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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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February 14 2018

Dark Chocolate and Hazelnut Hearts

By Worker Bee
10 Comments

inline_Chocolate Hearts 2Show yourself some love on Valentine’s Day by indulging in these heart-shaped dark chocolate candies. These treats are truly irresistible, with intense bittersweet flavor and a smooth, creamy texture that slowly melts in your mouth. There’s nothing questionable added, just health-giving ingredients like cacao butter, raw cacao powder, avocado oil, maple syrup, sea salt, and hazelnuts.

If you think making chocolate at home is too complicated, you’ll be surprised by how easy this recipe is. Simply melt cacao butter, then whisk in cacao powder, and PRIMAL KITCHEN Avocado Oil with a little sweetener, and you’ll be in chocolate heaven. What’s really fun about making chocolate at home is experimenting with all sorts of flavors. Nuts, nut butters, coconut flakes and coconut butter, spices, dried fruit…the flavor variations are endless.

This recipe is for purists, though, who like dark chocolate with just a hint of added flavor. In this case, it’s hazelnuts, which pair perfectly with chocolate and are also good sources of vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium.

You’ll end up with more dark chocolate hearts than you can (or should) eat alone, so share the love. Your Valentines will be thrilled to get homemade chocolate, instead of a box of sugary store-bought candies.

Servings: 18 to 20 1.5-inch hearts

Time in the Kitchen: 25 minutes, plus 1 hour to set

Ingredients:

cacao powder and butter

  • 1 cup finely chopped cacao butter (120 g)
  • 1 cup cacao powder (100 g)
  • 2 tablespoons PRIMAL KITCHEN® Avocado Oil (30 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, or more to taste (30 ml)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (1.2 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or other flavoring extract) (5 ml)
  • ½ cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped (75 g)
  • Kitchen Equipment: 18 to 24 -cavity silicone mold (can be heart-shaped, square, round or whatever shape you want the chocolates to be)

Instructions

Primal

First, create a double broiler (which keeps direct heat away from ingredients to prevent scorching). To do so, add several inches of water to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Set a smaller saucepan on top, making sure it’s not touching the water.

Add cacao butter to the smaller saucepan, stirring as it melts. When cacao butter is completely melted, turn off the heat. Slowly whisk in cacao powder, avocado oil, maple syrup, salt, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.

At this point, stir in the hazelnuts or any other flavoring ingredients you want.

Taste the chocolate–if it’s too bitter, add more maple syrup.

Pour the chocolate into silicone molds (using a bowl with a pour spout works best). Refrigerate 1 hour until solid. Note: there chocolates keep best in the refrigerator.

Chocolate Hearts 1

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10 thoughts on “Dark Chocolate and Hazelnut Hearts”

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  1. Really pretty! I’ve never used avocado oil in my chocolates- always coconut oil. Avocado oil will be fun to try.

  2. This sounds great! And I actually have some raw cacao butter at home which is pretty fun to play around with in the kitchen. Will have to try this!

  3. Very happy to see the salt in this recipe. I’d probably sprinkle mine on top.

  4. Question.. is CACAO butter and powder the same thing as COCOA butter and powder? Thank you!

    1. Cocoa butter and cacao butter are not the same thing. Cocoa butter is applied topically to the skin to moisturize/fade scars and is not edible. Cacao butter is edible and comes in white-colored, meltable wafers that smell exactly like chocolate but taste pretty gross by themselves–but they are very high in fat and good in recipes.

      Cocoa powder and cacao powder are not quite the same thing but both are edible. The difference is in how they are processed–cacao powder is made from raw cacao beans, which leaves more nutrients intact, whereas cocoa powder is made from beans roasted at high temperatures, which depletes nutrients.

      I have found that cacao powder is more expensive than cocoa powder, so I often use cocoa powder and my recipes have turned out fine. But you definitely would not want to use cocoa butter in place of cacao butter.

    2. Lora – Cocoa butter IS edible. The difference between the two is in the processing. Look up COCOA butter in Wikipedia and it gives all the nutritional oil breakdown.

  5. MDA is determined to make me drool over chocolate on Ash Wednesday, apparently. Oh well – I guess I could go back and find some posts on intermittent fasting.

  6. Great recipe! When I tell people that I live a paleo lifestyle they often feel sorry for me 🙂 – no delicious food, no sweets…. when I tell them, it is not like that at all they are suprised. I like this recipe an will try it – and surprise some more friends around that a healthy lifestyle can taste wonderful :-).