I’ve been sick for the last few days, that awful, depressing kind of virus where bodily aches and pains are joined by a general feeling of misery and hopelessness. Not fun. Normally, I’d solace this with soup, but I tried that, and it hasn’t helped. Mostly because I want chocolate. Which doesn’t make good soup. Though now I’ve written that, I have an almost irresistible urge to find out whether one can, in fact, make chocolate soup.
Anyway, I’ll write up the soup recipe once I manage to figure out how much of everything I used – it was all a bit approximate. OK, I’ve just read what I wrote, and I want to just make it clear that I am no longer talking about chocolate soup. There is no chocolate soup. There is, apparently, a certain feverish delirium, but that’s a separate issue.
Back to the chocolate. Today, I woke up feeling lousy, but with the most intense urge to bake. Baking really wasn’t a plausible idea, so I decided to amuse myself by trying out Amber Shea Crawley‘s recipe for coconut butter, which boils down to ‘put a lot of dessicated coconut in a food processor and wait for it to turn into butter’. This requires no more effort than pouring the coconut into the food processor, and one can sit on the floor of the kitchen to watch it. Definitely my speed.
Only then one is left with all this coconut butter, which one must find a use for. Raw cooking looks like an invitation to germ warfare when you’re coughing as much as I am, so those recipes are out. And then there is the aforementioned chocolate craving. At which point it becomes clear that the only possible way to progress at this point is toward the easiest chocolate treat recipe ever invented – the chocolate crackle.
Only we have this dried mango we want to use. And the coconut butter isn’t all that sticky. And that’s way too much sugar. And why does nobody ever put chocolate in chocolate crackles? And do you seriously expect me to spoon this into paper cups?
And before you know it, you have a surprisingly light-tasting but chocolatey crackle slice, that fulfils all the chocolate cravings of my virus-ridden heart, and leaves me with an aftertaste of dried mango. Lovely…
Your Shopping List4 cups of rice bubbles, or other crunchy popped cereal of your choice 100 g dark chocolate, chopped 50 g dried mango 50 g dried cranberries 1/4 cup cocoa 1/4 cup coconut sugar, if you happen to have it (if not, just use more of the white sugar) 1/2 cup white sugar or caster sugar or icing sugar pinch of allspice 200 g coconut butter or coconut oil (or 220 g dessicated coconut and a good food processor) 100 g almond butter
Now what will you do with it?
EAT IT WITH A SPOON.
Oh, sorry, you wanted a proper recipe?
OK then. Chop up your dried mango and put it in a bowl with the rice bubbles, coconut, sugar, dried cranberries, cocoa, allspice, and half the chopped chocolate.
If you are making coconut butter, and this is seriously easy, just dump the dessicated or shredded dried coconut into the food processor and let it go. It will just chop things for a while, but slowly you will find the coconut compressing and looking wetter as it releases its oils, and eventually it will become a fairly smooth liquid, which will solidify when cool, and can be stored at room temperature for several weeks.
Line a large baking dish – about 30 x 40 cm, I think – with baking paper.
In a saucepan over very low heat, stir together the coconut butter, almond butter and the rest of the chocolate until they are melted.
Pour the hot butters and chocolate over the rice bubble mixture in the bowl, and mix well until everything is incorporated. Press the mixture into the prepared tin, and chill in the fridge until set.
Eat – not with a spoon, but with delight.
You could always melt more chocolate and drizzle it over the top. That’s what I’m tempted to do, but I’m not really in my right mind with regard to this recipe…
Well, you could stop before putting the almond butter and coconut butter in and pretty much call it breakfast. Maybe with almond milk. Maybe plain. Really, you’ve got to admit, this leaves Coco Pops for dead…
Right, back in the real world, you could, of course, use all almond butter or all coconut butter, depending on what you were trying to avoid. You also don’t need the fruit, though I feel it adds an air of nutritional benefit to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative. In fact, this can pretty readily become gluten-free, low-fructose, and nut-free, and of course it’s already vegan.
You could also add nuts or seeds instead of or as well as the fruit, and start pretending this is some sort of healthy energy bar (using raw cacao powder will help you with this delusion).
Or you could abandon all the healthiness, and add things like glacé cherries or other glacé fruit. Or maybe marshmallows? Or put a layer of white chocolate underneath the crackle? The possibilities are boundless…
~~~~~~~~~~~One year ago: Recipe: Chicken in a pot with artichokes and aioli Two years ago: Recipe: Pasta Carbonara, my way