An Ode to Chocolate: 3 Raw Cacao Desserts 

an ode to chocolate: 3 raw cacao desserts 

Chocolate. Chocolate. Chocolate. Why cannot I not think of anything but chocolate? Known as the "foods of the gods", chocolate is the answer to all of your prayers. It offers emotional relief. It's an aphrodisiac. It's a buzzing stimulant. It was even once used as a form of currency. Raw and dark. Sprinkled as nibs. Blended in smoothies. Frozen over strawberries. Added to pancakes. It's all good and I don't discriminate. I want it all.

I think it's safe to assume that we all have something in common here: a love for chocolate. How do you like your raw cacao? Beans, nibs, paste, butter or powder?

 Yep, pile 'em up. 

Yep, pile 'em up. 

Cacao beans are specially cured and have been dried with their skins on. It is the most stimulating form of cacao. Nibs are the beans that have been skinned and then crushed into trail-mix-friendly bits. Paste is the cacao nibs that have been slowly ground into a texture akin to a smooth, flowing chocolate river. Butter is cold-pressed from the beans, and cacao powder is what remains after the butter has been pressed out. The leftover mass in then ground into a fine powder.

Coming in all shapes and sizes, cacao has something for everyone. Having one of the highest antioxidant concentrations of any major food in the world, cacao is more powerful than blueberries, acai, chaga mushrooms and red wine. Antioxidants protect our cells from free radical damage and as such contribute to our longevity and state of well-being.

It seems then that chocolate really does have it all. It is the ultimate triple threat. So today I present to you three of my favourite raw cacao dessert recipes. Whether you're wanting something that's oil-free, gluten-free or sugar-free, you're covered. If you want something super smooth, with a bit of a crunch or something in the middle, look no further. 

All recipes are raw. All are delicious. And all include copious amounts of chocolate.    


recipe 1 (oil-free): no-bake double chocolate slabs

 Hold on for dear life.

Hold on for dear life.

ingredients 

For the Brownie Base: 

1 cup oats (or oat flour

1 cup gooey dates 

1/4 cup cacao powder

3 tbsp carob powder

Dash of sea salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon 

Water, as needed 

For the Chocolate Fudge Layer: 

2 ripe, spotty bananas (one frozen, one fresh

1 cup soaked cashews

1/4 cup carob powder 

1/4 cup maple syrup 

2 tbsp macadamia nut butter (or any other nut butter

1 tbsp maca powder

A pinch of vanilla powder 

method

1. In a food processor, blend the rolled oats until fine like a flour, unless using oat flour. 

2. Add in all of the Brownie Base ingredients and process until well combined. The mixture should clump together in a ball. Transfer the base mixture into a loaf pan and press down until even. Set aside.

3. For the Chocolate Fudge layer, add all the ingredients to the food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour the mixture over the crust. 

4. Freeze overnight or for about 4-5 hours until firm. Cut into slabs. Eat immediately or place it back in the freezer, covered.


recipe 2 (refined sugar-free): creamy chocolate fudge

 Grudge: Resentful sharing of fudge. 

Grudge: Resentful sharing of fudge. 

ingredients

1 cup gooey dates

1 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup cacao powder 

1/4 cup carob powder 

1/2 cup water 

1-2 tbsp maple syrup (optional or leave out for the sugar-free option)  

1 tsp vanilla powder 

A pinch of salt 

method

1. Soften the dates by soaking them in warm water.

2. Add everything to the food processor and process until completely smooth. It may take about 15 minutes but be patient. It's well worth the wait! 

3. Pour the mixture into a shallow dish and set it in the freezer for about 4 hours. 

4. Cut into squares and then place it in the fridge, covered. 


recipe 3 (gluten-free): raw cashew butter brownie

 This gets 10 brownie points in the form of actual brownies (PS: Why are  brownie  brownie points not a thing yet?!).  

This gets 10 brownie points in the form of actual brownies (PS: Why are brownie brownie points not a thing yet?!).  

ingredients 

3/4 cup of cashew nut butter (feel free to use a nut butter of your choice

1 cup gooey dates 

2 tbsp coconut oil 

2 tbsp maple syrup  

100g good quality, 85% dark chocolate 

Pinch of salt 

A handful of walnuts or pecans (optional: soak the nuts overnight, dry and then lightly roast them in the oven (7 minutes at 150°C) before garnishing them on the brownies

Goji berries and nut butter (optional toppings)

method 

1. Melt the dark chocolate over low heat in a heat-proof bowl. 

2. Pour the melted chocolate, along with dates, nut butter, coconut oil and salt into the food processor and blend until you have a smooth mixture.

3. Transfer the mixture to a spring-form cake tin, garnish the top with crushed walnuts or pecans, goji berries and nut butter. Pop into the freezer for an hour. Next, transfer the tin to the fridge until fully set. 

Recipe from The Yoga Kitchen