Most people like sweets, even those who have trained their palate to not like overly sweet things. There is a time and place for treats and lately my attention has turned toward creating some healthy alternatives to the traditional sugar-laden option. Although there are now a reasonable variety of sugar-free options available, most contain artificial sweeteners and other ingredients that we may not particularly want to ingest. They are also on the pricey side, but this can be a good thing as it helps moderate consumption.
I have worked on a couple of recipes. One is ready to share; the other needs a re-check and maybe refinement before I deem it suitable to share.
So if I say – “dark chocolate and peppermint” – does it make your mouth water? I know it has this effect on me. My favourite chocolates from the box of Roses chocolates was the peppermint ones, and I wanted to find an enjoyable replacement. The ones I’ve come up with are not the same, but they are a nice treat that satisifies the peppermint-chocolate attuned tastebuds. They have been taste tested by my husband and also by two people who are not sugar free. They all enjoyed them.
They are a bit more fiddly than my typical recipe, but not technically difficult.
My one word of advice, is to maintain control of your electric beater during their making. I lost around 2 chocolates worth of mixture (maybe more) when my beater spun the bowl right out of my grip. Mixture down the cupboard doors, across the floor, in the kitchen sink and across the bench. Ugh! Fortunately I could laugh about it.
♥ Ingredients ♥
1/3 C coconut oil in solid form
1/3 C cream cheese
2 t peppermint essence
1 – 1 1/5 T erythritol/stevia blend
1 T Coconut flour
100g dark chocolate
♥ Method ♥
Measure out the coconut oil and cream cheese into a medium sized microwave safe bowl. Heat in 10 second bursts until the coconut oil is malleable but not melted. Time will depend on how cold/solid the oil was to start with.
Starting on low speed, use an electric beater to mix the two together, gradually increasing speed as it becomes more workable. Blend to a nice even consistency.
Add peppermint essence, coconut flour and one tablespoon of the sweetener. Blend thoroughly again. Taste and adjust sweetness as desired. The chocolate I use is slightly sweetened, so I needed to bear in mind the additional sweetness that would come from the chocolate. If you use unsweetened chocolate you may wish to add the additional 1/2 tablespoon, depending on your sweet tooth.
When the mixture is well mixed and you’re satisfied with the flavour (add more essence and/or sweetener if you wish) use 2 teaspoons to quenelle the mix into individual servings. Place onto a plate or tray that is lined with baking or waxed paper as each one is shaped. You will see that mine are not very neat. It was the first time trying to quenelle anything and it was easy enough, I just didn’t spend the time to make them perfect. In the end, it doesn’t matter, so be as precise or as relaxed as you like in shaping them. Or try other shapes or sizes. Smaller sizes would require more chocolate to coat them.
Place the tray or plate in the freezer and chill until solid. I left mine for a couple of hours.
When the creams are nicely solid, break up the chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 20 second bursts, stirring in between each, until the chocolate is nice and runny.
Using a fork, toothpick, or other method, dip each cream into the chocolate and coat, setting it back on the cold plate as each is covered. Because the plate is chilled as well as the creams, the chocolate will harden very quickly. I found it satisfying to see it happen as I worked. If the chocolate gets too thick as it cools down – the chilled creams will speed up that cooling process – give it a slight boost in the microwave and stir, then continue coating.
When all have been coated, pop into the fridge for 10-15 minutes just to make sure everything is firmed up and set, then transfer to a lidded container. Store in the fridge. (My apologies for the fingerprint in the chocolate LOL)
My chocolates were not at all neat, and yet I think they still looked cool. It’s my first time making anything like this and with practice I’ll probably get them looking more…professional, or refined at least. They still taste good!
We find one of these with a cup of tea or coffee is the right amount of indulgent sweet treat and with those good fats, it satiates the appetite, too.
My batch made 14 chocolates, but would have made 16 (or more) if I hadn’t lost some of the mixture in my ‘beater incident’.
What is your favourite chocolate treat? I am wanting to try more flavours and create more recipes, so leave me a comment if you have a suggestion. The other recipe I am currently working on is a Coconut Cherry one (think Cherry Ripe).
Sweet health to you all,