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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Unique Valentine Treat: Chipotle Lime Chocolates


Looking for a unique Valentine's Day treat? These chipotle lime chocolates have a raw truffle center made with cacao nibs and tender hemp hearts, so they're rich in antioxidants, fiber, and anti-inflammatory fats. The smoky heat from the chili pepper and bright citrus notes from the lime are subtle, exotic, and unforgettable. Make them as spicy as you dare.

Chipotle chilies are smoked jalapeno peppers and I love their smoky heat. If you don't have ground chipotle pepper, substitute another dried chili pepper like cayenne, Aleppo pepper flakes, or urfa biber.

I used a silicone mold with 1-1/2-inch squares to make these chocolates, but molds of any size or shape -- including mini muffins molds -- will work as long as they yield bite-sized pieces.

If you don't eat too much of the raw truffle mixture while you make them, this recipe will yield 15 inch-and-a-half squares. Serve two or three per person.

  • 1/2 cup raw cacao nibs
  • 1/2 cup raw hemp nuts (hearts)
  • 6 dates, pitted
  • Zest of 1 organic lime
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chili pepper
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 4 ounces 70% dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil 
  1. To a food processor add the cacao nibs, hemp nuts, pitted dates, lime zest, and salt. Process for five minutes. Use clean spoons to transfer the mixture to a silicone mold, pressing it down into solid layers about a centimeter thick. Transfer them to the fridge to chill, for two hours or overnight.
  2. Warm the chocolate slowly in a glass or stainless steel bowl over a pan of simmering water. Do not let the bottom of the bowl come into contact with the water.
  3. Once the chocolate has just melted, turn off the heat and transfer it to a heat-proof surface. Stir in the coconut oil. 
  4. Cover a sheet pan with wax paper. Remove a chilled raw truffle square from the silicone mold and drop it into the melted chocolate. Spoon some of the melted chocolate over the top to coat well. Use two forks to remove it, allowing the excess chocolate to drip off before you place it on the wax paper. Repeat with the other squares. Transfer them to the fridge to set.
  5. Serve these chocolates chilled, straight from the fridge, or at room temperature. Handle them when they are as cold as possible because when your warm fingers touch them--even briefly--the chocolate can melt enough to leave your prints behind.
NOTE:  Use any leftover chocolate to drizzle over desserts like a fresh fruit platter, bananas sautéed in butter and rum, or chunks of raw banana (then sprinkle them with chopped nuts and/or coconut, insert a toothpick, and chill in the fridge for bite-sized dessert bites on a stick).


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