Best ever chocolate protein energy bar

Oh, my, goodness. I can’t believe I actually made these. They are so amazing and will rock your world if you are into physical activity, missing delicious treats, just need something to get you through the day or want a dessert! Yes, this is the all around awesomeness recipe!

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Make them with glucose and they will serve you as a fantastic workout / hiking energy bar and with zylitol for a snack on a regular day. If you are withdrawing from sugar the high level of protein and fats will curb your sugar cravings!

And…. drum roll… You can also turn them into this delicious treat inspired by Aloha and Naked Treaties (via Sara Wilson). Now, how to make these amazing little things…

I can't believe it's not good for me cups

DAIRY FREE – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE – DIABETIC FRIENDLY

Ingredients:

Chocolate mix (makes one square block approx 15x15x3cm):

50 grams of unsweetened chocolate (If you cant find it easily where you live, you can use 40 grams of cacao/cocoa powder and 40 grams of cocoa butter – It just doesn’t taste as decadent. Alternatively, use Lindts 90% – from memory it only has around 6-7% sugar)

20 grams of Zylitol (diabetic friendly natural sweetener)

Seed and nut mix (makes approx 700 grams in total – you only need 100g for the amount of chocolate above, I just always make a large portion while I’m at it because I use it for other things too. If you only want to make 1 portion – just divide the measures below with 7, but really it ain’t worth it ;))

2 1/2 tbsp peanut butter (chunky or smooth, to your liking)

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup pumpkin seeds

1 cup linseeds

1/2 cup chia seeds

2 cups of chopped nuts (I use a mix of hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews and almonds)

1 cup of large coconut chips

3 tbsp oil (coconut or other healthy oil – this is only to make the cacao powder stick)

1 1/2 tbsp cacao powder

1-2 cups of puffed rice, oats or similar

EXTRA: If you are using it as a workout snack, instead of Zylitol, add 40 grams of glucose (or more depending on how hard your activity is). This way you will get energy release at different speeds and keep your energy levels up all the way. I had 2x2cm square every 20 minutes on my recent bush hike/run and was still energetic at the end 🙂

TOP TIP: Including hazelnuts will give the bars a taste of Nutella!!! The more you use, the more of the flavour you will get. Yes, just try roasted hazelnuts in the oven, your house will smell like Nutella…. mmmmm…… Nutella….(okay I will stop saying Nutella now).

Directions:

Turn your oven to 160C (320F) so it heats up whilst you prepare your nut/seed mix.

Get a medium/large bowl and chuck in all your seeds, nuts and coconut in it.

Nuts n seeds (watermark)

 

Add the oil to the mix, stir it around so it covers nicely. Add your chocolate and cinnamon powder. Give it another good stir so that you get an even coating and spread on a baking paper and chuck it in the oven for 6-10 minutes (depending on how finely you chopped your nuts and what your oven is like. Let it sit to cool it for a bit.

Seed mix, spices, oven (watermark)

Melt your chocolate in a water-bath (same method as in this recipe) or in the microwave (just be careful not to nuke it – stop when half of it is melted, take out and stir and leave the other half to melt slowly on the kitchen bench, still in the same container). Add your glucose or zylitol (they look very alike, it’s zylitol in the photo below). Stir. Add peanut butter and stir again.

chocolate mass (watermark)

Add 100g of the seed/nut mix and mix until all of it is evenly distributed.

Now line a container with cling film, then add linseeds so that the finished bar will have seeds on the bottom and top (great for workouts and hikes where you don’t want the heat of your fingers to melt and get chocolate on your fingers). Add your chocolate / seed mix. Drizzle more seeds on top. Wrap the cling film to keep the shape you want the bars to take and put it in the fridge to set for at least 1 hour.

Boxig it up (watermark)

Boom – ready to eat!

