This Easter, instead of giving bilbys and bunnies, whip up your own chocolate treats – without all the sugar.
Making these recipes is child’s play – so if you have any of them handy, get them involved too!
One of my favourite chocolate things to make is ‘cacao bark’ because the flavours can be adjusted to suit the person you are giving it to.
Melt 1 cup of coconut oil, and then stir in ¼ cup of cacao and a teaspoon of cinnamon.
To this you can add ¼ cup of slivered almonds and ¼ cup of currants. Or perhaps ½ cup of mixed goji berries, dried sour cherries and dried blueberries.
Another combo I love is salt flakes, which you can buy at specialist food stores, and chili flakes, which are available at all supermarkets. You can adjust the portions to suit your taste – just remember it’s easier to put in than take out, so proceed with caution!
Transfer mixture to a lined tray approximately 17cm x 27 cm. Give the mixture a quick swirl to ensure the nuts and fruit are evenly distributed through the thin mixture otherwise they tend to clump. Pop in the fridge to set. This will only take an hour.
Once solid, gently break up into shards and wrap in cellophane. This chocolate does not set rock hard like the commercial blocks you buy so store it in the fridge.
Blend 1 banana with 1-2 tablespoons of cacao and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to a smooth paste.
Transfer mixture to a small ramekin for an individual serve, or make a big batch. Cover with a tight fitting lid or plastic wrap.
Transfer container to the freezer overnight before giving or serving.
Blend 2 cups of walnuts, 2 ½ cups of pitted dates, ¼ cup shredded coconut, 2-4 tablespoons cacao, 1 tablespoon chia seeds and a pinch of cinnamon.
Roll into balls. Store in the fridge.
Chocolate-dipped fruit and nuts
If you want to continue with the theme of egg-shaped chocolate, you can make chocolate dipped whole almonds or Brazil nuts.
In a saucepan, melt some dark cooking chocolate and then add whole blanched almonds or Brazil nuts. Using tongs, transfer the almonds to a lined baking tray and allow to cool before wrapping up into goodie bags. Dried apricots also work well with this, as do fresh strawberries.
This traditional Mexican sauce marries chili and chocolate and there are so many versions which have from four to 40 ingredients but each one can be added to enchiladas, chicken, rice or even Brussels sprouts to get the (big or little) kids to eat their veggies!
All photos courtesy of Getty.