Friday, 23 August 2013

Chocolates with mint filling - the healthy ones

This has been the year of experimenting with filled chocolates.  Over the last few months I have tried four more fillings so I have a few to write up. to you.  The one I will share today is another peppermint filling.  But whereas the last one was creamy with mostly icing sugar, these are far more healthy and nubbly with coconut, cashews and coconut oil.

I haven't had good experiences with coconut oil.  It has tasted too much of coconut when I have used it previously.  Yet I know many people are huge fans.  I finally went into WholeFoods in East Brunswick and talked to a nice man there who explained to me how extra virgin had less of a coconut taste.  He even showed me that difference in colour between the virgin and extra virgin.  I have found this one more pleasing so maybe there will be more recipes with coconut oil here.

Not that it has been an easy ride even with this coconut oil.  I tried this mint filling and the coconut oil pooled at the bottom of the blender.  Not only did most of the oil leach out but quite a lot of the flavour went into the oil. (We made some dodgy energy balls with the oil that refused to integrate!)  Despite this I still ate the leftover filling straight from the bowl because it was so good.  And healthy.  Right?

The recipe for chocolate mint patties that I had seen on Pinterest came from This Rawesome Vegan Life.  Em had made her own chocolate to cover them.  I decided to just melt regular dark chocolate and use my moulds to fill them rather than dipping the patties in chocolate.  It fitted in well around soaking chickpeas, a trip to the library and was ready in time for a puppet show.

When I made the other peppermint chocolates, someone commented on the chocolate looking good.  They spoke too soon.  This chocolate was good on the day I made it.  The next day I took photos (with a cute DIY cat that Sylvia was given as a party favour at a kids party) and the chocolate was not quite right.  The day after a friend dropped in and I proudly gave her one of the last chocolates, only to find the chocolate was virtually inedible and crumbly.  Argh!

Since then I have looked up tempering chocolate a bit and my method of making it in the microwave seems fine because it doesn't get too hot.  I wonder if a bit of moisture got into the mixture and made it seize.  Anyway, I got chocolate paranoia after the first batch.

The next time I made these when Sylvia was sick and we were staying in.  I blended everything before adding the coconut oil in the filling.  It was too crumbly without the coconut oil.  I barely blended the coconut oil and was amazed at all the flavour without it leaching out.  However I still found the mixture quite oily when I rolled it into patties using my hands

I decided to make the chocolate like Em did rather than risk melting regular chocolate.  I made the patties into disks and dipped them in the homemade chocolate.  I could have just eaten the bowlful of silky smooth chocolate.  However I didn't melt the coconut oil first and it was rather thick.  I foolishly microwaved it a little to see if that loosened it up but it just made it thicker and less glossy. 

The chocolate still tasted amazing around these patties, or dobbed on top of them as I did with the last two.  By then there was no way I could dip and cover them.  My next challenge is to try the homemade chocolate with melted coconut oil and try it in the chocolate moulds. 

As it was, the homemade chocolate was quite thick around the patties but delicious.  I was pleased to give it a three day test (using great self control) and find it was better on the second day than the first because it was firmer and it still tasted great on the third day. 

I am sending these chocolates to Elizabeth of Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary for We Should Cocoa.  The theme this month is truffles, chocolates and balls.  I am also sending them to Ricki's Wellness Weekends.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Top 10 photos, Pinterest, Delicious and Eat Your Books
Two years ago: CC Pumpernickel Rolls with Currants
Three years ago: Fitzroy Gardens with soup
Four years ago: Shopping, Sylvia and Soup
Six years ago: Blues Clues Birthday Cake

Chocolates with healthy mint filling
Adapted from This Rawesome Vegan Life
makes 10-12

1/3 cup dessicated coconut
1/3 cup raw cashews
1 tbsp maple syrup (or honey or agave)
1 tsp peppermint essence
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp melted coconut oil

*Chocolate mixture:
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3 tbsp maple syrup (or honey or agave)
Pinch of salt

Blend coconut, cashews, maple syrup, peppermint essence and salt   Add the coconut oil and blend briefly until incorporated.  Use your hands to roll into 10-12 small patties, and place on baking paper on a baking tray or plate.  Place in freezer to firm up.

