Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentine Chocolates with Caramel and Coconut Filling

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and I have a super easy and delicious treat for you to make for yourself or for someone else ;) Yes, you have time - don't worry! I have been meaning to make homemade raw chocolate for so long and for some reason I’ve always hesitated because I figured the ingredients for something so decadent and awesome would cost a fortune! I mean have you seen the going rate for a chocolate bar these days? Upwards of $5-6! Holy smokes! After seeing this post from My New Roots', Sarah Britton, and with Valentine’s Day around the corner, I decided to go for it!

To my surprise (pleasant surprise!) raw cacao butter is not that expensive! For $10, I was able to get this entire bag of organic cacao butter. You only use a couple tablespoons at a time, so it will last a while (even if you are a raw chocoholic). If you cannot get your paws on cacao butter, just use coconut oil instead. The chocolates won’t have the same super creamy melt-in-your-mouth consistency but it’ll do the job.

I followed Sarah’s recipe for the raw chocolate and caramel (a.k.a. Rollo’s) but then I also created a coconut filling (think Mounds candy bar!) for half of them. Both versions are so incredibly delicious that I cannot put my finger on which I prefer. The answer is both!!! “Life is like a box of chocolates right? You never know which one you’re gonna get.” And in my life I like to have variety when it comes to chocolate.

*Note, you will want a silicon candy mold to make these chocolates (any shape will do!)

Raw Chocolate

¼ cup coconut oil, melted

1 ½ tablespoons cacao butter, melted

2 ½ tablespoons raw honey (or maple syrup)

4 ½ tablespoons raw cacao powder

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

¼ cup pitted dates (soak dates in warm water if they are firm, then drain)

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Sea salt to taste

¼ cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tablespoons of coconut butter
1 teaspoon of coconut oil
2 tablespoons of raw honey (or maple syrup)

In a double boiler or heatproof bowl over a simmering saucepan of water, melt cacao butter and coconut oil. Remove from heat and whisk in honey until incorporated. Sift in cacao powder and salt (to avoid lumps) and whisk to combine until smooth.

In each chocolate mold, spoon in some of the liquid chocolate. Tilt the mold so that it coats the sides. Place in the freezer to set for about 10 minutes.

In a food processor blend dates and maple syrup until smooth. Add as much salt as desired, blend and taste.
Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. Rinse out the bowl to the food processor so you can make the coconut filling.

In a clean food processor blend the coconut, coconut butter, coconut oil and honey until smooth.

Remove the chocolates from the freezer. Spoon a little of the caramel or coconut (or maybe both!) into each mold on top of the set chocolate. Spoon remaining liquid chocolate over top, covering the filling completely. Place it back in the freezer to set. Wait until the chocolate is totally firm before taking it out of the mold, at least 1 hour. Remove from mold and place chocolates in a tightly sealed container in the freezer for one month (or store them in the mold and remove just before serving). Do not store chocolates at room temperature for more than 1 hour.

The creamy caramel in the inside was just the right texture and consistency - perfectly gooey! AHmazing!

* Optional, sift raw cacao powder over the top of the caramel filled chocolates or garnish with sea salt. Sprinkle coconut on top of the coconut filled chocolates. Plus this way you’ll be able to tell what filling is hiding inside of the chocolates (if you don’t like surprises J).

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