Raw cacao & almond pralines

Posted in: DF, N, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Woo your Valentine with chocolates which aren’t only devoid of bad stuff, they’re packed with goodness, and The LOVE Drug. As an added bonus, these insanely tasty little morsels take all of 6 minutes to make (I’ve timed it); freeing you up for some extra loving.

Praline-centre

In it’s raw, unprocessed state cacao’s loaded with antioxidants, iron, zinc (said to increase testosterone, stamina and libido..!), calcium and potassium. Cacao also helps produce the body’s happy hormone, seratonin and there’s the Love Drug: Phenylethylamine is said to mimic the feeling of being in love. Minus the drama. And if that doesn’t float your boat, there are always the almonds. Apparently the aroma induces passionate thoughts in women – Samson’s strategy with Delilah…

Makes 25 chocolates (depending on your mould)

Ingredients

1/2 cup cacao butter or coconut oil
2 1/2 tbsp raw cacao
2 tbsp maple syrup or agave
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp macadamia butter. Optional but makes the chocolates sweeter and creamier.

Cacao-pralines

raw-cacao-pralines,-lace

Method

In a bain-marie (bowl placed with a pan of simmering water) very gently melt the cacao butter. Stir in the cacao powder, removing any lumps, followed by the maple syrup. Take care not to boil or over heat or you’ll obliterate the fantastic health benefits of raw cacao.

Check for sweetness and consistency, adding more maple syrup for a sweeter tooth (remember the nut butter will also sweeten). As you’d expect, cacao thickens, butter  adds gloss and thins out.

Pour into moulds or ice cube trays and freeze for 30 mins. Transfer to a fridge to store. Eat. See, quicker than a desperate dash to the garage for Dairy Milk.

For any of you balking at the price of cacao (it isn’t cheap): It packs such a punch, that very little goes a very long way. I’ve had my bag for at least 6 months and I make a LOT of energy bites and chocolates. So, it’s quite possible that gram for gram, it’s cheaper than Cadbury’s.

 

Tom’s chocolate nut brownie brick

Posted in: N, SF, V

I first tasted these at our winter street food pop-up and have harangued Tom for the recipe ever since. Relentlessly. So much more than a brownie, they’re rich, indulgent and utterly seductive.

Tom's Choc Brownie Brick

Ingredients

200g unsalted butter
250g 72% dark chocolate
250g 51% chocolate
300g caster sugar
4 eggs
150g plain flour, sifted
50 grams rasins
100g hazelnuts
1 vanilla pod, seeds only

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 145 °C.
  2. Melt the butter in a ban-marie, then add the chocolate.
  3. Whisk together the suagr and eggs until pale in colour. Slowly add the sifted flour.
  4. Once fully mixed, add the raisins, hazelnuts and vanilla. Stir the chocolate to ensure smooth and fully melted.
  5. Slowly add the chocolate to the cake mix and fold together. Pour into a tray and bake at 145 °C for 20 mins, then allow to rest.

Tom likes these with peanut butter ice-cream (for the love of God!) but any variety works, as does cream. You can also swap or drop the nuts.

Tom is Exec chef at The Brewery. See more from our culinary prodigy in last week’s post Tom’s tasting masterpiece.