Sometimes I get these urges to do something that doesn’t involve a lot of faffing, and that usually happens when I’m at work, kilometres away from home. I end up texting Man-thing to soak nuts and dried fruit, so that when I get home there’s a scattered array of dishes out stuffed with soggy delights. I don’t mind being a dictator in these moments because I’m sure there’s nothing better than opening up the nut & fruit drawer and just basking in its glory. Or, better yet, being fed the product of such labours as soaking fruit, because Man-things tend to scatter when actual cooking or baking is afoot!
Well, actually, Man-thing is rather sweet about reading aloud to me when I bake, but when I prepare raw food it’s kind of impossible to get a sense of story when the food processor whirrs on and off every few seconds, but the results are always worth it. As much as I love a piece of baked cake, there’s really nothing that gets me as giddy as a raw dessert/snack, because I know there’s no funny business in there – all natural nomness! (Ok, so blackstrap molasses isn’t exactly “whole food”, but I’m indulging a little before I join the Blissful Chef on her no-sugar effort).
Ingredients (makes 12…or 9…or 16 – depends on your munchies):
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/2 cup dates + soaking water (just enough to cover the dates – do not discard!)
- 2 tsp blackstrap molasses
- 1/3 cup carob powder
- 2 heaped tsp NuNaturals oat fibre (oh yar!)
- 1/3 cup macadamia nuts, soaked
- 1/3 cup apple rings, stacked, soaked
- 1 tsp NuNaturals Simple Syrup OR 2 – 3 TBSP agave/maple syrup
- a few drops NuNaturals NuStevia Vanilla drops
- 2 tsp soy milk
- nutmeg, ginger & cinnamon (LOTS)
- Optional: cranberries, vegan white chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- a few drops NuNaturals NuStevia Orange/whatever flavour you like, actually/1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1/3 cup carob powder
(Optional): goji berries + poppy seeds
- Blend the chocolate base until smooth using only 1/2 the soaking water and then adding the rest 1 TBSP at a time until you reach a smooth consistency.
- Take a 22 x 23cm loaf pan lined with baking paper and press down the chocolate layer evenly using the back of a wet tablespoon (the water prevents sticking).
- Roughly clean out your processor (or you can just process the apple layer first and then transfer the goods to a bowl whilst you tackle the chocolate)
- Blend the apple layer, scraping down the sides to ensure even processing – if you have a nut pulverizer you can first make the macadamia nuts into a powder – no need for soaking then- but for the rest of us this is ok. I didn’t want to sit and process forever so mine was smoothish with some chunky bits.
- If you have a strong processor and you’d like a less squishy innard for the stuffed brownie then omit the milk and just scrape down the sides a lot more to ensure most of the mixture is nicely broken down.
- Add your optional ingredients if you like! for the last few whirls in the processor.
- Blob this in segments over your chocolate layer and spread evenly. It will be kind of squishy.
- Melt the coconut oil in a glass bowl in the microwave (or over hot water along with the orange flavour drops.
- Once it’s melted sift the carob powder over the coconut oil in batches, whisking it smooth/mixed.
- Pour it over the apple layer and quickly sprinkle the toppings whilst it’s still liquid – it’s winter by us so the chocolate hardened rather speedily!
- Place in the freezer for 15 minutes then cut into segments.
- I keep my treats in the freezer but they’d be just as happy in the fridge!
I love these! The blackstrap molasses just increases the level of nom to happy proportions, and the buckwheat chocolate base is so nice and silky compared to the slightly more chunky innards under the smooth and totally awesome homemade chocolate (because it beats Lindt to make yer own!).
Anyway, this weekend is all about family and togetherness. My FIL is going away on a weekend photography mission, so we’ll be visiting my MIL, Emma, tomorrow after I’m done at the cat shelter. Tomorrow morning however, we’re going to spend as much time as possible with Plaster, who is getting a forever home with a lady from Johannesburg – whee! By tomorrow evening our home will be empty of kittens and Gatsby can once again get into the study and to his throne on the ledge overlooking the walkway below. <3 Man-thing and I will be trying to fit in cuddling under the blankets watching Walking Dead, because there’s nothing better than ranting at incompetent humans to make one content.
Happy Friday, one and all! :D