Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day Delights

DAY 45 of RAW

Well, I am happy to report that I finally borrowed a camera from my obliging brother Andrew until my sister (the camera snatcher, lol) returns home this Saturday. So here are the chocolates that I dreamed up on Wednesday. You can't imagine how horrible it was to have to wait to eat however many I wanted of them, without worrying that "there won't be enough for the picture). Now many of the chocolates you see in the picture above are now safe forever in my tummy. (happy sigh!)

These are raw chocolate Turtles (you can see the carmale peeking through on the first one) and around it are "Chocolate Carmel Bites". I originally found a carmel dipping sauce at Gone Raw by Mish. I tweaked it a bit and made it into just plain caramel.


Caramel

about 4 TB of tahina
about 4-6 medjool dates (depending on how sweet you like it, but this will make it thicker too)
a wee bit of vanilla
and a few tablespoons of maplesyrup until the consistency you desire...but you want it thick, like a dough almost)

Mix it up in the food processor.

Dipping Chocolate

about 3-4 BIG heaping tablespoons of melted coconut butter
a few TB. of organic cocoa powder (you can use carob or cacao, if you have it on hand)
equal parts of agave nectar and maple syrup

You want this to be a bit thicker, not a sauce, but just a nice, smooth dipping chocolate. Because coconut oil is such a stable cooking fat you can melt it by warming it over the stove on the lowest setting. It's still raw. ;0)

RAW TURTLES

Make little balls of the caramel and slide a pecan in the middle of it. Flatten it a little and with a fork, dip it into the chocolate mixture. Put on wax paper. Do this with all of them and then put them in the freezer to harder.

Caramel Bites

With the caramel mixture make little balls and with your finger make a deep dent in the middle. Fill with liquid chocolate. Freeze till hard.

Caramel Chocolate Bites

Do the same as above, but just mix in some carob/cacao/cocoa powder in the caramel.
These are nice little nibbles when you need that little "sweet" during the day.


Caramel Almond Smacks

Just make flat, thin circles in the palm of your hand with the caramel. Place on wax paper. With a spoon drop on some chocolate and garnish with an almond.

And now for my favorite of ALL! Oh, these are to die for! (drumroll, please!)
Dark Truffle Fudge

4-5 TB. of melted coconut butter
enough organic cocoa till it's a very thick fudge consistency
equal parts of pure maple syrup and agave nectar to sweetness

And then...thin it out with Coconut Milk for a creamy, milk-ness. It should thicken more when it's been in the fridge or freezer for a while. Place in a small square container and when more firm, score or slice into little fudge bars.

Oh, I could go on and on about the fudge. And I've tried lots of different fudges, or at least some, and I liked it, but this TOPS it! The ingredients may seem simple, but this really just melts in your mouth. It's so creamy and silky smooth (one fudge I can think of, seemed a bit granular, you know). If you're crazy about dark chocolate like me, this if for you! My mind spins when I think of all the incredible things you can do with it. Make balls and cover with a different type of glazing chocolate sauce or use as a layer in a sweet pie...sigh. After this, I'm going downstairs to have a little piece.

As you can see, I topped one or two of them with raw cacao nibs. It's funny, in the picture to the left you can see me (or at least my lips) taking the picture in the reflection. I was drooling over the chocolate, lol! I shaped the fudge into hearts and put a little bit of caramel into the middle of it.

Valentine's Day is a fun family tradition here. We always have a family banquet together, wear red or pink (it's a rule!), and decorate the kitchen table. My Mom always writes out a Valentine for each of us on a red or pink heart and leaves it on our plate, along with a whole pile of chocolate treats for us. This is always special, because she always writes out character qualities that she sees in each of us and tells us how much she loves us. I always save those heart, they are definitely a dear treasure! I wasn't very sneaky about it, but I hinted about a Lara Bar for a treat for me, lol. (I think she got the hint!)

This year, we have to postpone our Banquet till Sunday, when my sister Elizabeth comes back from visiting one of my other brother's place and my other two brothers and their wives come down to our house (are you confused yet? I have a big family! Lucky me!) on Sunday. That is also the time, when my sister Elizabeth's boyfriend, James comes to visit us all (oh, and of course, Lizzy). They're engaged, so this will be a special Valentine's for them. I'll probably post some pictures of our feast in a few days.

And because it is Valentine's today I wanted to say one more thing...

...HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

9 comments:

wyldegirl said...

wow. that's really all i can muster up on this snowy morning after the raw cacao feast that is known as valentine's day. . .
and your post just made me want to dive back into the decadence all over again. . . incredible photos and recipes that i'm so going to add to my future experiments- i made a lovely strawberry banana ice cream with a "shell" of cacao over it. . . like the old dove bars. . . sort of!
huge hit. . . i can only imagine the reactions to your treats. . .
xx's Jenny

shannonmarie said...

Yummy and beautiful. You did a great job on those treats.

I love the fact that your family gets in the Valentine's spirit with you. My mom still gives us the little Valentine's like the ones you pass out in school as a kid. I got a Care Bears one this year :-)

Michelle J said...

Hello, i just discovered your blog, hope its ok to comment here! Your cookies look really yummy, i must try them very soon! Please check out my blog if you want! Take care!
Michelle

Charissa said...

Wyldegirl~ Your "Dove" chocolates sound awesome. I'll have to try something like that soon. Isn't great to know that even though we're raw loving gals that we can be adoring chocolate fans? :0) Glad you liked it. I saw your comment on Shannonmarie's blog...I have to agree...I didn't sleep till late, late too. Too much chocolate, I guess, lol.

Shannonmarie~ I know, my family rawks! lol, I'm very blessed. That's so sweet about your Mom. Aren't care bears great? :0)

Michelle J~ nice to meet ya! Yes, it's great to comment. :0) Just checked out your blog and left you a comment on the "duck". It's very nice!!!

Michelle J said...

Hi Charissa, i hope you don't mind, i put your blog on my blog! It's very nice, and thanks for the comment!!! :O)
Michelle

Charissa said...

Sure thing, Michelle J, that's fine! :0)

mandy said...

Sooooooooooo beautiful! I'm enamored!

Kristen's Raw said...

Boy oh boy, those look REALLY tastey!!!

Charissa said...

Kristen~ I SO admire you for doing jucing! I wanna do a juice feast sometime, but I couldn't do it around Valentines! ;)As you can see.

Thanks Mandy!