I can’t lie. The idea of ‘healthy’ chocolate has always pretty much left me cold. That is until now.
When it came time to sample this health enhancing chocolate I was, as always, prepared for the usual disappointment. Let’s face it… chocolate’s chocolate – there ain’t no prizes for second place. And it is true… you’re not going to miraculously make a bunch of nutritious ingredients morph into chocolate as we know it (not the slick, wrappered, commercial stuff at least). But… in its own right, this Healthy Nut Butter Chocolate is every bit as good… insanely good in fact! It’s so good, I had to physically restrain myself from eating the lot!!
So here’s the low-down. Out of the freezer, this rich, dark and sweet concoction with its nutty crunch is actually very akin to chocolate – it doesn’t have the ‘snap’ factor of chocolate – it’s a little more chewy in texture, but the taste is amazingly chocolate-like. Eaten from the fridge, this chocolate is more like deep, dark fudge. The warmer it gets, the squidgier it gets, so unless you’re happy to have it dribbling down your chin as you’re eating it (as satisfying as that is), it really does need to be kept chilled.
The awesome thing about this recipe is that you can substitute or add whatever ingredients float your boat. The nut butter I used was home-made almond butter (you’ll find the basic nut butter recipe here), though you could use peanut butter, cashew butter or even sesame seed butter. You can also add flavourings like chilli, orange or vanilla if you like, or add dried fruit and/or nuts on the surface – the possibilities are endless.
Kudos to New Zealander, Eleanor Ozich for her book ‘My Petite Kitchen Cookbook‘ and this recipe therein. It has restored my faith in the idea that ‘healthy’ doesn’t need to equate to ‘boring’ when it comes to sweet treats. Halleluia!
HEALTHY NUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE
Makes a tray full
- 175g (6 oz/1/2 cup) honey, or 125g (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) pure maple syrup
- 250ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) extra virgin coconut oil
- 125g (4 1/2 oz/1/2 cup) nut butter (preferably home-made) *NB: If the nut butter is ‘raw’, this recipe can be classed as ‘raw’
- 55g (2 oz/1/2 cup) raw cacao powder (or good quality unsweetened cocoa powder)
- Line a 20 x 24 cm (8 x 9.5 inch) slice tin with baking paper and set aside.
- Melt the honey, coconut oil and nut butter together in a small saucepan over very low heat. Add the cocoa and a pinch of sea salt, then whisk until smooth.
- Carefully pour into the slice tin, then place in the freezer for 1-2 hours to set (the longer it’s in the freezer, the firmer it sets).
- When the mixture has set, remove it from the tin, transfer to a flat surface and carefully peel off the baking paper. Using your hands, break the mixture into bite-sized pieces, or cut through with a knife.
- Transfer to an airtight container. The chocolate will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC ‘Art’ lens / Natural lighting