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By Alisha Waterman
If the title Naked Chocolate isn’t enough to entice you into picking this book off the shelf, maybe the promise of chocolaty goodness will. When I say goodness, I actually mean goodness.
Naked Chocolate is written by David Wolfe and Shazzie. It’s a compilation of the history and importance of the cacao bean to ancient civilizations, the amazing benefits that raw cocao can bring and, last but by no means least, a bundle of fantastic recipes (savory and sweet) that you can try your hand at using the fabulous cacao bean!
The state in which we see mainstream chocolate is so far from its natural sense, that it’s easy to see why the health conscious person may be avoiding chocolate altogether.
What is really intriguing in this devoted little book is the absolute volume of knowledge around chocolate and cacao. I consider myself a bit of a connoisseur in the chocolate department but even I found a few treasures and learnt more about this aromatic treat.
Cacao is a fantastic superfood rich in at least 7 different vitamins and minerals, highlighting its aphrodisiac properties and its use as medicine. David and Shazzie really bring you into the depths of their cacao heaven. To top off what is already an informative and fun read, the second half of the book is full of awesome recipes to try for yourself. My personal favourite would have to be the chocolate tarts…. so good and sin free!
The Queen of Hearts, She made some tarts, she didn’t want them strawberry-red, so painted them chocolate brown instead. (Makes 12)
1 cup of dry oat groats
1 cup dry almonds
15 dried apricots, soaked for 4-6hrs
1 serve of dark choc sauce (see pg140)
Grind the almonds, flax and oat groats into a fine “flour”, using a Vita-Mix dry jug or in a coffee mill. Transfer to a food processor, saving about 1tablespoon for rolling the dough out. Switch the food processor on, and drop 15 of the apricots down the chute. As the apricots are blended, a dough like consistency will form.
If it doesn’t, add some of the soak water from apricots. Once it’s formed into a ball, switch the machine off and remove the dough from the bowl.
Place some flour onto a chopping board. Place the dough on the chopping board, and then add some more flour onto the dough. Start to flatten and roll the dough, as you would any other dough. Make it about 4mm thick. Once rolled, cut 12 circles out with a biscuit cutter. Add cling film (Saran wrap) to a tart/bun tray. Place the pastry into the tray.
Place this in a dehydrator for 2hrs. The pastry will harden slightly. Carefully remove the pastries from the dish and remove the cling film.
Removing them like this enables more warm air to reach the underside of the pastry, and crisps it up. Put the pastries back on the dehydrator tray and dehydrate for one more hour.
When your pastry shells are ready, remove them from the dehydrator and pour equal amounts of Dark Chocolate Sauce into them.
“Chocolate is a divine, celestial drink, the sweat of the stars, the vital seed, divine nectar, the drink of the gods, panacea and universal medicine.” – Geronimo Piperni“Las cosas claras y el chocolate espeso” Spanish Proverb “Ideas should be clear and chocolate thick”