With this recipe I have collaborated with the lovely people over at Creative Nature to feature some of their fantastic organic products. Firstly, let it be said that I only work with products and companies that I believe are properly sourced, nutrient dense premium products.
I have chosen to work with their cacao powder and shelled hemp seeds as they are both amazing ingredients to work with as well as being highly nutritious. Hemp seeds are lesser known and not commonly found in most pantries, I really like them as they have a fabulous nutty taste with a slight chocolaty texture. Perfect for replacing nuts in a recipe or add a sprinkle over a big green salad to take it to a whole new dimension.
Right, so lets get started on this recipe. Cacao butter used to terrify me as an ingredient, I guess it is the idea of melting that I find so scary, but truly it could not be easier. I don’t have time for the pot-over-the-stove method, as with many of my other recipes, I find melting in the microwave easier, faster and way less messy.
Simply place the cacao butter in a glass bowl or jug, micro for 1 min on high, stop stir, 1 minute , stop stir, and maybe (but only if there are still loads of chunks) another 30 seconds, then just keep stirring until everything is melted.
Initially it won’t look like much is happening, just stick with the plan….
Then just stir until most of the chunks have broken up or small and soft
You should be able to put your finger into the liquid without burning.
In a blender cup, add the pitted dates (make sure you have removed the pips) then add the melted cacao butter and cacao powder
Give it a good blend, it will start to look deliciously creamy and chocolaty
Add the the remaining ingredients and stir together with a spoon (don’t blend it, or it won’t be crunchy which is kinda the objective here)
Don’t forget the peppermint extract
One final good stir and it is ready for the silicon ice trays. Any size will do, mine are small square blocks, but don’t feel you need to rush out and buy special chocolate moulds, you could even set it in a big block and chop it up afterwards.
Spoon it into the moulds and pop into the fridge to set, it will take about 20-30 min to firm up and ready to eat. They do not need to be stored in the fridge, I like to leave mine on the kitchen counter for everyone to pick at and enjoy any time of the day.
Drizzle of melted chocolate, if desired
- Gently melt the cacao butter in a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water or in the microwave (see above pictures) being careful not to over heat it, just enough to melt but not be hot to the touch.
- Transfer the melted cacao butter into a high speed blender along with the dates and cacao powder.
- Blend until the dates are chopped and the mixture is creamy and chocolaty.
- Stir in the coconut, hemp seeds and peppermint extract.
- Spoon into silicon ice tray moulds and leave to set in the fridge until firm.
- Enjoy them either as they are or dip the tops into melted dark chocolate and sprinkle with a touch of coconut.
- If you don't have peppermint extract, then use any other extract on hand (but do invest in a bottle, as it is great to add to smoothies or ice-cream)