Or…… Turn them into a delicious blueberry-coconut-cream treat:

See the recipe for the coconut cream filling here (i used Zylitol instead of rice syrup and cocoa butter, less as it goes harder when cold, instead of coconut oil) but roughly it looks something like this (just made with the flesh from one coconut (about 3/4 cup)):

coconut mass (watermark)

And then you just pipe it into my protein bar cups and top with a blueberry. Scrumptious!

Finishing the cups (Watermark)

If you would like to see more gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes like this you can follow me here (via email, see top right on this page), on Facebook or Twitter.

Healthy chocolate peanut butter snack bars (no-bake, super easy)

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Your biggest problem if you make these? To keep yourself/your partner/family from devouring them too fast!!! I have to hide these and only bring out a portion everyday for them not to be inhaled (we use them as lunch box / work treats, well, and other other time we find an excuse to eat them). Now, how to make them….

DAIRY FREE – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

50 grams of unsweetened chocolate (If you cant find it easily where you live, you can use 40 grams of cacao/cocoa powder and 40 grams of cocoa butter – It just doesn’t taste as decadent)

40 gram of glucose

2 1/2 tbsp smooth peanut butter (runny)

100 grams of my granola, smashed up into smaller pieces

Directions:

Melt your chocolate in a water-bath (same method as in this recipe) or in the microwave (just be careful not to nuke it – stop when half of it is melted, take out and stir and leave the other half to melt slowly on the kitchen bench, still in the same container).

Whilst the chocolate is melting, measure out your granola, glucose and peanut butter. When the chocolate is completely melted pour it into a bowl.

First steps

Add glucose and peanut butter. Mix well. (If you are using cocoa powder, sift that into the glucose first, mix well, then add the melted cocoa butter and peanut butter).

Next steps

Add your granola and mix until all the chocolate is evenly distributed.

Last steps

Now all you gotta do is scoop it into a container lined with baking paper, press it down until it’s nice and firm and pop in the fridge or freezer (15-30 minutes) to set. Boom – ready to eat!

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

Snack nuts – salted, spicy and sweet

These roasted savoury and sweet nuts are great to prep in advance and keeps really well in an airtight container. perfect for work (or school) snacks!

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DAIRY FREE – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

Salted nut mix

200 grams raw mixed nuts (I used almonds, cashews and brazil nuts)

1 tsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

Spicy cashews

200 grams raw cashew nuts (but you can use any nuts)

1 tsp olive oil

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp onion (or garlic) powder

1/4 tsp chili powder (or more or less depending on your taste buds – this is mild to medium spicyness I’d say)

Sweet roasted almonds

200 grams raw almonds

1 tsp vanilla essence

20-40 grams sugar-free white chocolate (optional, the vanilla spiced roasted almonds by themselves are delicious), unsweetened chocolate or if in a pinch, Lindt 90% only has 6.7% sugar in it.

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 175C (165C fan bake / 350F).

Measure out your nuts. For the two savoury recipes, add the oil on top of the nuts and stir with a spoon until they are completely covered, then drizzle you salt or spices over and stir again. For the sweet roasted almonds, add your vanilla essence to the almonds and stir.

PicMonkey Collage - cashews blog

Now, spread the coated nuts on a baking sheet and pop  in the oven for approximately 6-10 minutes (in my oven it took 8 minutes). Let the savoury nuts cool down and box/bag them. They will last for quite a while (longer if kept in the fridge).

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If you don’t want to add chocolate you just finish and bag them too. If you want to add the extra part, melt your chocolate, let it cool to the thickness you prefer. Then you just pour it over the almonds in a bowl, mix and spread them back on a baking sheet and let them solidify (or stick them in the fridge/freezer for a short period if you are in a hurry).

Done! Ready to enjoy whenever you feel like it.

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

Raspberry ice cream cookie sandwiches

It is officially spring!!!! What better than to celebrate with some ice cream sandwiches.

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DAIRY FREE – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

Ice cream (VEGAN)

Makes approximately 1 litre of ice cream.

