Wen we first moved to Paris, I often found myself lost in the cookbook/nutrition section of the library. I stared and leafed through French books wondering if I have some space left for one or two. You know, Parisian apartments aren’t the spaciest, and I had already filled my shelves and cabinets. However, I had to learn more about French ingredients, cooking terms and nutrition perspective. So with that argument in mind, I found myself buying some more, with a self-promise to put them to good use. This means in terms of cookbooks, I’ll have to try a few recipes at least and not just sit down with them and read them over a cup of coffee.
the usual handbomb;)
“Chocolat cru” i.e. “Raw chocolate” is one of those books. I’ve read it cover to cover, swooned over the deliciously healthy recipes, and contemplated buying all the equipment needed to start tempering my own raw chocolate at home. But the realization of the tight kitchen space hit again. So, I decided to try the easiest* and the last recipe in the book: hot chocolate. For one, I have all its ingredients on hand and two I was craving hot chocolate. Well, who doesn’t in that weather? (I actually wrote the post last week when the weather was colder, but a little cozying up at night with a hot mug of this good stuff is always a good idea)
Since the book is all about raw chocolate, you might think the idea of scoldingly hot chocolate doesn’t fit in. If you’re like me and have a food temperature issue, it doesn’t. That’s why you adapt the recipe and heat the water to your liking. If you’re like me anyway and like really warm food, raw foodism won’t suit your lifestyle. I love fresh greens and fruits, cold smoothies, raw healthy desserts … but I can’t envision every meal of my day not being cooked/heated to more than 42 degrees Celsius. It’s just a preference issue not a case against raw foodists. Like every diet/lifestyle, it has its advantages and disadvantages and one has to find what works best for them. As a nutritionist, I find it important to reach a balance between raw and cooked food for optimum nutrient intake and absorption.
With that being said, this hot chocolate is not like your regular one. It is still creamy and bittersweet and I loved it, but I’m sure it’s not for everyone. Some will always prefer the milk/chocolate combo, and I will have that too when I’m in the mood. But for these past weeks, I’ve been enjoying this vegan, sugar-free, nutty version.
Who doesn’t like more cocoa sprinkled?
Ingredients ( for 1 cup)
. 2 medium tender dates (if dry rehydrate for 10-15 minutes in warm water)
. 1.5 heaping tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
. 1.5 scant tablespoons hazelnut butter ( or almond or sunflower seed butter)
. 250ml hot water
Mix all ingredients in blender and enjoy immediately.
The author of the book adds 3 medium dates, I found that to be too sweet. One and a half to two dates work great if you like it semisweet. But again, it all depends on the variety of the dates used. I use fresh organic Mazafati dates I fell in love with when I first tasted them at the organic Vivez Nature expo and they tend to be on the sweeter side.
The author also uses less water. I found that to be extra thick and not enough for a quiet indulgent afternoon, so I opted for the regular mug capacity.
For an added spice kick, you can sprinkle some cinnamon or nutmeg and enjoy.
If you want to have it 100% raw, use raw cocoa powder and add room temperature water to the blender. Heat to less than 42 degrees Celsius before sipping.
*all recipes are relatively easy with few ingredients. However, some ingredients and equipment are not always available in the regular pantry (cocoa butter, cocoa paste…. Dehydrator, chocolate moulds…)
And that’s how we enjoy hot chocolate!
P.S. That’s the first time my girl has ever tasted hot chocolate and she loved this vegan version. She had an espresso-cup’s worth. So here you have it folks, the recipe is toddler approved!!