Valentine’s Cooking: Chilli Chocolate Hearts
Forgotten to buy a present for your loved one (or yourself) this Valentine’s? These little chilli chocolate hearts are the perfect treat to gift this Sunday – if they last that long. Not only do they look cute but they taste great, too; and believe it or not, are full of health benefits (really!).
These hearts are created using cocoa powder and cocoa butter from CHOC Chick (find their range in Holland & Barrett), and research shows that cocoa can help improve cardiovascular health; acts as an anti-depressant (due to the effect it has on the ‘happy chemical’ serotonin in the brain); is full of antioxidants, which can help fight diseases such as cancer; and may even lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. As if that wasn’t enough, these chocolate treats are refined sugar free, plus the included cayenne chilli can help boost your metabolism and digestion and aid in easing an upset stomach. No further convincing needed – here’s how to make them!
100g CHOC Chick organic cacao powder
6 tbsp CHOC Chick organic cacao butter
3-4 tsp agave syrup, honey or maple syrup (to taste)
½ tsp cayenne pepper chilli powder (taste and add a little more if required)
½ tsp vanilla bean extract
1. Melt the cacao butter gently in a bowl over a pan of water (or Bain Marie) on a low heat.
2. Once melted, add the cacao powder, the syrup or honey of your choice, vanilla and chilli powder.
3. Maintain on a low heat and mix well with a metal balloon whisk. Taste the mix and add some more sweetener and cayenne pepper if required.
4. Remove from heat and carefully spoon the warm, runny cocoa mixture into heart-shaped ice cube trays or mini baking cases.
5. Place the mould or cases in the freezer for 20 minutes to set. Enjoy lovely and cold straight from the freezer if possible, and prepare yourself for a spicy surprise!
Have you made these little hearts? Let us know how they turned out by Tweeting us a photo @healthymag!