6-8 tsp freeze-dried raspberries (or mint or cacao etc)

2 cans of full-fat coconut cream (400ml)

100 grams of dextrose

1 banana, just ripe enough to eat but not gone spotty yet

Cookies (adapted from this recipe)

1/2 + 1/8 cup rice bran oil or coconut oil

1/2 cup dextrose

1 egg (to make this vegan, substitute for a flaxseed egg, 1/2 tsp Xanthan gum or other egg substitute = make it stick together)

1 tsp vanilla essence

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup gluten-free oats (or sub for more coconut or almond)

1/2 cup coconut (desiccated, shredded etc)

1/2 cup ground almond

1 cup chocolate chips (make your own or try my fudgy chocolate or white chocolate – I make a big batch and store it in the freezer for moments like this 🙂 )

VANILLA COOKIES: Add 1/2 cup all purpose gluten-free flour

CHOCOLATE COOKIES: Add 1/8 all purpose gluten-free flour + 1/4 & 1/8 cup cacao powder

Directions:

Ice cream

Prepare the ice cream using my recipe for mint choccy chip ice cream as a base (using the ingredients outlined above). When the ice cream is ready from the ice cream maker, line suitably shaped bowls with glad wrap  (or make a shape from foil) and pour in some ice cream (to whatever thickness and shape you desire). Now leave these in the freezer for 30-60 minutes so it set a bit more and doesn’t ooze out the sides when you bite into the cookie sandwich.

Cookies

Pre-heat the oven to 190C (175C fan bake / 375F)

Decide if you want to make vanilla or chocolate cookies (or both) – One batch make around 12 cookies.

Pour oats and coconut pieces into a blender, process until you have a light texture as in the photo below. Set aside for later.

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Pour dextrose and oil into a food processor and set at high speed until fluffy and smooth.

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Add the egg and mix well.

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Add vanilla essence, baking soda and salt. Mix.

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Add flour (and cacao if you are making choccy cookies) gradually until the mixture is well combined well. The vanilla cookie mix should look like the photo below left and the chocolate cookies like the photo below right.

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Transfer the mixture into to a mixing bowl. Add the oat and coconut and combine with your hands. Add the ground almond and combine (chocolate cookie dough shown below).

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Add chocolate chips and combine.

Make 12 cookies from the dough. I used a tablespoon measure (2 tbsp per cookie) to get even sizes). Shape little balls and flatten them out (push back in the dough a little if it cracks at the sides). The ones below are shown without chocolate chips but please do add, they make them, like, 10 times better and a little softer!

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Now pop the cookies in the oven for 8-10 minutes (watch carefully as cooking time depends on the thickness you choose and your oven). Let them cool completely.

Now assemble the ice cream and cookies and enjoy!

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

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Choccy treat balls

These delightful choccy treat balls were inspired by a recipe from my friend Tina. Traditionally they were just 3 ingredients (dates, cacao and coconut oil) but I added in liquids (water/orange juice) to make them smoother and softer with additional orange and mint respectively. They went down a treat with everybody at work 🙂

MAin (blog)

VEGAN – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

With the size I choose, I made 32 balls – 16 of each flavor. Please note that since a medium Medjool date contains 7.7 grams of fructose, the total content for this recipe is 77 grams. If you make 36 balls, that is just over 2 grams per ball. I try to stay below 15 grams per day = 7 balls.

Ingredients:

10 medium Medjool dates (These are very soft which is what you need but you can probably sub for others if you can find some really soft ones, then you probably just need to put in extra dates as Medjool usually are a little bigger than your average date. I buy organic loose dates in my local New World in the fresh veggie section, but dates can otherwise be found in bags in the isles next to sultanas etc)

20-24 tbsp cacao (or cocoa) powder

2 tsp coconut oil (or rice bran oil, but you might need to add a little more cacao at the end if it gets too sticky – or, if you are not lactose intolerant, melted butter)

1 tsp mint essence (or any other essence you can think of)

45 ml water (3 tbsp)

50 ml (3 tbsp + 1 tsp) freshly squeezed orange juice with pulp (approx the juice from half a medium sized orange)

Toppings (E.g. chopped nuts and desiccated coconut or whatever else you have in your cupboard)

Optional: ‘Nutella‘ or other chocolate spread (this recipe takes only 5 min if you have some peanut butter)

Directions:

Pit all the dates and place them in a bowl with 8 tbsp cacao and all the oil.

