For a highly sensitive soul like myself, it should not be allowed to watch dramas, well at least this is not recommended. Even tough I might seem quite strong on the surface, I am the kind of person who’s still crying after the film credits, and still three days after them; that thin-skinned person who’s actually desperate even if she knows these situations did not really exist. Anyway, that to say I invited a friend over for dinner this weekend, and we had the laziest movie night ever: Millet, Lentil & Mustard-miso Stuffed Peppers, Kale Salad, Hot Cacao and “Me Before You”. Bloody hell that movie was simply incredible! I am usually not a fan of those cheesy romantic stories because I then picture my own life and always end up depressed, the hand stuffed into my granola jar…but this one is not the same. Not only are the actors just sensational, the characters very touching and endearing, but the story seems to be unfolding like golden thread, and you cannot do anything but watch, torn apart between laughter and tears. I recommend it a whole lot and if you’ve seen it already, be sure to let me know what you think in the comment below; I’ll gladly have other points of view…
Let’s return to today’s subject, which involves tears of joy this time. These “Raw Chocolate Squares” are simply to die for, like a really scary Halloween kind of death. Their taste is slightly similar to my Energy Balls recipe I shared back at the beginning of the year, except this time, it is even more scrumptious. The chocolate date layer is melting into one’s mouth, realising its sweet, nutty and earthy flavours; the buckwheat groats and crushed almonds actually bring an interesting crunch, which is just amazing. The icing is not compulsory, but I would miss it for anything in the world; it is chocolaty, crunchy and yet sweet, and is just bliss for the tastebuds. About the decoration, picture the gogi berries like blood drops and try to draw cobwebs with the coconut meal if using it; my first attempt was an orange icing, which turned out to be a total failure and therefore not worth to appear on the blog (oh yes that happens haha!).
The most common reaction when holding these maleficent treats is thinking that they are loaded with calories…well to be honest, indeed they are! Yet, nothing to be afraid of here, we must think about their additional benefits and not about how many calories they contain; in a nutshell, reason through goodness. Dates are not only a great source of energy (great snack for an immediate boost), with their natural sugar and fibre content, but they are also rich in minerals (magnesium, calcium, selenium, manganese…), which make them a superfood for developing healthy bones, strengthening them and debilitating diseases like osteoporosis. Last but not least, the vitamin content of dates make them a great food for the nervous system’s health and functionality; its potassium content will also enhance the brain activity, its speed and alertness, and is therefore perfect for aging people or students who want to keep their mind sharp…just saying peeps!
Raw Chocolate Brownies
Portions: 36 squares.
Preparation time: 15 minutes.
Refrigerating time: 2h30 or overnight.
For the chocolate squares:
- 400g of dates, pitted
- 30g of coconut oil
- 150g of sunflower seeds
- 150g of ground almonds + 50g of crushed almonds
- 4 tbsp of cacao powder
- 2 tbsp of maple syrup
- 4 tbsp of almond butter
- 100g of buckwheat groats or 50g puffed amaranth
- A pinch of salty
For the icing:
- 50g of cacao butter
- 1 tbsp of raw unsweetened cacao powder
- 2 tbsp of maple syrup
- 2 tbsp of almond butter
- 2 tbsp of raw cacao groats, bee pollen, coconut meal or gogi berries (to decorate)
(1) If using buckwheat groats, start by preheating your oven to 180°C. Once hot, place the groats in a baking tray and bake for about 10 minutes.
(2) Blend the sunflower seeds until obtaining a flour consistency. Ground your almonds if they are whole.
(3) Place all the ingredients for the chocolate squares if a food processor or strong blender, and blend until the dough sticks together.
(4) Line a brownie tin with parchment paper and press the dough into it so that it’s flat and well compacted. Freeze for about two hours or overnight.
(5) To make the icing, simply melt all the ingredients into a saucepan on low heat. Once it is all glossy and smooth, pour over the chilled chocolate square, even out and sprinkle some cacao nibs, bee pollen, coconut meal or gogi berries on top. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
(6) Take it out of the fridge and cut into squares. You can eat them directly, place them in the fridge for up to two weeks or freeze them for about six months.