Aahhh... chocolate, many a girl’s Achilles’ Heel.
If only the sweet, smooth, velvety, downright irresistible and heavenly stuff wasn’t so bad for us. ‘A moment on the lips, a life-time on the hips’ they say, leaving us feeling completely guilt-ridden just thinking about the stuff.
Well ladies (and gents, if you're reading), this recipe could be just the trick for bagging that guilt-free luxurious cocoa hit we all crave at times. Don’t get me wrong, nothing can replace the real thing, but this alternative chocolate fix comes fairly close. And, when you consider that the ingredients are actually beneficial... yes beneficial, for our health, it’s a no-brainer!
The original recipe comes from the latest addition to my cook-book collection, ‘Healthy Every Day’ by the 'Medicinal Chef', Dale Pinnock. Dale’s philosophy on healthy-eating is “There’s no reason why good, healthy, wholesome food that will benefit your health shouldn’t taste incredible. Healthy food can be decadent, indulgent and flavoursome, and give you pleasure at the same time as improving your health”. Well I’m up for a bit of that!
I have to say, my family were not exactly bowled over by Dale's original recipe (the sesame version), although I was. The sesame flavour is pretty strong, which is great if you love sesame, not so great if you don’t. So, I played around a little and replaced the sesame seeds with ground almonds, and the maple syrup with honey. I love both versions, although the taste of the almond one is a little closer to the ‘real’ thing.
Too good to be true? Well, I guess you may want to do your own research on the health benefits of this little ‘chocolate’ treat, but here are a few links I found to get you started.
- “Coconut oil is one of the few foods that can be classified as a “super-food.” Its unique combination of fatty acids can have profound positive effects on health”. http://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/
- “Maple syrup joins the ranks of broccoli and blueberries as new 'one-stop shop' superfood”
- “Honey is so good we have included it in our list of power-foods that should be in your kitchen right now”. http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10-health-benefits-of-honey.html#ixzz2sTF1cr5l
- “A 2 tbsp. serving of cocoa contains just 25 calories and 1.5 g of fat. It also provides you with 3.6 g of fibre, which is 14 percent of the daily value, and 8 percent of the daily value of iron and 14 percent of the daily value of magnesium”.http://www.livestrong.com/article/331715-cocoa-powder-health-benefits/
- “Wonderfully delicious, almonds have long been revered as the epitome of wellness and health”.http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/almonds.html
"Open Sesame - Ten health benefits of this 'super-seed'http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/open-sesame-10-amazing-health-benefits-super-seed
Sesame (or Almond) Chocolate Fudge
120g white sesame seeds (lightly toasted in a frying pan and food processed to a powdery / bread crumby texture) OR 120g ground almonds
60g Cocoa powder (I used Bourneville)
3-4 tablespoons maple syrup or honey (original recipe said 3 spoons but I found it needed 4 to bind)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Pop all the ingredients into a food processor and process until the mixture is ‘dough’ like – (tricky eh!)
Grease a 20cm tin with coconut oil, or line it with foil/greaseproof paper and add the dough mixture.
Press the mixture down to evenly fill the tin.
Pop it in the fridge for 5-6 hours (this is the recommendation of the original recipe, although I thought it was 'good to go' after a couple of hours – or even straight from the food processor - depending on how desperate you are!))
Cut into 2cm squares. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.