HOT CROSS CHOCOLATES
Recipe & Photo by Lauren Glucina ASCENSION KITCHEN
II wanted to find out, can you make a hot cross bun flavoured chocolate? Oh yes you can, is the answer yes!!!..So, these little balls of goodness were born. The one special ingredient I would like you to meet is the natural sweetener, Coconut Palm Sugar. Coconut Palm Sugar – to die for, healthy, unrefined, low GI, natural sweetener.
I first got to know coconut palm sugar well during my time in Bali while working my way through my raw chef training. Coconut Palm Sugar comes from the nectar of the coconut palm flower, which is harvested and then carefully dried into a crystallised natural sweetener. The whole process is slow and careful, there’s nothing rushed or mass produced like there is with refined white sugar. The whole digestion process is also slow and careful, as the complex carbs are slowly broken down and released into your blood stream. Stabilise your blood sugar. The GI of Palm Sugar is a conservative 35. Low GI is considered to be 55 or less, Medium GI is between 56 and 69, and High GI is 70 or more. This makes it a great alternative to refined sugars and won’t make your blood sugar levels crash or leave you craving more.
GI of sweeteners:
Brown Rice Syrup, 25
Coconut Palm Sugar, 35
Sugar Cane Juice, 43
Maple Syrup, 54
Table Sugar, 60
Corn Syrup, 75
Full of nutrients and minerals Coconut Palm sugar has significantly more potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, phosphorus, and sodium than brown or white sugar.
Here are some of the goodies Coconut Palm Sugar has:
Potassium, Sodium and Chlorine: All three are electrolytes – mineral salts than can conduct electricity when dissolved in water. They work together to maintain water balance and distribution, kidney and adrenal function, acid-alkaline balance, muscle and nerve function, heart function.
Magnesium: Essential for a healthy metabolism, it is a co-factor in over 300 enzyme reactions in the body, and looks after your muscles and nerves.
Zinc: A trace mineral that is essential for immune function, protein synthesis and cell growth. If you cut your finger, zinc is what helps it heal!
Iron: Essential for lovely blood. It helps transport oxygen from the lungs to our body’s tissue, and carbon dioxide from our tissue back to the lungs.
Phosphorus: Is super important for healthy bones and teeth.
Oh my god I got right to the end without even mentioning – does it taste good?! How about a hell yeah! Coconut Palm Sugar has an amazing rich, caramel, butterscotch flavour. It’s soo good. You can use it just like you do regular sugar, so it’s perfect for baking and in your cuppa tea. On that note, I’ve used the coconut palm sugar in this recipe for the filling inside the chocolate molds. I made a sticky dough that is flavoured with traditional hot cross bun spices, and the coconut palm sugar gives it a nice caramel flavour.
SERVES: Makes enough to fill 48 small chocolate molds
PREP TIME: 10-15 Minutes
DIETARY CONSIDERATION: Raw, Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, Sugar Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Gluten Free
1 cup Cacao Butter
1 cup Cacao Powder
½ cup Liquid Sweetener (Honey, Maple Syrup or Coconut Nectar)
1 tsp Vanilla Paste
Pinch Flaky Sea Salt
Good Pinch of Nutmeg
Hot Cross Bun Filling:
½ cup Cashew Nuts, soaked till soft
½ cup Macadamia Nuts
2 tbsp Coconut Palm Sugar
2 tbsp Lemon Juice
4 tbsp Water
½ tsp Flaky Sea Salt
2 tbsp Cinnamon Powder
1 tsp Ginger Powder
2 good pinches of Clove Powder
¼ cup Sultanas
Vitamix or Blender of choice
Nutmeg Chocolate: Gently melt the cacao butter over a bath of warm water. Blend the cacao butter with the sweetener, vanilla, salt and nutmeg. Add the cacao and blend till smooth.
Hot Cross Bun Filling: Blend everything except sultanas till nice and creamy. Stir through the sultanas.
The Hot Cross Chocolate Assembly: Pour a teeny bit of chocolate into chocolate molds. Set in freezer for about ten minutes. Scoop a wee bit of the hot cross bun filling into the molds, try to keep it in the centre. Pour more chocolate over the top so the mold is now completely filled. Return to freezer to set. Yum yum. These need to be kept in the fridge.