Flash in the Pan: So Easy Orange-Goji Chocolates

[Sometimes, you just want a dish that’s quick and easy–no fuss.  I’ve decided to offer a mini-post every once in a while, for a dish that comes together incredibly quickly or else is so simple to make that no recipe is required. Here’s today’s “Flash in the Pan.” (For other FitP recipes, see “Categories” at right).]

If I ever found myself as a finalist in the Miss Universe Pageant and the tie-breaking “interview” question they asked me was, “If you were stuck on a desert island and could have only one foodstuff, what would it be?”–well, I think it’s pretty obvious that I’d answer, “Chocolate.” (Let’s overlook, for the moment, that I would obviously never actually find myself in that situation; I mean, I can barely stand up in heels, let alone sashay across a stage in them. How would I ever make it through the evening gown competition?).

Or, do you remember that story from last winter: a young woman survived for 9 days in her snowbound car by drinking melted snow and portioning out her two chocolate bars to last the entire nine days? Uh-huh.  Well, I think we all know that if I ever found myself in that situation, I’d be a certain goner: I’d scarf down both bars within a couple of hours, then slowly perish during the following eight days (not to mention the fact that I’d freak out about being stuck under 60 CENTIMETERS (24 inches) OF SNOW, alone in my car on a deserted road in the middle of nowhere.  And then how on earth would I make it on time to the Miss Universe pageant?).

When I was an undergraduate at the University of Windsor, I worked part-time as a cashier in the residence cafeteria, where I became friends with one of the other student cashiers who, it turned out, also originally hailed from Montreal.  Ultimately, our city of origin was really the only thing we had in common:  Ms. Québecoise was about 3 inches taller than I, naturally lithe and slim (and yet buxom), with thick, jet-black hair that feathered and bobbed as she glided through a room, like palm fronds lifted by a gentle breeze.  (Come to think of it, SHE would have made a great contestant for the Miss Universe Pageant).  She’d already gone through several boyfriends at a time when I’d not yet met my first, and I yearned to be as worldly as she, with her own own apartment and car.

Apart from her powder blue Ford Escort and her always immaculate one-bedroom/one-bath, what struck me most about Ms. Q was that she consumed chocolate, every. single. day.  No matter when I dropped over for coffee or a study session, I’d invariably spy a partially eaten chocolate bar lazing on the counter.  Ms Q once confessed that she couldn’t fall asleep unless she’d savored her square of chocolate before bed. Yet somehow, it didn’t seem to affect her in any negative way. (Years later, I attempted to reproduce that practice of “one square a day.”  That was December 2008, and, unfortunately, my “one square” turned out to be about a foot (30 cm) by one foot. . . more like a “one square of chocolate, continuously,  all day long” practice. A short leap from that to full-blown candida, and well, here we are today.)

Accordingly, I tend to ration my chocolate consumption a little more these days, aiming for no more than one two (moderate) servings per week of either cacao-based treats or those made from unsweetened chocolate (my own sweeteners added). And I strive to create sweets that provide a sense of indulgence without spiking blood sugar levels or encouraging candida to proliferate.

That’s why I love these little gems, inspired by a recent recipe from my friend Andrea Nakayama (with whom I recently taught the Sweet Victory sugar detox course).   A while back Andrea introduced her Nakayummies to the world: a combination of cacao, cocoa butter, coconut oil and honey.  A couple of weeks ago, she posted a non-chocolate version, with ground up goji berries as the base flavor, complemented by fresh orange zest.  I was intrigued and decided to unite those separate ideas and create a goji-chocolate confection. Since the anti-candida diet doesn’t allow oranges, and since I recently received some of the new Orange NuNaturals stevia to sample, I decided to throw caution to the winds and add some of it to the recipe as well.

Once firm, these bites provide a glassy, supremely smooth texture of real chocolate in the initial bite, then progress to a hint of chewiness in the finish–like a touch of toffee rounding out each bite (courtesy of the ground gojis). The citrus melds perfectly with the fruity gojis and cacao.  I am betting you will love these, too.