Make chocolate by blending all ingredients until smooth and shiny.  Dip firm peppermint patties in chocolate mixture and place on baking paper.  I left mine to set at room temperature and the 'chocolate' was better the next day.  Our chocolates lasted well in the three days before they were gone.

*Note: you can dip the chocolates in regular melted chocolate rather than making your own chocolate.

On the Stereo:
Collected: Massive Attack

36 comments:

  1. Yum, these look delicious! Chocolate and mint is my favorite combo, so I'm excited to give these a try. By the way, your cat widget is so cool! :-D

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    1. Thanks Lauren - the cat is cute - it was put there to amuse sylvia when she wanted to play with my computer (though now she just wants Copycat Tom on my smartphone!)

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  2. These are very adventurous Johanna. Dipping with raw chocolate is a completely new one on me and something else I must try. I've had variable success with raw chocolate and have sometimes found the coconut oil has leached out the bottom and other times it's been fine. Anyway these sound delicious and I think I'd really like the texture of the filling with the cashew nuts and coconut - lovely. Thanks for adding them to this month's We Should Cocoa chocolate showcase.

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    1. Thanks Choclette - I have avoided making my own chocolate but wanted to tell the story of why I did in this instance - sometimes problems make us into adventurers :-) This experience has convinced me to try more raw chocolate

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  3. That's what cooking is all about, isn't it, adventures in the kitchen, trial and error, failures and success. What a lovely chocolate story! Your chocolates sound gorgeously healthy and delicious. I've never tried making my own chocolate from cocoa powder before; I ought to try your recipe sometime soon. Thank you for sharing with We Should Cocoa!

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth - trial and error is the way I like to work - it is interesting to reflect on it in blogging and see a gradual change. Highly recommend you try making your own chocolate

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  4. You are such a trooper. Love how you keep making recipes until they're perfect. I'm usually bored by the time I'm finished a batch of something and want new flavours next time rather than perfecting the old!

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    1. Thanks Hannah - chocolate and mint is worth persevering with - but honestly I don't always persevere and rarely reach perfection but I try to learn from my mistakes. And making bad chocolate is just something that needs to be fixed if I am to sleep soundly at night :-)

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  5. Sometimes as an after dinner snack Ill melt chocolate and dip apricots dried and strawberries fresh and pop them in the fridge or melt a couple of squares and drizzle on icecream. Im thinking I could make a peppermint filling keep it in the freezer and dip those.

    I find and this is purely for healthy weight reasons if I make sweets I try to make just enough for the time I feel like it and not make extras for afterwards.

    I put far too much weight on otherwise!

    Though I if I can freeze a mix like anzac biscuits and crumble topping this helps me in the convenience department but makes it harder for me to pig out on.

    Your chocolate look amazing the last batch of filling looks like peppermint patties yum!

    Great effort Johanna!

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    1. Thank Helen - Small portions are great when you are making it for one or two. The homemade chocolate would probably freeze wonderfully - actually I have seen it in "ice magic" recipes where it hardens when drizzled on ice cream - so probably would work in that way. I sometimes freeze some of my baked goods - mostly works except sometimes it is forgotten altogether - not sure if that is good or bad :-)

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  6. Sounds like with all of these experiments you are becoming quite the expert. I'm looking forward to the next chocolate instalment which were very impressive.

    I've had coconut oil in the pantry for a while but haven't been brave enough to use it yet as I'm wary of the flavour being too overpowering. Now I'm even more wary as I'm sure it's not a virgin coconut oil.

