Coconut sugar

Raw Chocolate Madness Pt. 2

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So I know it has been a while since my last post...I was hoping to post part 2 of my raw chocolate experience quite soon after the 1st part as I made them both on the same day. However I got caught up with work and then went on holiday for a month, then I got back, had a serious case of the holiday blues and dived head-first into crazy working hours.

Anyhoo now I am back in the swing of things I am finally ready to put up the second part of my experiment, this time using cacao butter instead of coconut oil. I made this version into more of a healthy chocolate finger-esque bar, you can use a mould to achieve any shape you want, so it's fun to play around with. I had an Ikea silicone ice cube tray on hand and decided to use that. Alternatively you can line a glass oven dish with parchment paper, or basically anything that is flat and has sides which can contain the liquid chocolate mixture!

P.S.Using cacao butter definitely takes raw chocolate taste up to the heavens, but if it's not easy to get a hold of coconut oil is a pretty good replacement.

This recipe is inspired the one on Eleanor's amazingly beautiful blog, Earthsprout.

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Ingredients

1/3 cup cacao butter

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

3 tablespoon coconut sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon maca powder

1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder

himalayan pink salt / sea salt

Crushed pistachio nuts (optional)

Method

Melt the cacao butter in a metal or ceramic bowl over a pot of hot water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water.

Once melted remove from heat and sift the cacao powder, coconut sugar, maca powder and vanilla powder over the melter cacao butter and whisk together to combine. Then add a pinch of salt, this will enhance the sweet tones, and whisk away again, making sure all ingredients are well combined.

Pour out the mixture into the mould you are using, if you aren't using a silicone mould make sure to line with parchment paper. Sprinkle some crushed pistachio nuts on top, or whatever else you fancy, and pop in the freezer for 10 - 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

Refreshing Rose Petal Sharbat

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The summer has definitely arrived here in Doha with temperatures hitting the high 40s and even 50 last week!! So a great alternative to cooling yourself down in the summer heat, apart from blasting your air conditioning on full blast, which I detest, is by making a sharbat!

Sharbat is an aromatic syrup which is diluted with water and ice, very similar to cordial, and made either from fruits, herbs, vegetables or flowers. This age old Persian answer to the sweltering hot summer months, cools you down from the inside out! It also is known to help improve hydration and is a good source of antioxidants. You can have it plain with water and ice or to get the antioxidant effect, add in some chia seeds. The traditional seeds which are used in sharbat are basil seeds, which are very similar to chia seeds so I decided to use what I had on hand.

Ingredients (serves 10)

1 cup coconut sugar or any sweetener of your choice

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup rose petals (you can also use rose water instead)

splash of rose water

1 lime

Optional: chia seeds (about 2 teaspoons per glass)

cucumber slices

Sharbat ingredients 1


Bring the water to a boil in a pot.

Then add the coconut sugar, stirring constantly, until it dissolves.

Reduce the heat and add the rose petals and rose water and let simmer for a couple of minutes.

Remove from heat and let the syrup cool down completely. I put mine in the fridge to speed up the process.

Once the syrup has cooled down, pour about 1/3 of a cup of syrup per glass, then add cold water, ice cubes, squeeze of fresh lime and 2 teaspoons of chia seeds.

OR you can make a big jug of this to share, and add in some cucumber slices or watermelon.

Stir it all up and enjoy this refreshing aromatic summer drink!

NB: you can save any left over syrup in a bottle in the fridge for up to a week.

Coconut Sugar Ricciarelli Cookies

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The first time I tried Ricciarelli was a couple of weeks ago at a friends house and it was love at first bite! When I found out that they were homemade, gluten free and easy to make I had to have the recipe, so he wrote the steps down on my phone and I've been waiting for a chance to make these ever since. They are crunchy with a divine chewy centre.

I decided to alter the recipe to make it ever so slightly healthy as it calls for quite a lot of sugar. So my version uses homemade coconut icing sugar instead of shop bought icing sugar. Coconut sugar has a much lower glycemic index than regular sugar because in contains inulin which apparently slows down the absorption of sugar into the blood, though this doesn't mean that it is ok to have it all the time as it is still sugar!

Coconut Icing Sugar Recipe - inspired by this

coconut icing sugar

5 cups coconut sugar 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch (I used arrowroot powder)

Put the arrowroot or cornstarch in a blender or food processor for about a minute or until the sugar grinds down to a powdery consistency. Keep the lid on the blender/food processor until it settles or your kitchen will be covered in powder. **This will make more than the required amount of sugar needed for the recipe so you will have some left over to use later on.**

Ingredients (makes approx. 20)

250 grams ground almonds 250 grams coconut icing sugar / regular icing sugar 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 2 organic free range egg whites 1 teaspoon vanilla extract / 1 vanilla pod

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg whites until they are semi-solid. Add the vanilla to the dry ingredients. With a metal spoon fold the egg whites into the dry ingredients until you get a sticky even texture. Scoop a walnut sized piece of dough and roll it into a ball then gently flatten it in your hands, place on a lined baking tray and shape into a diamond shape. Continue until you run out of dough. Sprinkle them with a bit of icing sugar and pop them in the over for 10 - 12 minutes. Once they are done take them out the oven and leave on the baking tray to cool. If you try to pick them up too soon they will fall apart and not set properly. (I can assure you that this is the hardest part of the recipe). And finally...enjoy!