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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Raw Chocolate Turtles

Happy Halloween!


For those of you who celebrate: I hope you all have something fun planned for tonight.

As for my night, I'll be spending my time in psych. Yep, class until 10pm... On Halloween.
I might just have to peek on Facebook every now and again to see how others are spending the evening. (Don't tell my professor!)

If I can't go out, at least I can try to live vicariously through my friends. It's almost the same, is it not?

Anyways, let's get to the true meaning of Halloween- the candy.

Except now that I'm older and give a shit about what I put in my body, candy looks a little different.


As in it's vegan, raw, low-sugar, gluten-free. Not to mention no HFCS, no GMO's, no trans fats, etc. etc. etc. So basically it's worlds away from most Halloween treats except for that it's equally (if not more) delicious. 

My top priority this year was recreating chocolate turtles. They were always one of my favorites in my pre-vegan days. Something about the gooey caramel and crunchy pecan placed strategically on the top just drew me in.


My homemade version turned out great except for one minor problem- the pecans that were sitting in my pantry had little worms all over them. I was beyond grossed out when I pulled out the bag and noticed little larvae had infested it. 

Well, I guess that spooky finding fits well considering what day it is. But I didn't use the worm-laden nuts, of course. If I did, this recipe wouldn't be vegan anymore. (;

Instead, I subbed raw cashew halves as the chocolate toppers.


I actually prefer this cashew version to traditional turtles. Cashews have a bit more neutral of a flavor than pecans and their natural sweetness lends itself well to the recipe. 

Now let's see if I can use these babies to bribe my professor to cancel class!

P.S. Sorry about the poor photo quality. These pictures were taken at night, which almost always guarantees that my photos turn out awful. I hope to have newer, better ones up soon.

Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup cacao powder
  • 1 tbs. agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp. liquid stevia 
  • 1/2 cup dates (soaked 2+ hours)
  • 18 cashew halves

Directions:
  • Combine cacao and coconut oil in bowl (stirring until all cacao powder is dispersed)
  • Mix in agave and stevia
  • Pour half the chocolate mixture into chocolate molds or ice cube trays. For me, about 1 tsp. of chocolate went into each section
  • Place molds in the freezer to set
  • Meanwhile, pulse dates plus 1/4 cup soak water in food processor until smooth
  • Remove molds from freezer and scoop date "caramel" onto each chocolate base. Once again, about 1 tsp. should be used on each
  • Spoon remaining chocolate over the caramel until the top is smooth and the caramel no longer shows. (If your chocolate has begun to harden at this point, you can re-melt it on the stove at low heat. Just be sure that the temperature does not go over 104º F if you want the recipe to remain raw.)
  • Place cashew half on the top of each chocolate
  • Put back in the freezer to set. I recommend keeping the candies in the fridge or freezer until they are ready to be devoured.



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