Today, February 13th is Galentine’s Day! Yay! A day you can celebrate your girlfriends, especially if you aren’t into all of the Valentines day hubbub. I am not really into either celebration to be perfectly honest, however, if there is one thing I am good at celebrating it’s eating chocolate but I don’t really need a special occasion for that!
I really love chocolate and the love of chocolate is something that I seem to be passing down to my children as well. We make these cacao hearts pretty regularly in our household and I don’t really feel guilty about eating them. Cacao is a “high vibe” food and one with many, many benefits, especially if it comes from a whole and reputable source – we use Arriba Cacao from the Light Cellar in Calgary.
Benefits of Cacao
According to this FoodMatters article titled 14 Ridiculously Good Reasons To Eat Cacao! cacao has many benefits including:
- Mood-boosting properties
- Boosts energy
- Helps with enhancing your complexion
- Could help fight tooth decay
- Helps protect against heart disease
I don’t know about you but I am a sucker for any nut butter + chocolate combo. These cacao nut butter hearts are perfect for your Galentine or Valentine and are sure to please whenever you are in need of a chocolate fix!
Regarding the specific recipe, I seem to take inspiration from various sources and I don’t tend to follow any formal recipe – they just always seem to turn out. I mean, how can you go wrong with chocolate. The one thing to note is the consistency of the chocolate mixture (explained below) in order for it to freeze properly. To obtain the heart shape, I use an Ikea heart-shaped ice cube tray – it works perfectly!
There are few different ways to achieve this recipe. You can use solely cacao + coconut butter with a tiny bit of optional sweetener (it’s generally a good idea). Or, you can use some melted dark or semi-sweet chocolate and add cacao to the mixture with coconut butter. Obviously, the second way is going to be sweeter, especially if using semi-sweet chocolate or chocolate chips. Keep in mind adding chocolate chips adds additional sugar and if it’s semi-sweet there could be milk product as well. It also won’t have all of the epic benefits of just using cacao.
If using chocolate chips, I like the semi-sweet chocolate chips from Enjoy Life Foods as they are dairy free.
What you need:
- Ikea heart-shaped ice cube tray or another chocolate mold.
- A nut butter of your choice (peanut, hazelnut, almond, etc.)
- Cacao powder or nibs
- Coconut butter
- Chocolate chips if you so desire
- Optional sweetener (honey, maple syrup, etc.)
- Cinnamon (Optional)
What to do:
- In a saucepan melt about 2 tbsp to 1/3 cup of coconut butter or coconut oil and add about two tablespoons of the cacao powder. If using chocolate chips add about 2 tablespoons + of them now too. You can do this on a double boiler too to ensure you don’t burn the chocolate.
- Stir until you get a nice velvety-smooth texture. It needs to have quite a liquidy consistency to fit in the molds properly. Taste and add more of an ingredient if you feel it needs more. Add more cacao if you want it to be more rich and chocolatey add a little water if you need a thinner consistency. You can also add the optional sweetener here too.
- Use a spoon to pour a thin layer of chocolate mixture into the molds and cover to freeze (about 30min).
- Once hardened, remove from freezer and add a scoop of nut butter to each heart – leave a bit of room to pour the second layer of chocolate over.
- Freeze for another 30 min.
- VOILA! POP out of the freezer and you’re set!
I have included some quick-links to similar recipes.