Dessert, pastry, chocolate, sweet things... those are my favorite. I eat plenty of vegetables to balance this love, but it's dessert that called me into the food industry almost a decade ago. The science of the ingredients to make a cake rise, to get a chewy chocolate chip cookie; it was all exciting to me plus you received something wonderful at the end that made people happy.
As the years passed, I had to make adjustments to my food choices. No gluten, no dairy. I learned different techniques, different flours, sweeteners and dairy substitutes to create desserts I loved and tasted great, but gave me the nutritional profile I was looking for.
This is one of my favorite treats and a great starting point for anyone looking to make their own chocolate. I've included the recipe below for raw chocolate, but if you don't want to make it, simply melt a 12 ounce bag of 70% chocolate chips and continue the steps. Making the chocolate on your own allows you to choose the sugar source, but if it's not an issue, then go for it!
(makes 24 mini cups)
1/2 cup (130 grams) coconut butter, softened
1 teaspoon mint extract
2-3 sprigs (1 gram) fresh mint leaves
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons coconut flour
pinch of sea salt
1/8- 1/4 teaspoon chlorella (optional, for the green color)
topping: maple sugar
Nutty Butter Filling
1/3 cup (100 grams) peanut butter
1/3 cup (100 grams) cashew butter
2 medjool dates, pitted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon ashwanghanda (optional, but gives an herbal energy boost)
pinch of sea salt
topping: 1 tablespoon peanuts, chopped + 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon + pinch of sea salt
150 grams cacao butter
100 grams cacao powder
3 tablespoons organic maple syrup
Make the filling first by putting all of the ingredients of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and processing until smooth. If it's a little sticky or dry, it's ok. It will help when building the cups. Taste, and adjust maple syrup and mint extract to your preferences. It should be on the minty side to counterbalance the chocolate.
Take 1 teaspoon spoonfuls of the filling and roll it into a ball. Flatten each ball slightly so it will fit into your paper cups mostly with room on the edges, and place on a plate in one layer. When all are made, place into the refrigerator to firm up.
Make your chocolate. Over a double boiler, melt the cacao butter over medium-low heat. When it's melted, take off the heat and place the bowl on a towel to prevent water from getting into the bowl. Sift the cacao powder into the cacao butter. Add the maple syrup and whisk the mixture until smooth.
Build the cups. Place mini baking cups onto a baking sheet. Pour about 1/2 teaspoon of the chocolate into each cup, just coating the bottom. Place the cups into the refrigerator for 5 minutes to set. Take the fillings out.
After the bottoms are set, place one filling into the middle of each cup. Pour about 1 teaspoon of chocolate on top to cover the filling. Continue until the rest of the cups are complete. Sprinkle the topping over each cup and refrigerating until set. Enjoy!