Today's recipe doesn't need much description, does it?
On the other hand, lovers, love, passion, relationships and the way we experience each one of these aspects have much that can be said about it. We no longer experience love as we were naturally programmed to experience it. We had lost that instinct. That natural instinct has been replaced by a set of rules and social and cultural conventions that are imposed to us and that, most of the times, confuse us and make things feel so difficult and complex.
I share with you some passages from a post about lovers written by my friend Bárbara on her blog barbaRAWord. Enjoy her words, and the bonbons off course...
"(...) A boyfriend, for me, doesn't have to be a rescuer, someone that comes to fill up something that is missing or correct a depression. A boyfriend has to be a life partner, someone who admires each part of me, without any judgement, without the will to change me. Someone that allows all my true being to flow, without looking down to me, without trying to correct me or oppress me in any way. A boyfriend has to add something, not to fill up something. (...)"
"(...) What a sad thing it is to try to forbid the other's friendships, the other's progresses. How unhappy we have to be to search some kind of comfort on the oppression of our partner, stop him/her to dress like he/she wants, work on whatever job he/she likes, go wherever he/she has to go. What a fake idea is the concept that the more we watch and distrust our partner, the more we take control of the situation. The truth is, the more we look down to him/her, the more we try to cancel the other, the more he/she becomes unhappy and try to increase the distance between us. (...)"
"(...) That love comes to my life always matched with peace, respect, complicity, always matched with the right intensity, the appropriate madness, with overwhelming passion, with acceptance and coziness. (...)" - in Namoros, by Bárbara Magalhães on her blog barbaRAWord.
Valentine's Day Special: Chocolate Bonbons with Caramel & Goji
Preparation Time: 15 minutes + 1 hour refrigeration
Difficulty Level: Easy
Cost: ~7,30 € (in Portugal)
Nutritional Information (per bonbon): 117,6 Kcal, 0.9 g protein, 11 g carbs, 8.3 g fat
For the chocolate:
1/2 cup Coconut Oil (~70 g)
1/2 cup Organic Raw Pure Cacao Powder (~55 g)
1/4 cup Agave Nectar (60 ml), or any other natural sweetener
For the Caramel:
1/2 cup Medjool Dates (~100 g)
1/4 cup Water (60 ml)
2-3 tbsp Goji Berries (optional)
Note: To make the bonbons you can use a silicon mold for bonbons the shape you like. Alternatively, you can use small paper cases or ice cube molds.
1. Melt the coconut oil over a gentle bain-marie.
2. When the coconut is completely melt, add in the Organic Raw Pure Cacao Powder, little by little, keeping it over a mild bain-marie.
3. When all the cacao has been incorporated, mix in the agave and remove from heat. Pour the chocolate to the mold, filling up about 1/3 of each bonbon well and using about 1/2 of the prepared chocolate. Move the mold towards towards every side in order to coat the sides of the bonbon wells with a thin layer of chocolate. Place in the freezer while you prepare the caramel.
4. To make the caramel, place pitted dates into the food processor with about half of the water described, and process to form a cream. Add in more water as needed to get the desired consistency. It should be a thick caramel rather than a too runny one.
5. Remove the bonbon mold from the freezer and add about 1 coffee spoon of the caramel to each well. Place it back in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, if the leftover chocolate has thickened too much, melt it again over a mild bain-marie.
7. Remove the bonbon mold from the freezer and fill up each well with the chocolate.
8. For garnish with the Goji berry "sand", place about 2-3 tbsp of Goji berries into the freezer for a few minutes to make them harder and easier to process. Then, place them in a coffee grinder or food processor and pulse until you get a rough sand. Sprinkle it over the chocolate-filled wells and place in the freezer to solidify completely for about 1 hour.
9. To serve, unmold the bonbons when they have solidified completely. Keep leftovers in the freezer.
I hope you enjoy this recipe. Happy Valentine's Day!