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Combine and knead with your hands until the “dough” is well mixed and smooth (or pop in a food processor).

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Now divide the dough in two equal portions and place in two separate bowls.

Orange balls: Add the orange juice and 6-8 tbsp of cacao (put less cacao in first and then stop when it has the consistency you prefer). Knead/combine.

Mint balls: Add the mint essence, water and 6-8 tbsp of cacao (put less cacao in first and then stop when it has the consistency you prefer). Knead/combine.

Roll each portion out into a long roll and cut into 8 pieces. Then shape into a ball and cover in your favorite toppings (I choose chopped almonds for the orange balls and desiccated coconut for the mint balls).

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You can either finish there, or inject some filling, I made some with ‘Nutella“.

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Now your balls are ready to eat straight away or keep in an airtight container in the pantry or fridge. Enjoy!

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If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

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Mint chocolate chip ice cream

It is time for an ‘ice cream’ recipe. I’m a massive fan of chocolate and mint, so what could be better than mint chocolate chip ice cream! This one is smooth, minty and creamy – yum!

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Just a couple of notes before you are even thinking about swapping ingredients…. (I am sure you know the feeling of finding a recipe you want to try but are missing an ingredient or two and therefore swap with something else). I was going to make some with young coconut meat (I’ve seen a recipe somewhere with that), but since there was nowhere to get a hold of it, I grabbed a regular (who-knows-how-old-it-is) coconut from my local supermarket and spent ages getting the meat out (which is not easy when it’s hard – young coconut meat is soft and scoop-able). However, let me just say, that was edible but not pleasant enough to eat more of. Then I tried coconut milk and decided it was too ‘soupy’. Third time is the charm it seems though. Coconut cream and banana did the trick!

VEGAN – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

Makes approximately 1 litre of ice cream.

2 cans of full-fat coconut cream (400ml)

150 grams of glucose syrup (liquid glucose) (or 100 grams of dextrose as in the photo below, but it is nowhere near as smooth and soft)

1 banana, just ripe enough to eat but not gone spotty yet

2 large handfuls of fresh baby spinach (to give it its green color)

2 tsp of mint essence

Chocolate chips (make your own or try my fudgy chocolate or white chocolate – I make a big batch and store it in the freezer for moments like this 🙂 )

Directions:

Pour all the ingredients into the food processor and set at high speed until completely smooth (or as much as you want). I blended in-between but no need to.

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Then, you pour the mixture into your ice-cream maker for about 25 min. 5 minutes before time is up, add your chocolate chips and then pop into a container to set in the freezer for at least an hour.  This recipe keeps okay in the freezer (it doesn’t go totally hard due to the fat in the coconut, you just need to de-frost it for 15-30 minutes before digging in) but it definitely best if eaten straight away. Enjoy!

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

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Delectable white chocolate

Main (blog)

After making the chocolate cheesecake I found that the white chocolate worked great in the cake and as chips but I wanted more…. I wanted a white chocolate so great that it could be scoffed all by itself. After a failed attempt (too much coconut just doesn’t taste chocolaty), another fail (not creamy enough) and one nearly-there (good, but missing the awesome factor), I now have created a recipe that I almost didn’t get to photograph as it was disappearing too fast.

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VEGAN – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

50 grams of cocoa butter

2 tbsp dextrose

Seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean pod

1/8 tsp vanilla essence

1 tsp almond butter (homemade or shop bought – but look for a 100% nuts one, no additives)

1/2 tsp rice flour (I used brown rice flour, you can also use normal riec flour or rice milk powder)

Directions:

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Measure out the cocoa butter, chop into smaller pieces (the smaller, the faster it melts) and melt over a water bath (meanwhile, make the almond butter if you need to). You can also do this in the microwave for a few minutes (it takes a lot longer than butter) but I feel more in control when I can look at it and stir when needed.

