TWO TONE ALMOND BUTTER CHOCOLATES
These chocolates are quite special. Not only is raw chocolate much easier and less technical to make than normal chocolate (which involves vital precision and a lot more science than most people can fathom), it is a hundred times healthier, too. Cacao is the purest and most nutritious form of chocolate, and having undergone little to no processing at all, has a multitude of health benefits still in tact, which are usually stripped from the cacao bean somewhere along its journey from bean to bar.
Cacao is one of the richest sources of antioxidants, and promotes healthy cellular activity, ensuring your body is functioning to the best of its ability. Cacao is also high in fibre and can stimulate the production of digestive enzymes, which helps support healthy digestion. Many people also believe it may aid weight loss or maintenance, as it can act as an appetite suppressant. Cacao also contains serotonin, which, put simply, is the ‘happy hormone’. By elevating your levels of serotonin, cacao helps to improve your mood, positivity and has even been proven to reduce depression and anxiety.
I’ve played around with dark and white chocolate in this recipe. The white chocolate layer is made predominantly from cacao butter, which is the solidified pure oil of the cacao bean. It has an intensely creamy and ridiculously rich flavour, and also smells divine. Mixed with a few delicate natural flavourings like vanilla and unrefined, organic sweeteners, the raw white chocolate layer adds a unique creaminess to the rest of the chocolate. Combined with a generous dollop of nut butter, if these chocolates aren’t in your mouth, fridge or tuppaware box, they’ll be on your mind forever more.
8 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
120g Raw Cacao Butter
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
2-3 Tablespoons Coconut Blossom Nectar, Honey or Sweetener of Choice
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Seeds or Extract
4 Tablespoons Coconut Milk
1 Jar Almond or Cashew Butter
Qnola, Puffed Quinoa, Granola, Buckwheat or Chopped Nuts and Seeds - optional
A Few Pinches of Salt
Start by making the bottom layer of chocolate. I'll start with the white chocolate but it is up to you how you structure yours. In a medium saucepan, melt 60g cacao butter, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, 1-2 tablespoons coconut blossom nectar (or sweetener of choice), maca and the salt. Stir with a whisk or a wooden spoon on the lowest heat to gently melt the cacao butter and the oil without damaging it with too high a temperature. Once dissolved and everything is combined, remove from the heat and pour into chocolate moulds. You can use anything from ice cube trays to cake tins, depending on the size you'd like the chocolates. I prefer small moulds about 2 centimetres deep and no bigger than 2 inches wide. Once you have evenly distributed the white chocolate mixture into your moulds, place in the freezer for 20 minutes to set.
Whilst the white chocolate sets, make the dark chocolate layer. Rinse the saucepan (save any leftover white chocolate by pouring it into a small bowl or ramekin and setting it in the freezer). Melt the remaining 60g cacao butter, 1 tablespoon sweetener, salt, vanilla and 2 tablespoons of the coconut milk if you want the chocolate a little less rich, and creamier (you can leave the coconut milk out if you prefer a darker chocolate). Whisk together on a low heat until everything is combined nicely, then remove from the heat and set aside until the white chocolate layer has set.
Prepare the nut butter filling. I like using pure nut butter, but for some people it may be a little bland and a bit too thick. You can either use nut butter straight from the jar, or make a lighter cream out of it.
For the nut butter cream, whisk together your nut butter of choice, 2 tablespoons coconut milk, a pinch of salt and 1/2 teaspoons coconut blossom nectar or honey (or your preferred sweetener) in a small bowl. When combined, remove the white chocolate base from the freezer and spoon a small amount of the almond cream into the centre of each one. Flatten the nut butter with the back of a spoon or spatula to spread it evenly onto each white chocolate, but don't spread it too near to the edges or you will be able to see it when the chocolates have set. This isn't a major problem but it will look a little messy.
Once you have arranged the nut butter mixture onto each white chocolate base, pour over the dark chocolate so that it covers the nut butter entirely. Fill the moulds and then return to the freezer to set for another 20-30 minutes.
Pop each chocolate out of its mould and leave at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving. Store in the freezer or fridge. The filling will stay softer in the fridge.