bowl and leave to set in the fridge for 1 hour. Once set, take a teaspoon and start filling your eggs. You can even combine fillings and have perhaps half a teaspoon of cashew pudding with half a teaspoon of ‘nutella’, avocado cacao mousse or chocolate praline (below).

SALTED CARAMEL

4 Tablespoons Smooth Almond Butter
1/4 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract or Fresh Seeds From 1 Vanilla Pod
2 Tablespoons Coconut Palm Sugar or Coconut Nectar
4 Medjool Dates
2/3 Cup Coconut Oil, melted

METHOD
Simply blend all of the ingredients together in a high speed blender for 2-3 minutes, until smooth. This caramel won't be gooey like the heated version, but leave it to set in the fridge or freezer for 30 minutes until it hardens. Then use a spoon or a small scoop to form the chewy mixture into balls.

Once the caramel is set but not entirely solid, remove from the freezer and either spoon into your eggs of cover with cling film to store in the fridge until you need it.

CHOCOLATE AND COCONUT MILK PRALINE

INGREDIENTS
1/4 Tin Coconut Milk - using only the solid milk
100g Cacao Butter, melted
5 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil, melted
1 Teaspoon Agave, Date Syrup or Coconut Palm Sugar
1 Teaspoon Organic Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt

OPTIONAL
1 Tablespoons Cacao Nibs, optional
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds, optional

METHOD
Blend all of the ingredients apart from the nibs and chia seeds - if using. When completely smooth, scrape into a bowl and add the nibs and seeds - if using. You can also add chopped nuts of choice. Take a teaspoonful of the mixture and fill one half egg shell. Now seal the egg with the other half as described previously, and set in the fridge until ready to serve.

BLISS BALL

INGREDIENTS
1 Cup Dates
4 Tablespoons Almond Butter
2 Tablespoons Cacao
2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
1/4 Cup Almonds or Ground Almonds
1 Teaspoons Organic Vanilla Extract
2 Tablespoons Ground Flaxseeds
1 Teaspoon Maca
2 Tablespoons Coconut oil, room temperature

METHOD
Blend until smooth. Form into balls and flatten slightly so they are able to fit into the prepared egg shells. Set in the freezer for 10 minutes before gently pressing into the shells. Seal the eggs and leave in the fridge until ready to serve.

I love to see the results of peoples’ attempts at my recipes so tag @dcopperman on instagram, @dmcopperman on Twitter or hashtag modelmangetout. Enjoy, and have a wonderful easter.