Things got pretty exciting in the kitchen this weekend. I spend the day cooking up a mixture of sweet and savoury recipes taking inspiration from some of my favourite foodie bloggers. The Peach and Avocado Spring Rolls from Anya’s (of Golubka) book The Vibrant Kitchen were divine - so summery and oh my god the dipping sauce… I baked muffins for my office which were a bit of a Green Kitchen Stories muddle (a cross between their Banana Bread and Turmeric Breakfast Muffins) but worked a treat for curing the Monday morning blues.
I tested out a few of my own creations on my friend Chloe to see what was good enough to share with you all and this Creamy Date Chocolate was the one clear favourite. Made with only 5 ingredients it is my absolute chocolate heaven – the raw cacao makes it deliciously rich, sticky medjool dates and brown rice syrup give it a naughty sweetness and the creamy almond butter and cacao butter make it oh-so-silky.
This is hands down one of my favourite recipes on the blog so far and probably one of the easiest. Raw chocolate is nutritionally superior to any of the regular processed kinds you find in the shops and it tastes way better too. Despite a short list of ingredients, raw chocolate has an extensive list of health benefits which will nourish your body and soul, plus it is melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
Just in case you need anymore persuading:
- Raw cacao contains more antioxidants than blueberries, green tea or red wine which are great for a healthy cardiovascular system and to protect against free radicals – the damage free radicals cause on a cellular level can then lead to much larger and more severe problems.
- Cacao also raises the amounts of some neurotransmitters in the brain so chocolate really is a mood booster, helping you feel more positive, happy and alert!
- Cacao beans are an amazing source of lots of essential minerals, magnesium in particular. Many modern diets lack sufficient levels of magnesium and it is really key for many bodily functions including energy and protein production, regulation of blood sugar levels, maintaining a winning immune system and keeping bones strong.
1 cup of Medjool dates (pitted and roughly chopped )
1 cup of cacao butter
3 tbsp raw cacao powder
3 tbsp rice syrup (or honey/agave/maple syrup)
2 tbsp almond butter
Quantities listed above should be used as a guideline and tweaked slightly depending on how dark/rich/sweet/creamy you like your chocolate to be.
Gently heat the cacao butter in a glass bowl above a pan of water on the hob. Heat it slowly and do not let it boil. When all the cacao butter has turned to liquid take it off the heat and stir in the rice syrup and almond butter until they are completely dissolved. Continue stirring and sift in the cacao powder slowly to avoid lumps.
Spread the dates on the bottom of whatever you are using as your chocolate mould - I used a baking tray lined with tin foil, but you could use paper muffin cups or a silicone ice-tray if you prefer to make individual chocolates. Give the liquid chocolate one last good stir then pour over the chopped dates. Place in the fridge or freezer until set... Personally I would always say freezer - it sets before the syrup has time to start sinking to the bottom and its ready to eat way quicker. Store in the fridge if you manage not to eat it all in one go....