Saturday, April 9, 2011

More not necessarily Paleo chocolate recipes

Ok, no promises on the perfect Paleo-ness of these, though they're overall healthier than the Jello. They're for a friend with breastfeeding food restrictions similar to mine. They contain cocoa and sugar. You can replace sugar with whatever sweetener you feel is most appropriate.

But everyone knows mamas need their chocolate sometimes. Even, perhaps especially, those with babies with food intolerances!

I often use half cocoa, half carob, simply because I like the taste of carob, especially combined with chocolate. If you do this (or use all carob), you may need to use less sweetener, as carob is naturally sweet.

These are all peanut/gluten free (assuming you use safe ingredients). I mention clarified butter a few times - this is butter with the milk solids removed. Many people with dairy sensitivities can tolerate it, but if your issue with dairy is serious (or you're vegan), just use coconut oil instead, as it's impossible to guarantee all milk protein has been removed. They behave similarly - solidish at room temperature, quite solid when refrigerated. If using coconut oil, be sure you're using good quality, unrefined coconut oil, and definitely not the stuff from the body care aisle. Egg is included in one recipe (I copied and pasted it before realizing it had egg and decided to leave it), but you should be able to replace it with one of the standard vegan egg replacements (banana, applesauce, flax seed...).

Quick and easy chocolate fix:
I usually use this in my coffee, but have been known to eat it plain, too. It's about the consistency of whipped cream.

Refrigerate coconut milk to thicken. Or, if you use a brand that separates into water and cream, don't bother with the refrigeration and just use the cream. Take a quarter cup or so. Stir in a spoonful of sugar and a spoonful of cocoa. Stir until well-mixed. Taste and adjust quantities as desired. Eat.

Quick and easy fudge (single serving):
1 tablespoon coconut oil or clarified butter
1 teaspoon cocoa
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of salt (optional - I didn't need it with my clarified butter version, but it might be necessary for coconut oil)

Mix ingredients together until well blended. Adjust quantities until it tastes right, isn't too dry, and isn't too wet. Chill until solid - this took about 1/2 hour for me. It's very rich - I can't eat the "single serving" all at once.

I shouldn't have invented this recipe. It's a little too easy and tasty.

Avocado-based Chocolate Pudding:
(Are avocados available at reasonable price and quality in the Great Frozen North? I apologize if not.)

1 Avocado
1 tbsp - 1/4 cup cocoa powder (adjust amount to taste based on size of avocado, strength of flavor, and how much you want to hide the avocado flavor)
Sweetener to taste (for sugar, about the same amount sugar as cocoa powder)
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
pinch of salt (optional)
A few slices of apple or some raisins (optional, but I feel it improves the flavor and texture. I've seen cooked sweet potato used for this, too.)
Non-dairy milk

Combine all ingredients except milk in food processor or blender (or you can mix by hand if you're leaving out the apple). Process/blend until smooth. If too thick, add non-dairy milk a tablespoonful or so at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Taste and add more cocoa and/or sweetener until you have the flavor you want - if you're saying, "Eww, this tastes like avocado," you probably haven't added enough.

This evolved into...

Spicy Chocolate Avocado Ice Cream:

2 avocados
Approximately equal amounts of cocoa powder and sweetener to taste (I used about 1/4 cup of each. I find plain sugar works best for me - honey doesn't work well with the avocado IMO).
A touch of vanilla
A little salt
1 apple, sliced (I actually used a pear this time, as we were out of apples.)
1 handful of raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
Cayenne pepper to taste (No really, I have no clue how much I used. Start conservative.)

Food process everything together until smooth (if you do the apples and raisins first, then add the avocado, then add the rest, it will probably get smoothest. On the other hand, the slight raisin chunks work for me). Add a little milk (I use coconut milk) to thin to ice cream batter consistency. Put in ice cream maker. If you don't thin it, it works well as a pudding, but it was really hot on the day I tried it, so I made ice cream.

(If you don't have an ice-cream maker, you might be able to freeze it in a thin layer, then break it up and food process once frozen.)

At first taste, the cayenne isn't apparent at all. Then the heat builds up :) I think I got it pretty much perfect, for my tastes anyways - there's definite heat, but it isn't painfully hot, or so hot that it overwhelms the rest of the flavors. I'm very happy with how it turned out, even though spicy chocolate isn't usually my favorite combo.

The cayenne is entirely optional if you don't like hot stuff.

The texture of this ice cream (whether spicy or not) is totally, utterly, amazing. Totally gourmet.

Sesame-raisin fudge:
Based on the recipe at I used to make these to take on my 20 mile round trip bike ride to school.

1 and 1/2 cup sesame seeds
2 tbsp cocoa powder (original recipe called for carob or mesquite flour)
2 handfuls dried raisins
2 tbsp agave syrup or 1 tbsp honey in a little warm water
juice of one orange
2 tbsp water
cocoa powder for coating

Grind up the sesame seeds in grinder until very fine.
Add cocoa and mix in with your hands rubbing out any lumps.
Add the raisins, agave and orange juice. Mix in well.
Add 1 tablespoon water at a time until you have a dough that can easily be formed into shape. Roll small pieces into balls and place in a box with cocoa powder. Roll balls around until coated.

Birthday Cake:
I made this to accommodate some GF/CF guests at one of Boy's birthday parties. IMO, it turned out way better than the standard wheat-based cake. I make no claims that this is healthy.

1 cup almond flour (ground almonds)
1/3 cup ground flax seed
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs (Oops, this has eggs. Try replacing them with some mashed bananas, or a bit more flax seed)
1/3 cup oil (I actually used 1/2 cup, and think it was a bit too much, but it contributed to the wonderful fudgyness. 1/3 cup might still be too much, or might be too little. I think 1/4 cup, as I originally put, would be too little. Might be able to successfully do half and half applesauce or something and oil)
2/3 cup bean puree (can of beans thrown in the food processor)
3/4 cup coconut milk

Combine wet ingredients. Combine dry ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until it looks done. Makes two 8-inch round pans.

Coconut Fudge:
5 cups dried coconut
1/2 cup honey (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa
2-3 tablespoons water (coffee would probably taste good, too, or maybe non-dairy milk)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Blend coconut in high-powered blender until butter-like (do small batches at a time - keep blending until the contents are no longer in contact with the blender baldes, then shake back down to the bottom and blend some more). Add honey, vanilla, cocoa and mix well. Stir in nuts if using. Spoon into greased pan. Cover with plastic wrap and smooth into a slab about 1/2 inch (1cm) thick. Chill before cutting - if it is hard to cut, let it de-chill a little.

And, of course... my Delicious Chocolate Jello.

Other recipes that look good but that I haven't personally tried: - I've made the egg-containing version of these, and this is the recipe that is closest to my standard recipe. She replaces the egg with banana. They're especially good with a tsp of instant coffee powder. You could use a GF brand of oats, or presumably replace that with your favorite GF flour alternative. Or possibly leave it out entirely - the egg-containing version didn't use any sort of flour, and was fine that way.

If the batter tastes anything like the egg-containing version, it would work well as a milkshake, too (Uncooked, obviously. Possibly with a little added non-dairy milk if needed). is another version that suggests applesauce as the egg replacement, which might be a bit more flavor-neutral.

Halvah -
This is also a good bet for store-bought (try a middle-eastern food store) - just be sure to check the ingredients, as some types of halvah are made with butter, semolina, or other things you don't want.

Coconut oil fudge: (I'm going to guess this would be improved by a bit of salt)
I also want to try something like this with clarified butter.

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