As the old folks used to say, Christmas without chocolate is not Christmas!...Maybe they didn't say anything like this but we all know it's the truth, right?...
As so, today's recipe is dedicated to the "chocolate lovers" (I you're there...).
This recipe is perfect to share by the end of Christmas Eve, when we are still kind a' full from the feast but we could already nibble something...Do you know what am I talking about or is this just me?...
Crunchy, rich in textures and flavors, this chocolate melts in the mouth while releasing a subtle fresh cardamom aroma...
I have to confess that I'm far away from being an expert on making chocolate and I'm totally aware that making chocolate is a complex science that deserves all respect...
And not wanting to offend the experts on the art of making chocolate or the essence of the real chocolate (which results from the combination of exact proportions and controlled temperatures), this simple and humble chocolate results from the sloppy combination of a few ingredients that, by chance or luck, resulted quite well...
Beginners' luck or not, this chocolate has a pleasant texture and a balanced flavor. Also, it doesn't behave bad at all at room temperature (if the temperature is not too high). By precaution, I recommend you save it in the fridge and remove it a few minutes before serving it.
I have the feeling that this recipe is going to happen several times around here before Christmas...
Dark Chocolate with Goji, Hemp Seeds & Cardamom
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty Level: Easy
Cost: ~2,90 € (in Portugal)
Nutritional Information (per square): 129 Kcal, 2.2 g protein, 13.4 g carbs, 9.6 g fat
1/2 cup Raw Cacao Powder (~55 g)
1/3 cup Coconut Oil (~55 g)
1/4 cup Agave Nectar (or any other natural sweetener)
1/4 cup (barely full) Raw Almonds (~25 g) (optional)
1-2 tbsp (barely full) of Goji Berries (prefer without any additives) (optional)
1 tbsp (barely full) Hemp Seeds (optional)
1 tsp ground Cardamom (optional)
1. Melt the coconut oil at low temperature (for instance using a mild bain-marie).
2. When the oil is melt, remove the oil from the bain-marie and stir in the agave nectar.
3. Add in the cacao powder and the ground cardamom and stir well to incorporate. It turns into a semi-solid paste. Transfer it into a flat rectangular/squared container lined with parchment paper (I used the lid of a tupperware with ~5 in x 7 in and 1 in dept). Spread it using a spoon or spatula.
4. Garnish the surface of the chocolate with the almonds and goji berries, gently pressing them down into the chocolate so they hold on well. Sprinkle generously with hemp seeds. Place it in the freezer to solidify (about 15 minutes).
5. Remove from the freezer, slice the chocolate into squares and serve. The chocolate can stay on the bench for several hours and it will hold on if the temperature is not too high (up to 20-22 ºC/68-72 F). Keep left overs, if any, in the fridge.
I hope you enjoy this recipe to make your Christmas sweeter! Don't forget that Christmas can happen whenever you want so you have no excuses to not go into the kitchen and prepare this peace of heaven...