Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cocoa Loco - Homemade Salted Dark Chocolate with Peanuts - with no fake stuff in there

Alrighty, this is my go-to sweet treat when I'm craving something chocolate (or something rotten for me).  I can whip up a batch of this treat in about 15 minutes, and it's ready in another 20 or so, and give me servings for 2 weeks or more.  I found a basic version of this a few years back (usually called 'Cocoa Crack' - it's popular with people doing Paleo or HCG) it was very different though, and I've modified this one over time to taste.
I'm calling it 'Cocoa Loco!!!!' although it's not realllllly crazy.  But it rhymes, and it gets me away from having to discuss the addictive properties of 'crack' with my kids. ;) 

To note: this is not going to taste like a Reece's peanut butter cup; cause it's not full of sugar and fake stuff that make those taste awesome.  It is going to taste more like a semi-sweet dark chocolate bar (maybe 70% dark), very yummy, but it won't fake people out who want to eat a yummy junk bar.  My hubby and kids do NOT like dark chocolate, which if fine by me, cause I don't have to share. :)
Cocoa Crack

Cocoa Loco
Ingredients - Makes 12 servings (or more if you have more self-control...)
  • 2/3c. Coconut Oil
  • 2/3c. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (I'm using Ghiradelli now, but Hershey's or Nestle work too).
  • 10 packets Stevia (or stevia drops, to taste) (you could sub out the sweetener of your choice here)
  • 1/4c-1/2c.  Half and Half (or less, to taste)
  • 1/4 t. Vanilla (I like Mexican vanilla)
  • 1/3c Unsalted Dry Roasted Peanuts -optional - can substitute cashews, almonds, etc or have it without nuts
  • Sea Salt or Kosher Salt - Optional, to taste
    Cocoa Crack

    1. Lightly brush a silicone tray or dish with coconut oil (I use a 6-cup muffin tray)
    2. Measure coconut oil into microwavable dish, heat 30 seconds to liquify and warm
    3. While warm, whisk in cocoa powder until thoroughly mixed
      Cocoa Crack
    4. Immediately begin whisking in half and half; blending thoroughly to emulsify 
    5. Add vanilla, and stevia to taste.
      Cocoa Crack
      It will begin to thicken
    6. Crush Peanuts.  I like to put them in a bag and bash them with a measuring cup. lol
      Cocoa Crack
    7. Add a layer of the Cocoa Mix to the bottom of the cups, then divide the peanuts and sprinkle on top.
      Cocoa Loco
    8. Cover with remaining Cocoa.  Sprinkle sea salt on top (optional)
      Cocoa Crack
    9. Chill in the freezer 20+ minutes until soft-set, then remove and slice it into portions (this will be much harder when it is completely frozen firm).  Store in the freezer in ziploc bags or a sealed container.  It keeps for several weeks, at least.  You'll want to keep it cold until you eat it, because the coconut oil will soften and melt at room temperature. It will 'melt in your hands'.

      Variations: no nuts, more nuts, a few drops of flavored extract (orange is good, raspberry would be also, etc.), more half and half (gives it a creamier texture more like milk chocolate), less half and half (gives it more of a dark chocolate flavor), add dried fruit, etc.

      Here are the nutritional facts for it (made as recipe directs, above), divided into 12 servings.  This is obviously not a 'health food', as it has 20 grams of fat, but it is GOOD fat as compared to what is in most generic off-the-shelf snacks.  Having total control over your recipe helps too.  Just don't eat too many at once, or at least don't blame me. lol.
      Right now I'm doing a 2-week sugar detox (day 4, yay!) and I like having the option to have one of these little babies in the evening when I need a fix.