Easter is one of the year’s celebrations, which is celebrated in an original way. Daffodils are placed on the set table, and on Palm Sunday it is a traditional Finnish custom, where the children dress up as witches and have worked hard on making homemade willow twigs with colourful craftwork. They go from door to door, and “spank” the neighbours and recite a special poem wishing the neighbours good health.
Traditional Easter delicacies are enjoyed, such as Easter pudding and chocolate eggs.
Chocolate is one of the great delicacies at Easter, as well as at other times e.g. Christmas. In particular, I am fond of raw chocolate, which I prepare myself and I also like baking raw cakes.
A lot of health articles are written about Raw Chocolate. And not in vain! When compared to conventional milk chocolate, raw chocolate has excluded materials e.g. milk and white sugar, and other processed ingredients. They are replaced with natural, unprocessed ingredients that are rich in nutrients and with health benefits. Raw chocolate uses good fats, natural sweeteners and flavours using various spices, berries and powders.
The main raw material used in raw chocolate is cacao powder, which is produced when the cocoa bean and bark are crushed and most of the fat is squeezed out. High-quality cacao powder is made lower than + 48C degrees Celsius, wherein the nutrients are preserved intact. Raw cacao contains e.g. magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, copper and chromium, as well as all the B vitamins. In addition, eating it triggers serotonin production which is the happy hormone i.e, giving the feeling of bliss and happiness.
Cold-pressed cocoa butter or coconut oil are very often used in manufacturing raw chocolate. Cocoa butter is squeezed cocoa bean fat, which is highly resistant to heat, and so it is ideal for the preparation of confections. Coconut oil solidifies at a lower temperature + 25C, and is well suited for e.e. icing on raw cakes.
Raw chocolate is in my opinion best sweetened with honey, but sometimes I also use agave nectar or raw cane sugar. I choose the sweetener according to what chocolate I am going to prepare. If I fancy cake with fondant or have already included sweet, dried fruit or berries, then I do not sweeten the chocolate too much.
Instead of chocolate Easter eggs this year I will prepare, in honor of the strawberry season, raw chocolate coated strawberries. The same pattern can be used with other berries, or even with grapes or with chopped banana. The process is made easy when you use a cocktail stick.
You will need:
A box of fresh strawberries
125g cacao butter or coconut oil
4 tablespoons honey
5 tablespoons of raw cacao powder
3 tablespoons of Lucuma powder
A pinch of good, unrefined salt
Spices for taste (vanilla, cinnamon, pepper)
On the surface (if desired):
Crushed nuts (e.g. hazelnuts or pecan), almonds or grated coconut.
Do like this:
Measure your fat heat-resistant bowl and lift the bowl on top of the stoves boiling water boiler. Melt the fat until it flows. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until it’s a smooth mass. Leave to cool slightly. Dip the strawberry chocolate individually, spin in either the chopped nuts or coconut and place on top of some baking paper or a small mini muffin tin. Cool in the refrigerator until you are no longer able to wait before tasting.
Happy Easter to everyone!
Tiina – Anni’s Vital Shop, Los boliches