Healthy Marzipan + Raw Chocolate (Vegan, Sugar-free)

May 18, 2015

I'm pretty sure this still counts as posting on the weekend because it's Victoria Day in Canada today. So everyone tries to go camping for May long weekend (seriously, the city was freakishly empty today) and it always rains. It's the middle of May in Manitoba, you're not going to get nice weather. This year it snowed, ha. A friend of mine who grew up in Vancouver, which is temperate, was asking about whether her fruit trees would recover from last night's hard frost and strong winds. Nope, nope, nope. One year my aunt and grandmother came to visit at the end of May and were storm-stayed in Winnipeg for three days because it was such a big blizzard. I feel like I talk about weather too much, but I'm bombarded by pictures of spring on instagram and it just seems so absurd here.

I've been having difficulty with recipe development lately too. It's almost time for spring produce, but we're not quite there yet. I have piles of ideas for spring and summer recipes, but there's no food to make them with! That's why you've been getting so many baked things and sweets lately. This recipe came from the pulp leftover from making almond milk. It made me think of marzipan (almond paste candy) right off the hop, and everything just came together with a few dates. It's so simple to make. I'm sure regular almond meal could be substituted for the pulp if you don't make milk at home, so don't worry about it if you don't have any. Who needs egg whites and powdered sugar? The texture is pretty identical - and this is coming from a lifelong marzipan lover, folks.

This recipe includes a good go-to raw chocolate recipe, too. I've pretty much given up store-bought chocolate in favour of homemade now. It's cheaper and tastes awesome. If you can't find cacao butter or don't feel like making chocolate, just use melted dark chocolate to coat the candies instead. You can also substitute coconut oil for the cacao butter. It'll be extra snappy, but won't taste as chocolate-y.

I've substituted vanilla for rosewater here to make it easier, but if you have rosewater, certainly use it instead. It's the traditional flavouring, in addition to almond extract. You should be able to find it at a west Asian grocer or at some good supermarkets.

Let's connect! Tag me on instagram @occasionallyeggs and #occasionallyeggs so I can see what you're making, or stay in touch via facebook and pinterest.

1 cup leftover almond pulp (or almond meal)
8-10 soft medjool dates
1 teaspoon rosewater or pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract
Pinch salt

Blend everything together in a food processor for several minutes. You want a sort of malleable paste to form. It should be quite smooth, but still solid enough to roll balls out of it. Form small balls and place on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Freeze for at least 30 minutes before coating in the chocolate.

Raw Chocolate:
50 grams/~1/3 cup cacao butter or coconut oil
3 tablespoons coconut sugar
1/3 cup raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch salt

In a double boiler or a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water, gently melt the cacao butter. It burns quite easily so don't cook it for too long. As soon as it's melted, remove from the heat and whisk in the coconut sugar, cacao, vanilla, and salt. You might be tempted to leave out the last two ingredients, but don't! It'll taste like satan's flabby behind if you do.

Dip the marzipan balls in the chocolate and use a fork to lift them out. Place each one back on the parchment lined sheet as they're coated, and top with dried rose petals if you have them (you probably don't, and that's totally cool. I have them for decorating soap mostly) or other pretty things. You'll have some extra chocolate left over after coating. I made some ducks, but muffin liners work just as well.

Stick them in the freezer for another ten minutes, then store them in the fridge.

I had a mishap with the whisk. Don't worry, all of that was put to good use (i.e. in my mouth).

And also this week, more sprouts! I posted a picture of these on instagram and got some questions about sprouting mung beans and different legumes, so I'm planning a post or series about sprouting in the near future. Watch out for it!

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