Friday, August 31, 2012
Fresh medjool dates were a luxury we could rarely afford growing up. I remember my dad would buy one or two every so often and keep them hidden from us, probably eating them in peace and quiet when us kids were fast asleep at night. They are still ridiculously overpriced back home in New Zealand, but thankfully for all of us currently living in Australia they are often picked up for a steal at your local supermarket. When Dad was over here visiting recently I bought a whole boxful of them so we could all go crazy :-)
I love their sweet caramel flavour and they are the perfect base to use when making raw sweets and desserts. I blitz them up with almonds, cocoa and a little coconut oil until they turn into a sticky-sweet paste, press it into a tin then chill in the fridge for a beautiful rich chocolate slice... gone healthy.
I came up with this slice after my dear friend Brenda Briand asked me if I would like to share a recipe over on her blog as part of a new series they are doing with recipes from family and friends. Brenda and I have known each other since we were 13 years old and she is one of those beautiful people whose honesty and talent I have long been in awe of. Sadly it's been way to many years since we've seen each other in person... 7 or 8 years if I remember rightly? The last time we parted ways Si, Brenda and I had just survived one of those crazy overnight bus trips to the beaches in Southern Thailand. She got off the ferry at Ko Samui while Si and I carried on to Koh Pha-Ngan. A lot has happened for both of us since then; I've had two kids and Brenda one, we've both got married and she is now the creative force behind the high-end fashion brand Benah. Hope you enjoy the slice b. Miss you xxx
rich chocolate slice
This slice is best made using fresh medjool dates, but if they are not available or affordable where you live simply sub in 1 1/2 cups of dried dates instead. If you're using dried you will need a strong food processor and take it easy to begin with by pulsing the mixture a few times first, to get things going. I'm not overly concerned with making this 100% raw, but if you are simply use raw cacao powder in place of the cocoa. I use Loving Earth mesquite powder for added minerals and a subtle smokey chocolate flavour, but if you can't get hold of any, this is still lovely made without.
Makes 12 bite-size slices
12 medjool dates, pitted
1/2 cup (85g) raw almonds
1/4 cup (25g) cocoa powder + extra to dust
2 tablespoons mesquite powder, optional
Pinch fine sea salt
3 tablespoon virgin coconut oil, heated until just liquid
Place all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and blend for about a minute or until paste-like with a few small chunks of almonds still visible. Transfer mixture to a 13cm/5 inch cake tin (mine is a loose bottomed one) and using your hands press down evenly. Cover and chill for 4 hours over overnight. Remove from the tin, dust with cocoa powder, if desired and slice into 12 even slices. Store in the fridge for up to one week.
Here's a few other healthy sweet treats that you may like too:
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