Friday, February 7, 2014

Recipe Time! Coconut Oil Chocolate Hearts for Valentine's Day

While this is really not vintage, it's also really delicious, and the fact that it has NO processed sugars, No dairy (and no egg or gluten, either!) makes it a great choice for high-allergy homes and classrooms.

As we draw nearer and nearer to February 14th, I know I'm generally the kind of gal to start panicking about what would make last minute Valentines gifts. These work great for classrooms, book groups, victory clubs, salsa nights... pretty much any time you want to hand out a super delicious treat without spending hour slaving over a difficult recipe! They're definitely not just a Valentine's day treat, either! I have been keeping these on hand since I am supposed to be eliminating processed sugar from my diet. Chocolate craving? No problemo! In fact, if you look at the original web site where I got the recipe, you can see that coconut oil can actually curb all sorts of craving because of its affect on your metabolism! These are good for you. It's science

The recipe is simple, though as in most tutorials I post I would like to suggest experimenting a bit. When I followed the original recipe, I got great results, but two batches later I have found a recipe that works better for me and my tastes. The original recipe is a bit sweet for my taste (I used local honey). It also didn't mention all the great things you can do to change the flavors of your chocolates! 

So anyway, I'll get to it, here. Taking into account my alterations, you will need:
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil (Don't panic! This is solid at room temperature! You can get this in most grocery stores in the health food section,)
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder (preferably organic and fair trade)
  • 1/2 cup local honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Optional: 1 tsp extract or liqueur of choice (I have tried vanilla, hazelnut and peppermint, all with great results!)
  • Optional: Additional powdered flavorings including fleur de sel, fennel pollen, cayenne pepper, guajillo pepper, ground culinary lavander, powdered coffee, etc. 
Alright, this is super easy, folks. Ya ready?

Melt coconut oil over very low heat on the stove. Then add remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. 

Allow to cool until consistency is a bit thicker, still whisking. When the liquid is thick, but still pourable, pour slowly onto a sheet of parchment paper (I folded the edges of mine up, just in case the melted chocolate decided to run) and allow to cool. While cooling, you can sprinkle it with any spices/salts that you wish to try. 

Once cooled, you can cut your chocolate into various shapes with cookie cutters, or you can simply cut it or tear it into chunks. This is a soft chocolate, due to the coconut oil, but it is still delicious! I will be trying this with cacao butter in the future to see if I can get a chocolate bar that has that awesome *snap* that I love so much.

Package these individually for a great Valentine's gift, or just munch away at them! These store best in the fridge or freezer, since coconut oil melts at roughly 78┬║. Also, I feel like I should warn you... if you have children or other messy eaters, this melts quickly in the hand and can be messy! 

xoxo Emily