Shake-Em-Up, Shake Em-Down Bars!

P1040369With ingredients of cacao nibs, golden berries and raw chocolate, these bars will make you want to shake-em-up and shake-em-down! I’ve not tried cacao nibs before this and after trying it, immediately thought “This shouldn’t be legal!” The energy you get from nibs is instant and sustaining. Plus, they’re super healthy for you.

There’s lots of recipes online for raw chocolate bars, power bars, snack bars, but they have too much nuts and too many power foods. Also, my constitution wants less nut protein as it bogs me down. This recipe happened in 15 minutes in my kitchen without any thought. Those are the best. It also follows the dictum, “less is more” and boy, oh boy, SO much more. 

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These products are now available in Taiwan, not just Taipei, but throughout the island. Just when you thought living here, couldn’t get any better 🙂

Recipe:

2 cups oat flour (PS: if you don’t have a flour mill, just blend)

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup honey/ maple syrup

1/2 cup chopped almonds (see? just a constituent, not the base)

1/4 cup raw cacao nibs

1/4 cup chopped golden berries (amazing!)

Mix everything in a bowl until you have a dough. Taste. If you need more of anything listed above, add it. If it’s too dry, add more oil. 

Once you have your dough ready,press it into a container using the base of your palm. Flatten with a spatula. I used my oven tray, lined with parchment/ aluminum/ plastic wrap. Let it set for a few hours in the fridge, then take it out, and cut into bars.

Chocolate Coating

Since raw cacao butter is not yet available in Taiwan, make a simple ganache dipping as follows:

1/4 cup coconut oil (GOOD fat!)

1/4 cup honey

1/2 – 1 cup of raw cacao powder (this is available in Taiwan and please don’t cut corners, get this. It’s good.)

Whisk all three together in a bowl, dunk the bars in, let the excess chocolate drip off, lay on parchment paper on a plate or tray and chill. Once set, transfer to a tupperware container and store in the fridge.

Note, ganache is less stable than chocolate made from butter so the bars will melt if left out at room temp.

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Key ingredients

Taiwan distributors of raw, organic goods: https://www.facebook.com/WConceptInt

 

 

 

Earl Grey Raw Chocolate Terrine

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I love Earl Gray tea and I love chocolate. This terrine has been on my mind since I first spotted it on the Rawmazing site which I regularly follow. I never looked at the actual recipe before and just assumed it would be a pain in the ass to put together but it was SO easy, I could have smacked myself for not doing it sooner.

I am also now able to tell you what to avoid and what to consider and then hope that you will make this with your own interpretation.

Susan’s recipe calls for the following:

  • 3 tablespoons Earl Grey Tea
  • 1 1/2 cups very hot water
  • 1 1/2 cups cashews, soaked and drained
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder
  • 6 ounces raw cacao butter, melted*

Method (this is all from the Rawmazing site, word for word)

1. Add tea to hot water. Let steep for 5 minutes, drain and cool.
2.  Place tea and cashews in high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
3. Add agave and cacao powder, blend until well combined.
4. Slowly pour in melted cacao butter. Blend until well combined.
5. Pour into any rectangular container that will un-mold easily. I used a silicone mold that is 8 x 3 x 2 deep.
6. Freeze until solid. Dip mold briefly in hot water, un-mold. Slice into 1/2″ pieces to serve. You can let this warm, it will hold it’s form.

My Suggestions:

1. I used soaked, then frozen cashews. It really increased the water content, rendering a very  “iced” terrine as opposed to a smooth, creamy one. Don’t use frozen ones.

2. I ran out of every kind of sweetener in my house, except for coconut sugar which worked really well, but I did not use enough. The tannins from the tea have a beautiful bitterness to them, and I also like my chocolate quite bitter but the two together is overwhelming. Even if 1/3 cup of agave sounds like a lot, follow the recipe. It’s all about the balance.

3. The cacao butter doesn’t leave a creamy, comfortable mouth-feel. It feels kind of greasy and flat. Instead, try doing this recipe with coconut oil instead. It will be softer and creamier. Thank you, Adela Stoulilova for the suggestion.

4. Try adding different ingredients like avocado, lavendar, citrus, lemon…

6. Use a good quality Earl Grey.

5. I highly recommend a silicone mould as the hot water dipping thing didn’t really work well for me. Silicone moulds will give you a cleaner finish as well.

To make the chocolate drizzle, mix, cocoa powder with coconut oil and a bit of liquid sweetener. Alternately, make a coulis with apricots, or raspberries to contrast the flavour of the tea and chocolate.

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