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This is a luxurious rich chocolatey treat with roasted nuts, dried fruits, and a deliciously complex milieu of flavours. Made with raw cacao powder, natural cacao butter and fibre rich chestnuts, it’s about as healthy as chocolate can get. You don’t need to use all the fruit and nuts I’ve listed, try pistachio and apricots for a middle Eastern take, or figs and hazelnuts are also a great match. A little of this goes a long way, so if you have a busy house over the festive period, it is the perfect sweet to have in your fridge.

Makes 18-20 slices

You will need a standard loaf tin, or terrine tin.

  • 80g nuts (pistachio, hazelnut, macadamia or pecan)
  • 125g cacao butter, chopped roughly
  • 100g coconut sugar
  • 100g raw cacao powder
  • pinch of salt flakes
  • 240g whole pre-cooked chestnuts, unsweetened (I used Merchant Gourmet)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 140g dried fruit chopped (prunes, figs or apricots)
  • zest of half an orange

Step-by-Step

1.Preheat oven to 200/180 fan. Put the nuts on a tray and roast for about 6-8 minutes until golden and aromatic, remove, leave to cool then roughly chop.

2.Place a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and add the cacao butter, coconut sugar, cacao powder and a pinch of salt. Allow these to slowly melt and combine, stir just enough to dissolve the sugar crystals.

3.Meanwhile put the chestnuts and vanilla essence into a food processor and mix until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Combine in a bowl with the dried fruit, orange zest and toasted nuts. Stir in the melted chocolate.

4.Lay a large double layer of cling film over a regular sized loaf tin (or terrine dish) with over hang on both sides and ends. Spoon the mixture evenly into the tin and smooth the surface down with the back of a spoon. Fold the extra cling film over the top to cover and leave to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before serving (to soften) and cut into thin slices.

(Recipe courtesy of Amelia Freer, Nutritional Therapist and author of Eat, Nourish, Glow)

 

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