11 Feb 2018

SUGAR-FREE DARK CHOCOLATE


I have shared many a recipe for chocolate on this blog and in my cookbooks before. My original recipe remains one of my most popular (even though I look at the pics now and cringe... those were EARLY DAYS, okay??) But as the years have gone by, my tastes have evolved. I prefer my food less sweet now, it allows me to better taste the flavours of the other ingredients. And you know I am all about nutritional density, so while sweeteners do give me that mini dopamine rush, they don't provide much else. I would never tell anyone else to consume less sweeteners because your body is yours, and what you do with it is none of my business (THIS IS A FAT-POSITIVE SPACE)! But speaking solely for myself, I would rather leave out sweeteners in most of my food so I can get more nutritious foods in, and more flavour. Chocolate is a perfect vehicle to do this with. 

When you leave out the sugar in chocolate you get to experience the rich, round, roasted flavours of cocoa all on its own (or the sharper, spicier tones of cacao, if using). My current fave things to add to my chocolate are:

- Medicinal mushrooms (which add an earthy flavour)
- Flaked sea salt (it works as a flavour enhancer and brings out the spiciness in the cocoa)
- Aromatic vanilla is a classic BFF of course
- Tahini on top for nuttiness 
- Bonus: you can add mesquite to your chocolate if you want some smokey, caramel-y notes

The fats I use in this recipe are cacao butter, coconut oil, and red palm oil. I love cacao butter but it's a bit too firm and strongly-flavoured on its own, so I prefer to soften it with coconut oil, plus I adore everything coconut anyways. I know palm oil has a lot of people seriously concerned about its ethical and environmental impacts, with 100% good reason. So if you don't trust any palm oil: leave it out. I get it. If you can find - and trust - sustainably and ethically harvested red palm oil: go for it, it's got a ton of vitamin E. I like to get my mushrooms from Harmonic Arts because they really value quality over there, and consuming their mushroom products daily has my mood SOARING (in the best way). Note: because of its richness and density, I would advise enjoying this chocolate recipe earlier in the day if you're sensitive to cocoa or caffeine. It gives me an energy boost that last for hours. 

Hope your day/night is going well, babes! I think you're fab. 
XO, em


SUGAR-FREE DARK CHOCOLATE
Makes around 2 cups

Chocolate:
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup cacao butter
2 tablespoons red palm oil
1 cup cacao powder or cocoa powder
2 tablespoons maca powder
2 teaspoons chaga mushroom powder
2 teaspoons reishi mushroom powder
2 teaspoons cordyceps mushroom powder
2 teaspoons he shou wu powder
2 teaspoons mesquite powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
Pinch stevia powder (optional, for sweetness) 

Garnish:
1/2 teaspoon maldon salt (flaked salt) or smoked salt

1. Melt the oils and cacao butter in a heavy-bottomed pot on low heat.

2. Turn off the heat and whisk in the rest of the ingredients until you have a smooth mixture. It shouldn't be super thick at this point, about the consistency of heavy cream. It will thicken once chilled.

3. Adjust according to taste, adding any extras you like! Suggestions: cinnamon, chili, tahini or almond butter, chia seeds, spirulina, etc. If you want a bit more sweetness, add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Obviously that cancels out the "sugar-free" part of the recipe, but I'm not judgin'.

4. Pour into chocolate molds, sprinkle with salt, and leave in the freezer for 20-30 minutes so it can harden. Keep in the fridge and enjoy whenever you like! This will keep for a couple weeks. Delicious topped with tahini, and chopped nuts.


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