Raw Paleo Brownies with Chocolate Mousse Frosting

Raw Brownies with Chocolate Mousse Frosting (Paleo)

It was like waking up from a dream. I took a bite of a chocolate-coconut date bar, and then another: these are amazing, I remember thinking. I was a sophomore in college and it was the first time I had made something like this. Up until that day, it was all brownies and cookies for dessert (an occasional cupcake thrown in). Something had inspired me to make a healthy version (not really sure what). It was easy, something that I remember being surprised by. Honestly, it was easier than making regular brownies, because all I had to do was pop everything in the food processor and press it into a pan.  

Raw Brownies with Chocolate Mousse Frosting (Paleo)

Chocolate-coconut bars were the first “real food” dessert recipe I think I ever made, intentionally at least. It was revolutionary, as evidenced by this blog. Today, fruit and nut bars are a dime a dozen at the grocery store and even more easily found online, but this recipe still stands out at me as “the one.”  

Raw Brownies with Chocolate Mousse Frosting (Paleo)
Raw Brownies with Chocolate Mousse Frosting (Paleo)
Cacao nibs - Anthony's Goods

Over the years I’ve mixed things up, trying out different nuts, drizzling the bars with chocolate, or the ultimate treat: topping them with an avocado mousse frosting and a sprinkle of cacao nibs (If you have a hard time finding cacao nibs, try ordering them from Anthony's Goods, here - they are great quality). These are decadent. They are a fruit nut bar that feels like so much more. They are rich and sweet but honest and whole, still made only with clean ingredients. After you eat a bit of this bar, you’re going to feel the difference: it tastes like a guilty pleasure but there’s no crap in there!  

Raw Brownies with Chocolate Mousse Frosting (Paleo)

Anthony's Goods provided me with product for this blog post, but the recipes and opinions are all my own. Working with brands to develop wholesome recipes is one way I keep Foraged Dish going! Anthony's Goods helps me stock the pantry and keep the blog going. I only work with brands that I truly enjoy and use. Post may contain affiliate links.

Raw Brownies with Chocolate Avocado Mousse Frosting

Paleo, Primal, Grain-Free    |       |    Print This Recipe

The chocolate-coconut bars are easy to make and no-bake! They get the ultimate treatment with a layer of creamy chocolate mousse frosting.

Serves: 9   |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried, pitted dates (I used med jool)
  • 1 cup dried figs (remove stems)
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/4 cup unsalted cashews
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted pecans
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/16 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • For the frosting:
  • 1 ripe avocado (or 1/2 of a very large avocado)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey (try 2 tablespoons if you prefer a lesser that is not very sweet, you can always add more as you go)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/16 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs for topping brownies

Directions:

  1. Place dates, figs, coconut, cashews, pecans, 1/4 cup cacao nibs, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla extract into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until stick crumbs form and begin to climb together. When you pinch the mixture between two fingers, it should easily stick together.
  2. Fit a 9x9 pan with parchment paper and pour fruit nut mixture into pan. Use your fingers to press the mixture into a single, even layer. Cover and place in fridge.
  3. Now, make the frosting: Place avocado, vanilla extract, coconut oil, honey, cocoa powder, and salt in the bowl of a high-speed blender (you can use a food processor, but you will need to scrape the sides frequently to get everything incorporated well). Puree mixture, scraping the sides of the blender as you go to ensure everything is incorporated and no green chunks of avocado remain. Feel free to taste for sweetness and add more honey as desired.
  4. Once frosting is completely smooth, spread in a single layer over the brownies. Sprinkle with cacao nibs and allow to set in the fridge for 30 minutes. Slice into 9 squares and serve, or cut into small 1-inch bites if you prefer.

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Lady Grey Tea Dark Chocolate Truffles

Earl Grey Truffles

The afternoon feels long and slow today. My desk by the window is letting a warm (slightly too warm) light in, despite a howling wind on the other side. I'm not one to let sleep go by the wayside, so despite a full nights rest, I'm feeling rather drowsy. 

I reach for a bag of tea, and heat up some water. It's too late for coffee, but tea and a truffle will wake me up a bit (that's the hope, at least). I grab a truffle, and take a bite. 

Earl Grey Truffles
Earl Grey Truffles

With the chocolate still in my mouth, I take a swig of tea, and let its warmth melt the truffle in my mouth. It is rich, but there are light notes of flowers and bergamot. This is probably the perfect time to enjoy a truffle: a moment when you have nothing to think about other than what it tastes like. 