Now, of course I’d never advocate consuming chocolate every day (because then how would I ever fit into my swimsuit for the Swimsuit competion?).  But if it turns out that you do. . . .well, keep in mind that chocolate contains a wealth of heart-healthy flavonoids.  And that these bites are actually very small.  And that the only sweetness is from the fruit and (zero-calorie) stevia.  In other words, these treats are actually good for you.

Just sayin’.

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Other Candies and Chocolates on the blog:

© Ricki Heller

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Comments

  1. you had me LOL multiple times Ricki! I hear you in so many ways!! Can;t wait to make these, I’ll need to pick up some goji berries first…

    • I bet they’d be fine without the gojis, but just different. (And the gojis do add some sweetness along with their amazing antioxidant properties!). :)

  2. I’ve made similar chocolates with just peanut butter and cocoa, but I love the flavours in here. They must really pop! Now I know what to do with my hard goji berries!

  3. chocolate with fruit and nuts is such a class combination – and I can always rely on you to bring a fresh perspective on a classic. Plus a good laugh – I am with you on the two bars of chocolate when buried in snow. I like to save the best til last but if I thought these were my last moments and I had chocolate I would definitely want to go out of this world eating it!

    And one of my colleagues was telling us about evidence that dark chocolate can make you thinner – I had a look for the link for you but all I could find was something drawing doubt on this research – oh well – http://theconversation.edu.au/are-regular-chocolate-eaters-really-thinner-6089

    • Glad to know I’m not alone (though if we were in that car together, I think we’d really be in trouble!!) ;). And I’m skeptical about the chocolate making me thinnner. . . though I guess I’ve been an unwitting test subject on that for years now!

  4. Ricki, you crack me up – you create and publish incredible chocolate recipes and then provide lessons in rationalization ;-)
    Keep it coming!!

  5. Be still my heart.

  6. Ummm…..those sound really good! Thanks for sharing!

  7. As always, you crack me up and wow me at the same time. These look delicious and so easy. Thanks for the great post!!

  8. This post so has me wanting chocolate and I’m rationalizing it by remembering my healthy breakfast of almond milk yogurt and cultured blackberries. To me, chocolate is food for the soul and so is your writing. I love it! I definitely couldn’t have rationed chocolate bars for 9 days, they’d be gone in one!

    • Well, I feel better about knowing I’d eat them all at once, then, too! Sounds like your breakfast was such a good one that you deserve a little sweet treat, no? ;)

  9. Ricki,
    You are too funny!
    I’ll vote for you for Miss Universe and Miss Chocolatier!
    Here’s to one square a day.
    Eve

    • Aw, thanks, Eve! Of course the ONLY reason I wasn’t a contestant was those darn high heels! ;) One square a day, hmm? Luckily, these are round, so do they still count?

  10. Delicious! I’m going to have to check out the NuNaturals stevia liquid.

    • I find that NuNaturals is the only one I’ve ever tried with no aftertaste. . . I like a couple of other brands and they’re great in most instances, but when it comes to chocolate, NuNaturals RULES!

  11. This is how I make chocolate at home too – but with honey – great idea to use the stevia. Yum!!

    You are too cute, love the stories.

  12. Ricki, you never cease to entertain. :) My one-square-a-day is more likely to be like yours than Ms. Q’s too! These look delicious. Like, uber-delicious.

  13. These sound and look delicious Ricki! I had a friend at University who ate a square of chocolate every day. It sat in her fruit bowl and I envied her control! Anyway, it turned out she suffered from anorexia nervosa..and she became a dietician!

  14. Ricki – You are too funny. I had a picture of you walking across the stage in a fancy gown with the girls in tow. Haha, just kidding! I too laughed out loud, I love your writing and I really hope you’ll get started on your book soon ;) These chocolates sound awesome. I might have to treat myself!

    • Maggie, I hadn’t thought of The Girls with me, but awesome idea!! ;) Glad you like the look of these (and the book is already in process, my dear!) :D

  15. looking forward to making this recipe. looks delish. thank you.

  16. Ha ha. You and my husband with the chocolate!!

    These are on my list to make this weekend. Once in a while I crave chocolate and this time is now!

