Can you possibly ruin good chocolate?

If you don't know about my previous foray into truffle squares, you may need to visit my alter ego blog for a moment. Murphy's Chocolate Truffle Squares

Now with any fabulous new twist on a recipe, there's always a few transformations. For us the lightbulb went off with my daughter's upcoming return to college. She's been eating like a nutritional champ all summer. But what to do about those midnight cram session snacks? Or the flight back? What to snack on? Well, chocolate is always a good answer. Yes, even for us low-carb grain-free zealots.

But this time all did not go as planned. So let's refresh shall we?

Murphy's truffle square

This is what we were aiming for, but on a grand scale. Full cookie sheet size, thicker bar, less chocolate since it's not supposed to be dessert. Yum.

So we started with the Coconut Macadamia Crust. I added some chopped pecans for good measure. And a little almond butter too. Now I didn't use it the first time due to our friend's allergy to Almonds. But I definitely needed something to hold the bar together. Then because I'm an over-confident baker now with a few weeks under my apron... I didn't check how much butter I'd need. And threw in oh about 4 times the right quantity.

Then I realized my batter wouldn't fill the tray either. We're not off to a good start. Though it did look pretty good.


Tasted pretty darn good too. A good baker always tastes as they go...

Next stop, chocolate. Now this is a careful process. You heat your cream, and pour over the chocolate. Which I had done previously, with fabulous results.

Now you start mixing, stirring gently as the chocolate melts.



Ooops. This is NOT what it should look like. If this is what happens to you, start over. Did I mention always have some extra cream and chocolate handy? If chocolate were easy to work with, everyone would do it, and we'd have a worldwide chocolate shortage. So. What happened?

I blamed the cream first. I cheated and didn't use organic. It had some weird sounding stuff in it. Then I blamed the chocolate. Ok. That's just wrong to blame a Ghirardelli chocolate bar for my incompetence.
Truth is, I overheated the cream. DO NOT OVERHEAT THE CREAM. If you do, it will separate the chocolate fats and you end up with a mess. Heat till it's almost boiling, but not to boiling. Remember that. Hot not scorching hot. 

My next mistake was not waiting the full 10 minutes to let the chocolate melt. I was in a hurry. You can't hurry chocolate. So please, follow instructions precisely. And it will look like this.

Yeah, I started over. Wouldn't you? And yes, I absolutely licked the bowl. Twice. Listen, there's nothing in there to hurt you. No eggs. No chemicals. Only chocolate and cream and stevia. And unless you've stuck your finger in a bowl of this stuff, you can only imagine how good it truly is.

So here's the finale. Murphy's second generation truffle square which we will lovingly rename Mary's egomaniacal coconut pecan macadamia chocolate bites. Some things aren't meant to have acronyms. OK... Choconutter... ugh. Taken. Ok. These don't have a name. So if you can come up with a name for these amazing treats, let me know. For now, I'm going with Crazy Good Chocolate Bites. As always, free from the contamination of processed foods and grains. Enjoy.



Ingredients:
Base:
1 cup UNSWEETENED coconut flakes
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 cup chopped pecans (raw unsalted)
4 tablespoons softened organic butter (grass fed preferred, or use Ghee)
1/8 cup Almond Butter (substitute any nut butter if you like)
1.5 tablespoons Stevia (I use Stevia in the Raw)

Topping:
4 oz. UNSWEETENED chocolate, broken into pieces or chopped
.75 cups heavy cream (organic preferred)
1/8 cup each Stevia and sugar, or 1/4 cup stevia (you can increase or decrease the amounts to taste)

First, the crust.
Preheat a 325 F oven. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 

Combine coconut, nuts, softened butter, almond butter and stevia. Now I use stevia, you can certainly use sweetened coconut instead if your diet permits.

Use a mini food processor or you can mix by hand just enough to blend the butter into the coconut and nuts. Rule of them, is to add about a third of the coconut to the butter first, blend that, then add the rest of the nuts and coconut. Add your almond butter and continue blending.

Finish it off by mashing it all together with your fingers.

Place the doughy mixture in the center of the tray work it outwards to the sides, keeping it flat and about 1/8 to 1/4" thick. Keep pressing and molding with your fingertips. When it's the desired thickness and evenly spread, bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Once your bar base has cooled, heat your cream to almost boiling. Don't boil or you'll end up tossing it out. Break your chocolate into pieces in a bowl, and pour the heated cream over the chocolate. Let it stand for 10 minutes to melt the chocolate. Begin mixing the chocolate and cream, as shown above, until you have what appears to be a thick pudding. Add your sweetener and continue mixing until just blended. Don't over mix. Taste the chocolate pudding and make sure it's wonderful. Then spread evenly over the now cooled crust. Freeze for several hours, or, refrigerate overnight. Cut gently into 24 squares for a great low calorie (130), low carb (4) decadent snack, or 12 pieces for a high protein energy snack bar. Either way, fabulous.



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