Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Rich Chocolate Fudge Slice

Occasionally you meet someone who doesn't like chocolate. I haven't meet one of those strange people for awhile. I don't really understand people who don't like chocolate, it's like we are from two different planets. What's not to like? 
Good chocolate and by that I mean organic, fair traded and if possible raw, is all consuming and divine. It's hard to describe the feel good factor
about chocolate. Nutritionally, raw chocolate is high in anti-oxidants and over 300 nutritional compounds! Raw chocolate is packed with phyto-chemicals like serotonin and dopamine which transmit the happy feel good factor in the brain, often refereed to as the 'love molecule'. Only real chocolate lovers will know what I mean.

Chocolate lovers will scoff down these rich, fudge-like texture treats. This recipe was inspired by a raw treat I pick up when in Copenhagen. I was in a health food shop/cafe and I thought a little chocolate sweet something would be good, give me fuel for the last leg of my afternoon cycle ride back to Tina and Gunnar's house, dinner was still at least an hour away. I took guidance from the lovely young woman behind the cafe counter. Her English, like most Danes was more than adequate. She recommended these raw fudge like bars – I could chose from mocha (dusted in a thick layer of cinnamon, liquorice or coconut. I went for the mocha. I was mostly attracted by the cinnamon, I simple love it's aromatic sweet earthiness. Here in this recipe I did half the tray dusted in cinnamon and half plain. Try it and see what you like best.

This chocolate fudge slice is sweet, rich and chocolatey. It has a soft chewy texture when it comes straight out of the fridge. Store in the fridge in a container, eating one piece at a time is enough, trust me!

Makes = 20 pieces (4x 5x)
Use a 20cm x 30cm tray – lined with baking powder

100gm almonds
2/3 cups mejoul dates,
100ml coconut oil
50gm cacao butter, melted
100mls agave (try 70mls for a slightly less sweet fudge)
pinch salt
1 cup cacao powder

cinnamon powder to dust * optional

Baking paper to line the tray –
Tip: I also use a small piece of baking paper to even out the top so my hands don't get too sticky and to make it lovely and smooth.

First of all shave the cacao butter and place it into a small silver bowl then pour boiling water into a separate large silver bowl and float the small silver bowl in it. You can place a saucepan lid over the large bowl to trap the heat and speed up the process. Stir from time to time until it's all melted.Be sure not to get any water in the cacao butter.

For the coconut oil – if it's solidified – place the jar in a large deep bowl with boiling water in it, let in soften and liquify.

Then process the almonds until a very fine meal. Remove and place the meal in a bowl. Then process the dates and chop until fine and crumbly. Now add the agave and cacao powder and process for another minute. Then add the coconut oil, salt & cacao butter and blitz for 30 seconds or until smooth. Stop the food processor and add the almond meal and blend until all the ingredients have combined. Be sure not to over process as the cacao butter can separate. It resembles a crumbly, oily texture.

Spoon into a baking paper lined tray and smooth out evenly with your fingers or spatula. Then use a small piece of baking paper to even out the top and make it lovely and smooth. You can sponge off the chocolatey oily mess on the paper and re-use the baking paper another time.

Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours and over night for a firm and chewy fudge.

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