Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Choc-Mint Slice

My gorgeous Facebook followers sure do like a wee sweat treat! I guess it's that feeling of seeing a recipe that you thought was 'off limits' for whatever reason (by choice or due to allergies/intolerances) and seeing that all may not be lost... You can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak!

Last night I whipped up a batch of Chocolate Mint Slice. If ginger crunch is my all-time favourite baked treat, I would say that choc-mint slice runs a very close second. I'm sure this is one recipe that I will be adjusting over time, but for now I was pretty happy with the first attempt. 

The recipe is gluten, grain, nut, and soy free, and can be easily made dairy free by substituting the butter for coconut oil or even apple purée if you would prefer a lower fat option (depending on your lifestyle choices). The slice and filling are free of refined sugar and sweetened with only a very small amount of honey (base) and dates (filling). The topping I have uses melted dark chocolate as I wanted something a little decadent, but you could use a refined sugar-free option if you are following a low sugar lifestyle. I will post a couple of options after the recipe. 


Choc-mint slice

Gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, soy-free, option of dairy free, and option of refined sugar free

Ingredients:

Base
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1tsp baking powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/8 cup honey (1/4 cup if you have a sweet tooth)
1/8 cup butter, softened or melted (or melted coconut oil, or apple purée)
1tsp vanilla essence

Filling
1 cup coconut butter
2 medjool dates (you can use 4 if you prefer it sweeter, or substitute for 1/8 -1/4 cup honey if you would like the filling to more of a pure white colour)
1/2 tsp peppermint oil (or peppermint essence if it's all you have in the cupboard!)

Topping
1 cup dark chocolate
1/8 cup coconut milk

Directions: 
1. Preheat your oven to 180c and line a small baking tin (such as a loaf tin) with baking paper (don't just grease it as the baking paper makes it possible to make the whole slice in the same tin then remove it easily)
2. In a bowl, combine the coconut flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. 
3. In another bowl, combine the eggs, butter or oil, honey, and vanilla essence. 
4. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix well to combine. The mixture will be very stiff, like a biscuit mixture. This is what you want!
5. Press the batter into the baking tin and spread around until an even layer is formed (I found that fingers worked best here - the best kitchen tools!). 
6. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until firm to touch. 
7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin. Once cool enough, place in the fridge or freezer to chill.
8. While the base is cooling, prepare your filling. If you are using homemade coconut butter and haven't already made it, do so now. If you are using store bought, now is the time to turn it into its liquid form if it's gone hard. To liquefy the coconut butter simply stand the jar in a bowl of hot water, or heat the desired amount in a bowl over a simmering pot of water on the stove. 
9. Once you have your liquid coconut butter, place the coconut butter, the dates or honey, and the peppermint oil in a small blender or food processor and blend until well combined and smooth. 
10. Once again the mixture will most likely be quite firm, which is fine. If it's really firm to the point of being crumbly, add about 1 tbsp coconut oil just soften it a wee bit.
11. Remove your base from the fridge and pour or press the filling mixture over the top, again ensuring a nice even layer. Place it back in the fridge while you prepare the topping.
12. Half fill a small pot with water and bring to a gentle simmer. Place the chocolate chips and coconut milk in a glass bowl that's slightly larger than the pot. Place the bowl on top of the pot and heat until chocolate chips are just starting to melt. Remove from heat and stir the chocolate mixture well until all of the chips are melted and a smooth sauce is formed. By removing the chips when they're just starting to melt, you use the much more gentle residual heat to melt the chocolate rather than risking having the chocolate overlook and go lumpy if you leave it on the heat. 
13. Remove the baking tin from the fridge and pour the melted chocolate over the top, smoothing with the back of a spoon to form an even layer. Place back into the fridge or freezer one last time just to set the chocolate.
14. Remove from the fridge when chilled and cut into slices or squares. Yum!

Options:

- you can adjust the quantity of peppermint depending on your preferences or the preferences of those you are serving. I have made the peppermint flavour fairly subtle in this recipe as I will be serving it to children, but I personally would increase the amount by about 1/4 tsp. the best way to decide is to add the oil in small drops, a couple at a time and keep tasting to check where it's at. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it! 
- to create an option that is free of refined sugar, you can use 100% unsweetened chocolate or pure cacao butter to make the topping. Keep the coconut milk, and add a little honey if you want a slight sweetness. If you're using pure cacao butter, you will need to add a little cacao powder to get that chocolates taste. I'm not sure of the exact proportions but have a play around with adding the cacao powder to get the level of 'chocolatiness' to your liking (start small and add small amounts at a time). With this method you may also need to add a little coconut oil to stop the mixture from drying out. Likewise with the honey (if you're adding it to your topping) add a small amount and keep adding until you reach your desired level of sweetness. 

Enjoy!

X