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    1. Thanks Mel - I still have a jar of virgin coconut oil that I just didn't like - couldn't work out if it was because I opened it and left it at room temp or because it always was like that but it was interesting to discuss it in wholefoods with one of the staff who seemed to know what he was talking about. If I had had the energy I might have made the chocolate coating for the ones I gave you and kari but was nervous about how it would travel

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  7. You can't go wrong with chocolate and mint! And I love that you've done it raw! Would you come share this at Raw Foods Thursdays? Yesterday's linky is still open. We'd love to have you!

    http://www.glutenfreecat.com/2013/08/raw-foods-thursdays-82213/

    Glad to have found your blog!

    Heather

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    1. thanks Heather - I suspect my recipes are more in the 'almost raw' category but it is nice to see that you welcome these too - will try and link it up

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  8. Sorry you've had bad experiences with coconut oil :( I love the stuff, especially as a thickener and for adding creaminess and richness to raw desserts. I'm a big fan of the chocolate-mint combination so I'm sure I'd love these.

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    1. Thanks Emma - hadn't thought of coconut oil as a thickener - would be interested to know in what way - I think I find the creaminess can be a bit intense but I will keep experimenting

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  9. Phew, this sounds like quite the odyssey! I'm happy your chocolates turned out well eventually!

    I can relate to your issues with coconut oil. I usually just use very little oil and then it's fine, but when I use slightly more it tends to make me feel sick (same with coconut milk).

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    1. Thanks Kath - an odyssey indeed - make me feel like a mythical hero ;-) I really love dessicated coconut but in the milk and oil it is easy to overdo it as it is quite rich

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  10. I haven't had great luck with coconut oil either, but it might be worth trying again for peppermint patties! Extra point for making your own chocolate too. :)

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    1. Thanks Rebecca - I would recommend checking which sort of coconut oil you have and maybe talking to the shop staff if you can find someone who knows what they are talking about (not always easy!)

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  11. Oh these sounds amazing! I can't believe how much you can do with coconut oil. But I am still a bit unsure about using it too, due to lack of experience!

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    1. Thanks Reanna - some people seem to use coconut oil for everything including frying savoury stuff but I am not quite there yet - good luck with getting the hang of it

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  12. Great minds think alike Johanna! I made mint filled chocolates too. I had a sudden craving for them. Your version looks great!

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - hopefully will see them on your blog soon - interested to see how you did them

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  13. I jumped on the coconut oil bandwagon and now the jar is sitting in the cupboard and I'm a bit lost as to what to do with it. I don't have your patience with the chocolate so maybe I'll just make the filling!!

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    1. Thanks Nancy - the homemade chocolate would make a great ganache frosting on a cake too - just in case you want more ideas for your coconut oil - good luck with it

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  14. I like that you are experimenting with chocolate making - I may be able to ride along behind you and learn from your lessons! There is something quite wonderful about making filled chocolates from scratch, and when they work, they are inevitably better than anything you can readily buy. These look lovely.

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    1. Thanks Kari - funny you say that you will ride behind me as I have looked at your homemade chocolates a few times while in chocolate making mode - keep fancying the lavender cream chocolates - I feel like you are miles ahead with making your own chocolates but happy with learn with you

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  15. Hi Johanna! I have just come into blog land for the first time in two months and got immediately distracted by this post. These look SO good, despite your woes in making them. I can just imagine how tempting the mixture was in the processor, I would have been in with a spoon too!
    I have lots to catch up on, so hope all is well and Melbourne's winter has treated you well,
    Lucy

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    1. Hi Lucy - great to hear you are back safe and sound - half sorry to distract you and half glad you liked it this much - good luck with catching up with blogging - look forward to more posts from you soon

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  16. I do love peppermint chocolates, and I like the unusual way of making these. I have bought a few books on making chocolates this year and hope to make some as gifts at Christmas.

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - I need to look through a few books that might have more ideas on chocolates - will look forward to see how you go with chocolates as gifts at christmas (I am afraid I will be paranoid about making chocolates in summer when they will melt because I love them at room temperature)

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  17. I am doing a fundraiser for my favourite animal rescue next week and have been looking for the perfect vegan choc. How long do you think they will store? x

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    1. Thanks Cass - I was thinking I would like to give these as presents but we ate ours within 3 days so I am not sure how long they keep - will update if I find out

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