A few years ago, a dear friend loaned me a book called Naked Chocolate. That’s all I needed to know. Naked chocolate…. Naked. Chocolate…
A ‘special note’ on the back cover states:
‘The recipes in these pages allow you to find that perfect alchemical potion that causes all heaven to break loose’.
I knew that tantalising, chocolaty delights awaited me. I actually still have the book! Sienna, if you are reading this, let me know if you want your book back. 🙂
The book, written by David Wolfe and Shazzie, basically pays homage to the wonders and magic of raw chocolate, otherwise known as cacao (pronounced ka-cow). It includes such delightful recipes as: chocolate pizza, chocolate cheezecake, chocolate banana bread, chocovanilla shake, mint and choc chip ice cream……chocolate, chocolate, chocolate….All of the recipes are raw, and all of them contain cacao.
In all honesty, it is enormously beneficial to have possession of a dehydrator if you want to experience the great heights of chocolate ecstacy that this book offers.
Shazzie and David clearly love and respect cacao. The introduction to the book announces:
‘There is nothing in the world like chocolate. It is luxurious, sensuous, delightful, passionate, inspirational, sexual and exciting to all senses’.
Naked Chocolate discusses comprehensively the history, uses, and properties of chocolate, before launching into the sensuous recipes. The book comes with a warning:
‘Reading this book may cause you to have The Best Day Ever!’
Ah, their enthusiasm is infectious.
A recipe that has become a personal favourite is Chocolate Tarts.
The recipe requires a dehydrator. I am fortunate to have a dehydrator in my kitchen, so I use it whenever I make these tarts. However, I experimented with preparing the tart shells in a low oven, instead of a dehydrator, and I achieved a good result . I have included the oven option below, in case it appeals to you.
I varied the chocolate sauce by adding macadamia nuts, coconut water and vanilla. This tempers the bitterness of the cacao, without the need to add more sweetener. The shells are reminiscent of a chewy, apricot muesli bar.
These tarts are luxurious, delightful, and sexual…ah, I mean sensuous!
Sienna will definitely want the book back now.
Recipe from: Naked Chocolate by David Wolfe and Shazzie
(quantity – a dozen)
You Will Need:
1 cup dry oat groats OR rolled oats*
1 cup raw almonds (do not soak)
1 tsp flax seed
15 dried apricots, soaked for 4-6 hours (whole dried apricots, not halves)
1 serving of dark chocolate sauce (recipe to follow)
12 almonds (for decoration)
Method for tart shells:
1. Add the flax seed, almond and oats to a food processor, coffee grinder or high speed blender, and grind until a fine flour consistency is achieved.
2. Remove 2 tablespoons of the flour, and set aside to assist with rolling the dough (step 4).
3. In a food processor, process the flour while dropping the soaked apricots down the chute. As the apricots are processed, a dough-like consistency will form. If the mixture appears dry rather than doughy, add a tiny amount of the apricot soak water. Once a ball of dough has formed, turn off the food processor and remove the dough.
4. Sprinkle a tablespoon of flour onto a wooden board, and place the dough on the board. Sprinkle the remaining flour on the ball of dough. Flatten and roll the dough with a rolling pin, until it is about 4mm thick.
5. Cut 12 circles with a cookie cutter.
6. Place a sheet of cling wrap over a tart (or shallow muffin) tray.
7. Place the circles of dough into the sections of the tray, moulding the pieces with your fingers (see photos below).
8. Set the dehydrator to 105-115 degrees F or 40-46 deg C.
9. Place the tart tray into the dehydrator for 2 hours. The tart shells will harden. Remove the shells from the tray and turn them upside down on a dehydrator tray, and leave for one hour.
Oven option for tart shells:
If you do not have access to a dehydrator, you can use a low oven heat to harden the shells. Once you have used the tart tray to mould the shells, remove the shells from the tray and place them on a baking tray.
In my pre-heated, fan-forced oven the shells harden in about 15 minutes. I set my oven for the lowest temp that is achievable on the dial (80 deg C), placing the shells cup side up for 10 minutes, then turning them upside down for 5 minutes.
Dark Chocolate Sauce
Adapted from: Naked Chocolate
You Will Need:
4 heaped tbsp of cacao powder
4 tbsp liquid sweetener (eg. agave syrup, maple syrup,** etc. )
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tsp coconut water OR water
2/3 cup raw macadamia nuts, soaked for 4-6 hours
Seeds of 1/2 a vanilla pod OR 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tsp additional liquid sweetener (optional)
2 tsp additional coconut oil (optional)
Method for chocolate sauce:
1. Add all ingredients (except additional liquid sweetener and additional coconut oil) to a small food processor and blend until smooth. Alternatively, use an immersion (hand-held) blender.
2. Taste the sauce. If it requires more sweetener, add an additional 1-2 tsp of sweetener and blend until combined. If a smoother consistency is desired, add an additional 2 tsp of coconut oil, and blend again.
To assemble the tarts:
1. Scoop the chocolate sauce into the tart shells, and top each one with an almond. Serve.
2. Store leftovers in an air tight container.
3. Leftover chocolate sauce can be added to smoothies.
* Use certified gluten-free oats if you want to ensure that the tarts are gluten-free.
** Maple syrup is not a raw product, but it works well in this recipe if you do not have agave syrup available.
What is your favourite raw dessert? Do you enjoy cacao?
Every Monday I post a delicious vegan recipe – one that is enjoyed by my own family – I hope your family enjoys it too!
This recipe was submitted to Healthy Vegan Fridays. Check out the other delicious recipes.