I always bring St. Lucian cocoa with me to London, so I’ve been thinking and thinking what I could create for Easter which would showcase our fabulous cocoa. This is absolutely decadent and bordering on pagan. Considering the extreme sweetness of this dessert, there is no refined sugar at all in it. The sweetness comes from the maple syrup and the dates.
I’ve taken a bit of flack (pressure) lately when I dare to make deserts for the (as yet) unconverted people in my life, which are not quite the same as what they’re used to. i.e. lots of cream and sugar and absolutely smooth in the mouth. I usually win them over, and continue in my quest to re-look at traditional recipes and flavours and make them more healthy. When you begin to eat more the Sun Temple way, it takes far less sweetness to get you interested and no refined sugar at all is needed.
I won’t try to tell you that these are simply good for you……they have got a bit of butter and are heavily loaded with natural sugar, so their glycemic index is high, but they are so much better for you than the non Sun Temple Food equivalent. Go lightly then and use them as a treat. Some lovely chocolate for Easter.
For the base
125g (1 c) pecans
180g (1 c) almonds
330g (2 c) dates
2 tbsp almond butter
Blend all the ingredients for the base in the food processor until they resemble bread crumbs and will easily stick together when pinched. Firmly press into the dish you plan to use. Mine measured roughly 25cm by 30cm. Place in the freezer.
For the caramel
330g (2 c) dates
4 tbsp almond butter
2 tbsp maple syrup
50g butter (regular butter, fully loaded)
1 tbsp virgin coconut oil
100ml (1/2 c) water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Without bothering to wash out your food processor bowl, blend all the caramel ingredients until very smooth. Caramel is basically browned sugar and butter. This version eliminates the sugar, and because it includes dates, it will never be perfectly smooth. The fat is achieved through the almond generic neurontin gabapentin butter, but you could opt to leave out the (traditional) butter and add some more almond butter if you wanted to be more purist.
Smooth the caramel over the base and return to the freezer while you get on with the chocolate layer.
For the chocolate layer
70g raw cacao (grated St. Lucian cocoa stick)
100ml maple syrup
Again, you could use only almond butter here, but when I made these it was Easter Sunday and I had a celebratory attitude, so I went for the real thing. A word about that……I don’t use low fat anything really. All the low fat spreads that we were told we should eat instead of their honest fully loaded forebears are slowly but surely being proven to be worse for our temples. The fat removed is often replaced with sugars so…. really??? Do you want to go there? Stick with the simplest, purest form of everything. Study after study is showing that good fat contributes to helping us feel satisfied for longer between meals and doesn’t in fact cause all the horror stories we’ve been made to believe.
Cocoa, when it is heated a bit, takes on a more developed flavour. I’m not a chemist and I can’t explain why, but I’m thinking its similar to when a starch molecule bursts and the liquid it is in begins to thicken. I think when the cocoa molecules burst in heating, they release further flavours.
Anyway, I heated all the ingredients in the chocolate layer in a small saucepan for a few minutes and then poured the lot onto the caramel layer and placed it back in the freezer again.
All that’s left then is to slice up this delectable treat and enjoy!! The squares do stay together nicely and are well behaved. I brought several of them in a plastic box when I went on a little adventure with my friend Emma to Devon right after Easter, and they were a lovely thing to pop into the mouth after cycling through the rain and cold around Dartmoor.