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While the cocoa butter is melting you can de-seed the vanilla pod (split open lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a butter knife or spoon).

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Now add the dextrose and stir until dissolved. Take the bowl off the heat.

Add in the rice flour and vanilla seeds. Stir. Add vanilla essence. Stir. Add the almond butter. Stir.

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The mixture will look a little bit lumpy due to the almond butter which is fine (depends on how finely chopped and processed it is). Now, pour it into a container (chocolate shaped, bars, cheesecake, whichever shape, thickness or format you want – you can also pour it in a small bowl and wait for it to cool a bit in the fridge until it has the consistency of toothpaste and then pipe it on a baking sheet to shape chips). I made this batch one thin flat bar, to chop up and eat as is. Keep in the fridge or freezer.

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Enjoy!!!!

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

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Chocolate ‘cheesecake’ with white chocolate spheres

After looking at what seemed like a thousand recipes (okay maybe not that many), I decided to cross some of those ideas, add my favorite flavor (chocolate…drool…) and make a “cheesecake”! I have been waiting quite a while to take this particular challenge on, as, what is a cheesecake after all without dairy!! But, I must say, my first try scored 9 out of 10 from my foodie man, so this is definitely a repeat recipe 🙂

Main (blog)

VEGAN – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

Makes one small 4 inch wide cake.

Crust

1/4 cup of raw almonds (or raw pistachios, I just didn’t have any but that would have been even better)

1/8 cup of desiccated coconut

3 dates

Top layer

3/4 cup raw cashews (soaked overnight)

2 + 1/2 tbsp glucose syrup

2 + 1/2 tbsp cacao /cocoa

1/8 cup full-fat coconut milk

2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)

White chocolate spheres

Please see a new and improved white chocolate recipe here.

Directions:

Grease a 4 inch spring form with coconut other oil so it will come out easily later (this is equivalent to 2 regular sized cheesecake slices – If you want to make a bigger size quadruple the ingredients).

Then, chuck the almonds, dates (remove pits) and desiccated coconut in a food processor and run it until the texture is crumbly but it stick together firmly when you squeeze it (see photo below in the middle). Press down firmly in the bottom of the spring form.

photo  photo (1)

Now, get all your ingredients for the top layer, except for the coconut oil, and process until smooth, then add the oil whilst processing and continue until it doesn’t get any smoother (remember, you want that creamy cheesecake feeling!).

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Layer half of the filling on top of the crust in the spring form. Then make 4 spherical hollows (or any shape you like) and pour in the white chocolate (keep in mind that it will turn hard when it sets and give you a nice crunch to it – if you rather want it more smooth add a little canola oil to the white chocolate). Then layer the last filling on top, swirl and pop in the freezer for a couple of hours to set. Now you can carefully take off the form and store in the fridge (or eat!). Enjoy.

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

Homemade Nutella

First, apologies for the week-long absence! My computer crashed, then I thought I would get it back yesterday, but it turns out that is impossible to resurrect it 😦 So, I now have a brand new computer to blog from!

I had a request for my healthy copy-cat Nutella recipe – so here it is (shop-bought Nutella is crammed full of sugar and 20% oil, this recipe only has 2 table spoons of oil + what is in your chocolate). Please note that this is not dairy or sugar free, but it IS palm oil free and gluten free as long as the chocolate is. Please see further below for a “free-from” chocolate spread.

Main (blog)

GLUTEN FREE – EGG FREE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

1 cup of hazelnuts
250 grams (8.8 ounces) of milk chocolate
2 table spoons of an oil that doesn’t solidify at room temperature, e.g canola oil

In terms of chocolate, I made mine with Whittaker’s Creamy Milk which is perfect, but I think mainly sold in New Zealand (Whittaker’s is a very popular brand here). However, if you can’t get this, aim for a milk chocolate which is (like Whittaker’s Creamy milk) around 33% cocoa solids, 30% milk solids, pure cocoa butter and no added vegetable fats (let me know if you find another brand that tastes just like Nutella in the final recipe).

