Valentine’s day is the day of passion, whether you’re passionate about loving it or passionate about hating it. When it comes to the food we eat on the day of love, these emotions generally translate into meal choices centering around major gluttony. As a model and a cook, my meal choices for all consuming, calorie-enabling holidays are strategic. I think of the best, most delicious (and not necessarily healthy) foods I crave and find ways to substitute their ingredients with healthy alternatives, to the same delicious effect. So, for Valentine’s Day—the day we love to love or love to hate— healthier chocolate treats are on the menu.
A Chocolate Mousse Tart (Raw, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vegan)
500g of unsalted almonds
300g of pitted dates
1 cup of shredded coconut
3tbsp of melted coconut oil
3 ripe avocados
½ cup of cacao
100g of melted dark chocolate (optional)
½ cup of maple syrup
1. Place almonds, dates, shredded coconut, and coconut oil into a food processor and blitz until malleable.
2. Line a 30cm diameter tart dish with baking paper and rub coconut oil onto sides of the tin to avoid sticking.
3. Empty ingredients into the tin and spread to all of the corners evenly, moulding the mixture roughly up the sides.
4. Place flat into the freezer and allow to chill.
5. Meanwhile, hull and de-seed avocados and place in a mixing bowl with cacao, dark chocolate, and maple syrup.
6. Emulsify with a stick blender until fully combined and smooth.
7. Spoon mixture over base and place in freezer for half an hour.
8. Top with edible flowers, fruit, etc. and serve.
Chocolate Dipped Figs
70% dark Lindt chocolate
Edible flowers, chocolate chips, 100&1000’s sprinkles (optional)
1. Cut figs into halves, or, if large, cut in half and half again, vertically, to a 1.5cm thickness.
2. Break up chocolate and place in a medium-sized, heat-safe bowl.
3. Place bowl over a saucepan of boiling water so that the bottom of the bowl sits 3 inches above water.
4. Mix until chocolate is completely melted.
5. Remove from heat.
6. Line a tray with baking paper. Individually, half-dip the figs into chocolate and place on tray.
7. (Optional) decorate figs by sticking edible flowers or chocolate chips onto the still-warm chocolate.
8. Place in fridge until set and serve.
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