If you have read any of my other posts you may be thinking that I am obsessed with chocolate. I wouldn’t go as far as saying I am obsessed but I am pretty fussy about the chocolate I will eat. My true love of chocolate has developed more since abandoning commercial chocolate and taking the time to make my own. My homemade chocolate is made with wholesome ingredients, free of sugar, emulsifiers, and cheap dairy powders. Once I got the formula right I really lost my interest in ordinary chocolate.
The process of making my own chocolate has evolved and I am often looking for new flavours and combinations to add to my repertoire. This Sour Cherry Nut Bar is a first for me, I usually just use coconut oil. Cocoa butter is the fat from the cocoa, it is the key ingredient used to make white chocolate.
Cocoa butter has several health benefits when used without refined sugar. It is wonderful for the skin and is used in skin moisturisers. Cocoa butter contains polyphenols which are powerful antioxidants. Cocoa butter as a plant based fat is possibly beneficial in reducing the inflammatory markers associated with cardiovascular disease. They may also support healthy immune function, DNA damage and abnormal cell mutations. Raw cocoa powder is naturally high in polyphenols. You can get the same nutritional benefit by using raw cocoa powder with extra virgin coconut oil.
I don’t want to paint a nutritional view that cocoa butter is an essential superfood , it is incredibly rich, has a high energy content. Good quality cocoa butter price wise is a little on the luxe end of paleo, expect to pay around $50.00/kilo for the good stuff. When cooking with cocoa butter a little does go a long way if you use it correctly. The velvety rich texture that cocoa butter gives to raw desserts is quite decadent and should be enjoyed in moderation. However even if you had a two small pieces of this delicious Sour Cherry Nut Bar you are nutritional more nourished than if you were to have an average serve of a mass produced chocolate bar.
Sour Cherry Nut Bar Recipe
Cocoa butter is an interesting ingredient to cook with. It comes in big chunks and has a waxy like texture. It is incredibly rich so I only use it sparingly, in this recipe used half coconut oil and half cocoa butter.
½ cup of cocoa butter
7 tablespoons of raw cocoa powder
½ cup of extra virgin coconut oil
2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
4 tablespoons of desiccated coconut
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
Small pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
2 tablespoons of dried sour cherries, chopped
2 -3 tablespoons of flaked almonds
2 tablespoons of pistachios chopped
Place cocoa butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, cocoa, salt and vanilla paste into a heat proof bowl. Melt ingredients over simmering saucepan of water until all ingredients are smooth and well combined. Add nuts and coconut and combine well.
Pour into 20cm square tin lined with baking paper. Refrigerate until firm and cut into small pieces.
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