Directions:
Heat oven to 175C (350F).

Place hazelnuts in one layer on a baking sheet and pop in the oven for 8-12 minutes. When the skins start to crack, take them out and let them cool down. If you haven’t roasted hazelnuts before you will notice a beautiful aroma spreading in your kitchen…. Like Nutella! It’s the roast hazelnuts that give it that unique flavour.

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While the nuts cool down melt the chocolate at low heat over a water bath, stir continuously (don’t let it get too hot, don’t let the water touch the chocolate bowl or it will burn and the chocolate will be ruined). When all lumps are nearly melted, take the bowl off the water bath. Let it cool for 10-20 min, or however long it takes, before it’s room temperature.

Place the hazelnuts in a tea towel or similar and rub until most the skins come off. Flatten the tea towel and run a flat hand over them to separate the nuts from the skins. Put the nuts in a food processor and combine until smooth (or keep crunchy if you like the texture, I know I do!). Then add the oil and your melted chocolate when it’s ready and process for another couple of minutes until its as smooth as you desire. If you want it completely smooth, strain it though a cloth (I skip this step as I don’t mind).

Transfer to a jar and you can munch away on your own home made Nutella 🙂

The all-you -can-eat chocolate spread

Right, so here comes my first attempt at a sugar, dairy, gluten and palm oil free version. Disclaimer! This does not taste exactly as the real deal, more like a dark chocolate version of Nutella. However, as I pondered how to alter my attempt to get closer to the Nutella taste, I found myself having a spoonful…. Then another spoonful and soon I had devoured about a third of the jar! Well luckily it is not specifically unhealthy haha… So, whilst I keep trying to find the perfect free-from “tastes-like-Nutella” recipe (and keep test-tasting), here is a super delicious, smooth and creamy dark chocolate hazelnut spread.

VEGAN – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:
1 cup of hazelnuts

80g cacao (or high quality cocoa)

4 tbsp coconut oil

100g cocoa butter, cut into inch size pieces

3/4 cup water

100g dextrose

Directions:

Process the cacao and 2 tbsp melted coconut oil until smooth. Transfer chocolate paste to a separate container. Add the cocoa butter to the food processor and mix until you have a grainy texture, it doesn’t matter if there are a couple of bigger pieces.

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Pour the water into a bowl over a water bath. Add the chocolate paste and the cocoa butter to the water. Mix with a fork (it will be lumpy). Warm up slowly over low-medium heat until it is a completely smooth liquid, set bowl aside to cool while do do the next part.

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Now, process the roasted hazelnuts until as smooth as possible.

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Add 2 tbsp melted coconut oil to the hazelnut paste and process until smooth. Then add the chocolate liquid and process again. If you want it completely smooth, strain it though a cloth (I skip this step as I don’t mind).

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Then, all you have to do is pour it into a jar and try not to eat it all straight away!

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

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Chocolate sorbet with pistachios

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For a long time I have wanted to see if I could replicate a popular ice creamery’s (Giapo) recipe for chocolate sorbet, so I asked them what was in it and found that it was only 3 ingredients: cocoa powder, sugar and water! My first try turned out very nice indeed and here is the recipe.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of water
1/2 cup of dextrose (or however much suits your taste buds)
3/4 cup cacao

Combine the water and dextrose in a pan and heat on medium and stir until the dextrose is fully dissolved. Then sift in the cacao powder and stir continuously until the consistency is nice and smooth. Pop the mixture into an ice cream maker for 15-20 minutes. By now the consistency will be soft and creamy. If you want a more firm sorbet just pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes to 2 hours. This recipe keeps well in the freezer but it does taste best made fresh (and if you put it in the freezer it has to sit out for at least half an hour to get a bit soft). Enjoy!

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