Ever since I tasted Conscious chocolate in January’s Degustabox I completely fell in love, it’s made of 60 percent cacao solids and free from dairy, soya, gluten and refined sugar. This new found love sparked an interest in Cacao paste for a healthier, chocolate treat and a move away from my Cadbury’s addiction. Pinterest and Instagram have me hooked on recipes but usually ingredients I haven’t even tried, let alone known where to buy. When Nutriseed emailed me and enquired what products I was interested in, trying Cacao Paste was top of my list, alongside Cacao Butter and the strange, but wondrous Ashwagandha Root Powder. Cacao Butter 500g £8.99*
Cacao butter is one of the most versatile products I have come across, even better than coconut oil in my opinion. It can be used for moisturising skin and lips and nourishing hair and scars. However when it comes to baking this beauty is the perfect oil or butter replacement, and works amazingly well with the cookies I made as a Valentine’s Day treat. I know always have a small shard in my fridge to use for greasing trays or whatever situation may arise. Cacao Paste 500g £8.99*
My initial expectation of Cacao Paste is that it would actually be a paste rather than in blocks, oh how uneducated I had been on the matter. As I pulled open the bag intoxicating cocoa chunks greeted me, and I realised how much of a wonder this was going to be. Vegan & Vege friendly, Gluten Free AND a showcase of benefits- boosts immune system and physical energy, high in magnesium, rich in antioxidants AND rich in fatty acids (the healthy kind!). This has proven to be the winner of the bunch in my eyes and no wonder- it is a treat for cookies, hot chocolate, covering frozen banana slices and creating chocolate slabs- it really is a kitchen essential for me.
Aswagandha Root Powder 250g £8.99*
What drew me to the bag was initially the unfamiliar name, but as I delved further into it’s depths I realised that it was a stress reliever AND a multi-tasker- helping you get off to sleep at night, but also energising you in the mornings. As per the other products it is Vegan friendly, Gluten Free, Rich in Anti-Oxidants and high in calcium. The smell is strange granted, especially as I didn’t know what to expect, but that is why you only need a teaspoon added to hot milk at night, cereal in the morning or a smoothie and juice booster. For me I am still getting used to the taste but find it helps to mix with some honey and milk and I am good to go!
After researching and discovering more about the products I received, I thought it would only be right to get to a little baking. I have been shamefully unorganised this Valentine’s Day so decided a nice treat for Pete would be some freshly baked cookies made from the Cacao Butter & the Cacao Paste, I also substituted Sugar for Sweetener and added Carob syrup for flavouring. It is a fairly simple recipe, but makes a TONNE of cookies, and they really are delicious with a glass of hot, milky, Ashwagandha.
2 Cups of Self Raising Flour
1 cup of Cacao Butter
1 Cup of Brown Sugar
1 and 1/2 cups of Cacao Paste cut into small chunks
1/2 cup of Sweetener
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of Carob fruit syrup
In a mixing bowl add the flour and salt, whilst melting the Cacao butter on the hob. Once melted beat the melted butter with the sugar and sweetener in a separate bowl to the dry ingredients. Add the two eggs and Carob Fruit Syrup to the wet mixture and whisk with a hand mixer until combined. The next step is to slowly add the dry ingredients in until there are no lumps and it forms a dough. Only then add the Cacao paste chunks by folding them into the dough. Then cover the dough with cling film and cool in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Once the dough has been cooled pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees, and grease a tray with a small amount of Cacao Butter. Roll the dough out onto a board and cut out circular shapes with the end of a shot glass (I use my Teapigs Matcha glass as it’s the perfect size), making sure they are approximately once centimetre thick. I then place them onto the greased tray and pop them into the oven for 10 minutes.
When they’re done, and cooled on a cool rack you can either indulge in them as they are, or you can melt some Cacao paste to cover half of the cookies in. Pete found them too dark for his liking however, so it depends on your tastebuds.
Keep your eye out for some more exciting recipes using my Nutriseed goodies and in the meantime you can use my code BLONDE10 for ten percent off any goodies you wanted to try!