Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Dairy Free Milk Chocolate Pralinés


Dairy Free Milk Chocolate Pralines

Yesterday I looked at the calendar and realized that this year, I have a 20th anniversary.
The 20th anniversary of my exam at the university. On November, 24th in 1994.
That's why March, 24th in 2014 rang a bell in my mind.
Exactly 20 years back, I had one of the most awful spring seasons in my life.
My mom kept being ill, I desperately tried to catch up with the third subject I started the year before, in the back of my mind I had all the stuff which I still had to read for the exam in November, and I frantically typed my exam thesis into that stone-age steam-engine of a computer. A monstrous thing with an Intel 80286 (called two-eighty-six), running on MS-DOS and having a 5 1/4 inch floppy disk drive.
Yep, floppy disk.
Bad enough, but 5 1/4 inch - ! Prehistorical.

On the good side, those months were the only time in my life - before I went gluten free - that food didn't make me sick.
Odd, but true. No matter what I stuffed into my mouth, it didn't make me sick.
And the main thing I stuffed myself with, was chocolate.
Not the dark chocolate I usually prefer, but milk chocolate. 7 ounces per day average, in addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner.
I literally burned my way through chocolate, and to keep me going until 2 a.m., I topped this nutritional fiasco with at least two or three mugs of instant vanilla cappuccino each night. Yuck.



In a moment of nostalgia, I decided to make some 20th anniversary mock milk chocolates. Without all the bad stuff like artificial vanilla, cow's milk and tons of sugar.
I was pleasantly surprised by the result - nothing I had twenty years back was equally good, in fact!



The carob powder is the secret ingredient; due to its natural sweetness, it deepens the chocolaty flavour without adding more bitterness. On the contrary, you can decrease the amount of sweetener and still have that milk chocolate feeling!



Here you go:

Ingredients:

  • 50 g cocoa butter
  • 50 g white smooth cashew butter (mine wasn't quite smooth, but I don't mind nut bits in my chocolate)
  • 1/8 cup agave nectar
  • 1 tsp. carob powder
  • 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

Preparation:

  • In a double boiler, over hot water, melt cocoa butter and cashew butter.
  • Stir until smooth and add agave nectar.
  • Add carob and cocoa powder, stir until thoroughly combined and smooth.
  • Pour into candy molds, or you can also use paper lined muffin tins, if you don't mind larger disks.
  • Chill in the fridge for one hour or until firm.
You can store them at room temperature for some days or in the fridge for some more days, if they last that long. At room temperature, they will be soft, and they might become a bit more fudgy, but that only affects the consistency, not the taste.
I got 12 nice pralinés.

They didn't make it long in my presence.
Do you remember the days of MS-DOS and the computer stone-age?
Well, if you don't, don't mind. In fact, better forget them...
But I'm quite sure you *do* remember chocolate, right?

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