October 24, 2012

Cacao Creations

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Red Chile Mole
¼ cup coconut oil
1 large onion, minced
1 teaspoon red chile powder (ancho is wonderful)
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon cumin powder
2 teaspoons coriander powder
½ teaspoon clove powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup raisins
2 Tbsp. tahini (roasted sesame seed butter)
4 garlic cloves, crushed (in a garlic press)

In a large skillet, melt coconut oil. Add the chile and cumin seeds. Toast on low for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the onion and add it to the skillet. Add the rest of the spices EXCEPT the cocoa powder. This will come later. Cover and cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

You can add a splash of water if the onions are sticking to the bottom of the skillet.

In a small bowl, pour boiling water over the raisins. Let them soak for 5 minutes. Drain ¾ of the water, add tahini, and mix well. Add this mixture to the skillet.

Now add the cocoa powder. Stir well to incorporate the flavors. Press the garlic into the skillet and cook, covered, for 5 minutes.

Enjoy over rice, grilled chicken, pinto beans, or cornbread.

***

Chocolate Almond Chicken
You will need:

¼ cup coconut oil

1 large onion, minced
1 inch fresh ginger root, minced
1 teaspoon cumin powder
2 teaspoons coriander powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/4 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
1 cup almond milk

1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 pound organic, free-range chicken breasts or boneless chicken thighs
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

In a large skillet, melt coconut oil. Chop the onion and ginger. Add these to the skillet. Add the rest of the spices EXCEPT the cocoa powder. Saute for 5 minutes.

Add the chicken, raise the heat to high and saute, stirring constantly with a metal spatula, for 5 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned.

Add the almonds and almond milk.

Cover and cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.

Now add the cocoa powder. Stir well or whisk gently to incorporate the flavors. Press the garlic into the skillet and cook, covered, for 5 minutes.

Enjoy over corn tortillas and with a side of cooked greens if you like.

***
Corn Tortillas
You will need:
2 cups masa harina (fine corn flour)
water
1 teaspoon lime juice
2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon or olive oil



The night before making tortillas:
In a mixing bowl, place 1 ½ cups masa harina, lime juice, salt, and enough water to make a thick batter.Cover with cloth and allow to sit for 8 to 24 hours.


Stir well. Let the dough remain like a thick batter.
Heat a cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet on high heat. Add enough oil to coat skillet thinly.


Prepare dough by mixing remaining ½ cup masa harina and olive oil into batter.
If you have whole corn kernels, add a handful to the batter for texture.

Pour batter in pancake shapes on skillet and cook for 2 minutes on first side and 4 minutes on second side. Use a spatula to flip.

If the oil on the skillet is smoking, reduce heat, wipe off with a paper towel, and resume process with less oil.

When each tortilla is done, place it in a damp cloth and cover it to keep pliable.

***

Cardamom Brownies with Raspberry Jam Swirl
Dry ingredients:
1 ½ cups flour (spelt OR a mixture of millet and rice for gluten-free option)
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon each: cardamom and cinnamon

Wet ingredients:
2 eggs OR 4 Tablespoons flaxseed meal
½ cup maple syrup 
¼ cup melted coconut oil
1 cup chopped, unsweetened chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir together.

Make a well in the center, combine the wet ingredients and stir until thoroughly blended. Incorporate dry into wet and stir until just blended.

Grease 8 or 9 inch baking pan with vegetable oil. Pour batter into greased pan. 

Take 4 Tablespoons of raspberry jam (I like Bionaturae or another fruit-sweetened kind) and whisk it in a spouted container with 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil. Pour in a pattern all over the brownie batter. Have fun with the swirling patterns!

Bake for 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center tests slightly damp. Allow brownies to cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.


***

Pear Chocolate Tart
For the crust:
1 ½ cups flour (wheat-free : ¾ cup each barley & spelt; gluten-free: 1 cup millet four & ½ cup rice flour)
1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup solid coconut oil, cut into pearl-sized chunks
pinch salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup almond milk

About 2 fresh, ripe pears, sliced into eight sections 

For the filling:
1 egg (OR 2 T flaxseed meal dissolved in boiling water if you prefer vegan)
¾ cup maple syrup
¼ cup melted coconut oil 
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup almond milk
1 cup chopped unsweetened chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a pie plate with vegetable oil.

Combine all the crust ingredients EXCEPT almond milk. Coat the coconut oil with flour. Add the milk,  stir gently, and press into the pie plate to make a crust. Do not worry if it doesn't go all the way up the sides. Just use your hands to make sure it is of uniform thickness.

Arrange the pears over the crust.

In the same bowl, mix the ingredients for the filling. Pour them over the pears.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center tests clean.
Serve with a garnish of maple yogurt of you like.

***
Zoom Balls
You will need:
1 cup tahini (roasted sesame seed butter)
½ cup cashew or almond butter
¼ cup honey (more or less to taste)
¼ cup toasted, ground oats
3 Tablespoons coarsely chopped almonds or sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon each: cinnamon and cardamom powder
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Mix tahini, nut butter and honey until smooth.
Add oats and nuts - mix in well.  Mix in enough coconut to make dough thick.
Add spices and cocoa powder. Mix once more.
Roll the dough into small balls. You can also spread the mixture onto a baking sheet and cut into squares.
Store the balls in baking tins in a cool place. They will last for 3 weeks.






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