Earl Grey Truffles
Earl Grey Truffles

I've made these truffles twice this month and am going to keep making them. They appeal perfectly to my inner chocoholic but are simple, and easy to put together... just watch below! They're the perfect last minute Valentine's Day gift (that's today!!) or indulgence for your every day (that's tomorrow!)

Happy day to everyone! 

P.S., I'm still super new to this video thing! What do you guys think? Do you like seeing Foraged Dish recipes in video form? Any tips or suggestions? 

Lady Grey Tea Dark Chocolate Truffles

Paleo, Primal, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free    |       |    Print This Recipe

Lady grey tea lends a faint but floral note to these truffles.

Yields: 16   |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons loose leaf lady grey tea (you could also use 2 tea bags )
  • 1/16 teaspoon salt
  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate (chopped up bar or chips; I have used Guittard and Ghirardelli and they are both great!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

Directions:

  1. Heat cream over medium heat while stirring continuously until it begins to simmer. Remove from heat, add tea and stir. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine chocolate, salt, butter, and vanilla. Strain cream through a fine-mesh sieve into the mixing bowl. Allow the warm cream to warm the chocolate by letting it sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Use a spatula to stir the mixture until it is smooth. If needed, heat the mixture in the microwave at 10 second intervals to melt the chocolate further. After stirring for about 10 minutes, you should get a thick, glossy ganache. Scrape mixture into a tupperware and place, covered, in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  4. After chilling, the ganache should become firm, but remain somewhat malleable. Use a spoon and your hands to roll the ganache into spheres.
  5. Pour cocoa powder in a bowl or deep plate and toss each truffle in cocoa. Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container in the fridge.

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Salted Chocolate Covered Date Caramels

Salted chocolate covered date caramels

Remember last week I said I went to the Made In Nature test kitchen and made these raw gingerbread treats? I'm going back today to help with another treat that is a perfect last minute holiday gift! These Salted Chocolate Covered Date Caramels are made using no refined sugar, but they're sweet as can be! Dates are one of the sweetest fruits in the world, I like to think of them as Mother Earth's candy. I find they also have a caramelly taste and smooth texture that I just can't turn down. Did you know there are over 40 different cultivars of dates? I had no idea, until I started researching, because in my local stores I can only find Medjool and Deglet Noor dates.

Salted chocolate covered date caramels
Salted chocolate covered date caramels

For this recipe, I used Deglet Noor dates. Deglet Noor are considered to be a less sugary variety but I still find them very sweet. This sweetness couples very well with a little salt on top-- just like real caramel! Plus, salt flakes add a little sparkle that make them shimmer in the light. 

You can make this recipe in just a few quick steps, so if you are still trying to decide on a gift for a friend, or you want to bring something sweet to your Christmas or Christmas Eve party, these are perfect. Tie them up in a bow and everyone will be in love with them. Check out the step-by step on the Made In Nature Instagram account around 9am (MST) today and click their profile photo to watch their story about these caramels! 

Salted chocolate covered date caramels

Salted Chocolate Covered Date Caramels

Paleo, Primal, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free    |       |    Print This Recipe

Dates are turned into a soft caramel.

Yields: 24   |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

  • Flake sea salt or Fleur de sel
  • 1 6-ounce package Made in Nature Organic Deglet Noor Dates
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Put dates in a glass and cover with warm water. Allow to soak for at least 2 hours (and up to 24).
  2. Drain dates. Place dates in a high-speed blender or your food processor, along with 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil, and puree until a smooth sticky paste forms. Line a 9x9 pan with parchment paper, and spread date paste in pan in a single, even layer. Place pan in fridge to set for 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate: Heat chocolate and 1 tablespoon butter/coconut oil over very low heat, stirring to prevent overheating the chocolate on the bottom. Remove sauce pan from heat when chocolate is almost fully melted— allow it will melt the rest of the way using residual heat.
  4. Get out a new piece of parchment or wax paper. Set on counter. Now, remove date paste from fridge. Use a sharp knife to cut it into squares, about 1 inch by 1 inch. Clean off your knife with hot water occasionally to make cutting easier.
  5. Dip squares in chocolate one at a time. Allow excess chocolate to drizzle off, and place on clean parchment. Sprinkle with salt. Repeat this step until each square is dipped and has a bit of salt.
  6. Allow the chocolate to harden, and then peel them from the parchment. Place in gift box or on serving plate.

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