Monday, December 12, 2011

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Bark

We are attending a holiday party this coming weekend, and I decided to try and make some primal friendly treats to take along and share w/ friends.  I am still on my 21 day sugar detox so the version I made for myself didn't include sweetener of any sort.  I haven't had any sugar forms outside of a banana or green apple on occasion since 12/1, as I still have 9 more days to go.  I decided to add stevia extract as the sweetener in this batch since the chocolate I had on hand was 99% cacao - very bitter w/ no sweetener.  It's a hard transition for those who normally eat milk chocolate to taste a bite of bakers chocolate.  If you are trying to wean yourself off of eating milk chocolate onto dark chocolate try something that is 75% cacao or above and slowly move your way up the % scale to the range of 85%-95%.   My hubby was my taste tester on the batch for the party.  I trust his palate since he is such an amazing cook in our house.  


Ingredients:
1 - 9-10z bar of dark chocolate (85%-90% Ideal for this recipe - but I used 99% since that is what I had on hand)
1/2-1c Raw Almond Butter (Used Trader Joe brand in this recipe)
3T Coconut Cream Concentrate (optional - I think it adds more creaminess to the mixture but it is not needed)
1t Vanilla Extract
Celtic Sea Salt(optional -  but a great compliment to the dark chocolate)
1/3c Chopped Hazelnuts (or any nut of your liking)
1 Dropper Stevia Extract (I added sweetener again because mine was 99%, if you are using 85-90% you shouldn't need a sweetener of any kind)


Directions:

  • Chop entire bar of Chocolate into small pieces
  • Chop Hazelnut (or not of your choice)

  • Add chocolate pieces, coconut cream, almond butter, vanilla extract into pan and melt over low heat - stirring until completely melted as shown below.



  • Add chopped Hazelnuts & Dropper full Stevia extract(Optional)

  • Line small baking pan w/ parchment paper  - If you want thin bark go with a larger pan/dish.  My pan was 10x8.5.
  • Sprinkle w/ desired amount of celtic sea salt(optional)
  • Put in freezer for minimum 20 min (until frozen) or longer if you can.
  • Once frozen you can snap apart into bark pieces and take to your next social gathering or save them for a tasty treat on occasion for yourself.

  • Enjoy!
-Possible health benefits of eating Dark Chocolate
  • Helps lower mild blood pressure
    • This doesn't mean go on a chocolate eating binge but it's good on occasion for you. ;)
  • Full of Antioxidants
    • Only in the Dark Chocolate form - not when mixed with milk, ate w/ milk or milk chocolate
      • Milk is known to possibly interfere w/ the absorption of antioxidants from the dark chocolate.
Just remember the key to eating chocolate is always in moderation.  I hope you enjoy this easy recipe! 


Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20030827/dark-chocolate-is-healthy-chocolate


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