White chocolate and Blueberry hearts...raw, organic and filled with luuuurve :))
Posted Mar 29 2011 8:22pm
People want my cooking. This has never happened before! I'm either better than I thought OR I'm selling it well. I mean I love what I make but that's just me, I'm easy enough to please. Healthy, organic, simple flavours, nice presentation and I'm sold... For whatever reason, it's a big compliment when someone with a sophisticated palate like my friend Melina requests a sweet creation for her birthday.
White cacao hearts, "milk" carob chai cups, dark fig n' pecan clusters
Melina is an Aries, do I need to say more? ; ) She's strong, bright, determined, and wants the best in life. She walked into my clinic within the first week I opened a few years ago and oh my God, she kept me on my toes! Since then her glittery exterior softened to reveal quite a delicate inner nature. My friendship with her has been like a "pass the parcel game" one week we get challenging newspaper heading and the next an unexpected gift falls out!
She loves dark chocolate, dried fruit, nuts, unique flavours and high quality anything. She is similar to me in the sense that when I say I like chocolate, I'm talking about the only true sort there is- raw and organic, no refined sugars, flavours etc etc
I know she loves dark chocolate but she's also a creature of habit and I had this urge to coerce her to the "white" side, just for a bit. Raw white chocolate (cacao) isn't what you expect it to be. It is naturally off-white/ creamy yellow and needs to be made carefully, adding flavours and allowing the simplicity of the food to be appreciated. It goes perfectly with vanilla and coconut, two of my favourite ingredient's ever. The benefits being she can enjoy a bit in the evenings and have a good nights sleep too. A "milk" (carob) chocolate selection using a minimal amount of cacao and also a dark chocolate with enough cacao to keep her up all night... a bit of everything.
Dark chocolate can make you jittery if you're not careful and make your heart flutter, if you're sensitive. The perfect food to swoon your man... or lady.
White chocolate & blueberry hearts
I'm really proud of this creation. Let me run down the key ingredients; blueberries, coconut, vanilla, maple syrup, macadamias and a pinch of lemon. This is the BEST thing I've made so far! I soaked the blueberries in vanilla and maple syrup before dehydrating them for about 10 hours, so they were still quite juicy. I would have used shop bought ones if they didn't have sugar coating them and preservatives. A couple sultana's (per heart) are added for extra sweetness.
White chocolate & blueberry hearts
3/4 cup cacao butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1. Melt cacao butter, coconut butter, maple syrup, add salt and vanilla extract.
2. Add coconut flakes when the mixture is ready and temper the chocolate until it is ready to be used.
2. In each silicon cup add blueberries, a couple sultanas and a macadamia or two.
3. Pour the raw white cacao mixture over the top
3. Zest some fresh lemon rind while the white hearts are setting.
Fig n' pecan dark chocolate clusters
This is probably my favourite thing to make so far and it reminds me of Heather : )) I love it because any combination of fruit, nuts, spices and flavours goes well and as long as you are patient enough to make chocolate, it'll be a hit. Make no mistake, chocolate making does require patience. This particular batch took me 2 hours of stiring to get it to the right consistency for setting. That's hard work!
Me with heathers clusters,
not a fab picture but it's the only one I had!
Chopped figs, cacao nibs, pecans, ginger, orange rind, Himalayan salt, maple syrup, with melted dark cacao. See basic chocolate recipe for more info on how to melt and use chocolate...
1. Chop the figs loosely and add the orange rind, almonds, pecans, and salt and mix into tempered dark chocolate then when ready take spoonfuls and plonk them onto baking paper. Set aside to set in a cool place.
Chai fudge cups
This is my version of a "milk" chocolate, using carob powder to add colour and taste with only minimal amounts of cacao. You can pick the chai spice if you're a fan of the beverage if not, it may encourage you to try it sometime. The centre is soft, sweet and fudgy. The only not so fantastic thing about working with carob is that it doesn't allow the chocolate to set with a nice gloss, it has a more dull appearance. Which is why I suggested dusting it with some powder.
1. Soak cashews for up to 4 hours and blend with 4 medjool dates until smooth, add vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, English toffee stevia and carob powder.
2. Fill piping bag with mixture and put in the fridge to chill.
3. Make basic dark chocolate recipe and temper.
4. Use mini silicon cupcake holders or mold and coat a thin layer at the bottom of each cup, allow to set in the fridge, keep the cacao warm.
Then fill with melted chocolate to seal the cup...
5. Pipe a small amount of the chai cashew filling into each cup. Allow to set a while then top with melted cacao to seal the cup.
6. Dust with cinnamon or cacao powder.