Sprouted Buckwheat Quinoa Chocolate Truffles

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Always wanting to eat healthier without sacrificing indulgence is why I made these. They have a lot of powerful foods in them and to be honest, I didn’t dig it. If you’re a woman, you’ll understand that sometimes you want tart, sour tastes in your mouth and at other times, you can’t stand it.

When I made these, I couldn’t stand the sour and I couldn’t feel the chocolate so I broke them down again into these:

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NOW, I am blissed out! It took a few days for me to want to transform them, and I’m glad I did because wasting ain’t great.

Recipe:
2 cups sprouted and dried buckwheat (must dry – they need to pop like rice crispies)
1/2 cup sprouted dried quinoa (same same)
1 William Pear, diced
1 cups of figs, diced
1/2 – 1 cup of raisins/ cranberries/ golden berries (bear in mind what your palate wants)
1/2 – 1 cup of dessicated coconut
1 cup of date paste (blend 2 cups dates with 1/4 – 1/2 cup water until it becomes a paste)
2 tbls coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup raw cacao powder

Give it a good mixing by hand then form into balls or line a glass container with plastic and press the mass neatly and evenly into the container, evening out the edges. If the mass is too dry, add more date paste or coconut oil. Cover and refrigerate.

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Chocolate Coating

1/2 cup raw cacao butter, melted

1 cup of raw cacao powder

1/4 – 1/2 cup honey/ maple (start slow, you don’t want a sugar overkill)

Whisk all three together the slowly pour over the mass that is pressed well into your glass container. Set in the fridge for a few hours or the freezer for 10 minutes. As you can see, the truffles are not covered with chocolate but if you want to, using a fork, dip the truffles into the chocolate and then set in the fridge again.

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

 

 

 

Yale Club of Taipei’s “Yale Day of Fun!”

P1020561   The Yale Club of Taipei hosted a “Yale Day of Fun” at the beautiful law office of Pamir Law on Dunhua North Rd. Pamir partner, Nicholas V. Chen, visionary and self-professed gourmand invited Delicious Taipei to provide gourmet raw canapés for 60 of their guests. I was absolutely honoured for the invitation and very excited since I love my food projects so much. Nic’s company isn’t too bad either 😉 Pamir Law has the sexiest 12-meter long steel table that was constructed inside the building because pieces were too big, heavy and fragile to transport via crane. Ever since I first laid eyes on the gorgeous table, I have fantasized about teaching a workshop there or catering a cocktail party so when the invitation came, I was happy! In order to enhance the beauty of the table, I used plain glass trays which created the effect of the food just sitting on this vast, reflective surface. I decided to make raw beetroot and jicama ravioli with marinated shiitake mushrooms, a spicy cashew/ avo sauce and salted ginger as shown below: P1020556   P1020567

The beets and jicama are marinated in liquid amino and olive oil. The spicy cashew sauce had avo, ginger, garlic, chili, etc to create a sweet, spicy thick cream and the salted ginger added the final flavourful zing to this incredibly balanced and layered canapé. The second canapé was one of my favourites – macadamia nut pâté served on rounds of zucchini with cranberry chutney as shown above but here’s another angle:

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The pate is gorgeous with fragrance of fresh rosemary and the pungent delight of fresh garlic with the tart accompaniment of cranberry. Showstopper. These canapés got lots of compliments which was great as I was a bit apprehensive about Taiwanese’s preference for cooked food over raw. The full bursting flavours in raw food always wins people over.

Finally, for something wickedly sweet but healthy, I made raw chocolate chipotle brownies.

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Inspired by Susan Powers of Rawmazing, these brownies are made with dates, figs, cacao and the smoky gorgeousness of chipotle. It is subtle but warming and as always, when guests taste raw desserts, the questions about raw food in general start pouring in!

To accompany the food, local, women-run wine company, Wine Casa provided red and white Dormaine Auzias Cuvee Monsieur, with aromas of black berries and black currants.

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Ellen O’Neal on the right, of Wine Casa

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Betty Cheng from Pamir Law on the left, enjoying the jicama ravioli.

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More guests enjoying the ravioli.

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With Nicholas Chen, the man who made it all happen! Thank you, Nic and Yale Club for a lovely opportunity to showcase gourmet raw food.

Raw Chocolate

My home-made green tea raw truffles

Since meeting raw chocolate, I have fallen in love with it. The idea of making chocolate in my kitchen gave me Goddess status. It’s not just the romance of chocolate that I love, it’s the history it was borne out of, its explicit ritualistic aspect, it’s properties of fertility, heart-mind balancing powers.

Raw chocolate is as different from regular commercial-grade chocolate as a high-end wine is different to a cocktail out of a can! There is no comparison. The effects of eating either are polar opposites. Raw chocolate makes you feel vital, alive and happy and regular chocolate makes you feel awful, tired and drained.

I recently bought the book,Naked Chocolate: The Astonishing Truth About the World’s Greatest Food and in between reading it, experienced a chocolate-tasting (not raw but so pure and good) on one of the most gorgeous, sprawling wine estates of Paarl, South Africa, called DV Chocolate and then finally sampled some raw chocolate at the small and sparse chocolate boutique in downtown Cape Town called  Honest Chocolate.

To be honest, the information contained in Naked Chocolate was not astonishing at all but it was interesting. Now I know that when I feeling the monthly blues and instinctively reach for my 85% slab of chocolate (which we always have a steady supply of), my body is craving magnesium:

“Cacao is the world’s best source of natural magnesium and a diet rich in magnesium contributes towards a healthy heart, encourages brain activity, soothes menstrual cramps, encourages strong peristalsis, increases flexibility and develops healthy bones.” (Naked Chocolate)

It goes on to say that magnesium is a primary alkaline mineral and that it opens up 300 possible detoxification pathways in the body. Chocolate detox? Name the day and I’ll be there!

Now this heart-mind connection the book talks about isn’t just hippy piffle. Shame on you for thinking that. according to Naked Chocolate, magnesium is concentrated 18 times more in the heart muscle than it is in the blood stream. Usually heart problems = colloratory deficiency in magnesium. Eat your chocolate, goddamnit!

Also, magnesium improves the overall vigour of the heart by decreasing blood coagulation, allowing blood to flow more freely and actively through the blood vessels which in turn decrease blood pressure.

Beyond and above it super food status, the burning question on my mind was:

“How does raw cacao maintain its rawness throughout the bean-to-bar process?”

According to the information I received at the chocolate-tasting and from the book, Naked Chocolate, this is the standard bean-to-bar process:

  • the seeds (cacao) are removed from the fibrous husks with the milky goopy pulp still attached to the seeds
  • they are laid down on large leaves and left to ferment for 3 – 5 days
  • during these few days, the seeds slightly germinate in the acidic fermentation pulp
  • the pulp dries up then the seeds are taken to be air-dried/ sun-dried (about 2 weeks)
  • the seeds are turned every few hours to maintain an even temperature and to keep enzyme levels active

Then comes roasting – for raw chocolate, the roasting is kept very light. For cooked chocolate, temperatures go into the hundreds of degrees. During the roasting process, the flavour compounds we have come to know as “chocolate” are released. Here’s the science according to Naked Chocolate:

In roasting – “The freed amino acids combine with sugars and other elements to create compounds that have different taste sensations.” Think fruity, earthy, spicy tones, etc

That is why raw chocolate does not really have a real chocolatey flavour – the roasting is kept to below 45 – 50 degrees celsius, ensuring that the antioxidants are alive and kicking at full throttle as opposed to the only 20% still-functioning anti-oxidant level in cooked chocolate.

After sampling the raw chocolate from Honest Chocolate, I could finally find a comparison to my own. I noted that the chocolate from Honest Chocolate was light and fruity while my own raw chocolate is slightly heavier and intense. My palate is usually drawn to bitter, salty and dry flavour experiences so when I make chocolate, I work in a lot of the cacao.

So, there you go….some background about raw chocolate. In the next post, I will assault you with many pictures of my own retailed chocolate.