    Thanks for a great recipe Ricky.

    Be Well,
    –Amber

    • Is your husband a chocoholic, too? I’d say these are crave-able. Hope you like them! :)

      • Hi Ricki,

        I would say chocoholic is almost an understatement with this man. I’ve never known anyone like him. He adores chocolate…and the good stuff! He eats chocolate every night. His favorite is Endangered Species Extreme Dark Mint Chocolate and the plain dark (88%). I like that it’s on only sweetened with beet sugar. I also make him a vegan double chocolate ice cream that pretty amazing. Back in the fall I did a chocolate + pumpkin series with my sweet chocolate loven’ husband in mind. He was a happy camper indeed! :-)

        Here’s an example of one of the recipes: http://www.thetastyalternative.com/2011/11/chocolate-pumpkin-brownies.html

        Hope you’re having a great weekend Ricki.

        Be Well,
        –Amber

  17. Yep, I’m one of those chocolate-every-day-usually-several-times-a-day people…. and yet you’ve managed to create the one flavour of chocolate that I wouldn’t eat even if you paid me :P Luckily I don’t have to go anywhere near orange stevia; I’ll stick with my lovely vanilla kind! :P

    P.S. I’m pretty good at walking in high heels, but I will never understand how pop stars dance in them!!

    • And yet, look how slim you are! Lucky metabolism, I say. And honestly, I love the orange stevia!! I’m going to do a review of it once I amass a couple more recipes. I’ve been putting it in everything. ;)

      • Oh please do! I’ll just keep wearing my magical glasses – the ones that automatically replace “orange” with “vanilla” so that I still want to eat it :P

        P.S. I wish they’d come up with, say, a chestnut stevia. Or a maple syrup stevia. Or a lemon meringue pie with a coconut crust stevia. Or a…. okay, stop now Hannah. ;)

  18. Ahh….how I love you for so many reasons. One, because we would so die together in that car. I would never be able to dole out those squares either. And Two, because this recipe sounds unbelievable and so so stinking simple! Oh. And three, because I would love to see you sashay in heels. LOL
    xo
    k

    • Well, at least we’d have each other’s company in the car, right? ;) And yes, it IS so simple. But no, I don’t think we’ll see me sashaying (or doing anything else) in heels, ever again! ;)

  19. MMM,..delightful home-made chocolately goji berries creations!
    Ooh Ricki! :) Yum Yum Yum!

  20. Wow! SO simple and so beautiful! Great recipe!!!!

  21. Hi There Ricki,

    Just a note to let you know I shared your awesome recipe on my monthly recipe round-up: Mother’s Day Edition. If you get a chance, come on over and check out the other inspiring recipes from sweet indulgence to homemade gifts.

    Be Well,
    –Amber

    P.S. By the way, I’m in love with these chocolates!! Thanks for a great recipe Ricki!!

  22. natalie says:

    These look so so SO yummy!

    Out of curiosity, what brand cashew butter did you use for your recipe batch?

    Cheers to noms!
    Natalie

    • Hi Natalie,
      Thanks for your comment, and for reading! I actually make my own cashew butter. I whir lightly toasted (and cooled) cashews in a food processor until they are a smooth butter (It takes a while if you don’t add additional oil, which I don’t. If you want to speed up the process, you can add about 1 Tbsp/15 ml of virgin coconut oil per 1 cup (240 ml) of cashew butter–that makes it smooth out a lot faster.) I’ve also used Nuts to You brand (from Ontario) and it works really well! Hope that helps!

  23. Wow! These sound terrific. For those of us who can use sweeteners, do you have any idea what kind (i.e., would it be honey) and how much would you substitute for the stevia?

    • Hi Nancy, I’m not sure exactly how much sweetener you’d use–maybe 1 or 2 Tbsp? (it’s really not very sweet). But I’m pretty sure the texture would change a bit. If you use agave, I’d reduce the milk by maybe 2 tsp. See how that goes and let me know!

  24. Just made these yesterday and they are AMAZING!!! I used Vanilla Stevia since that’s what I had, and homemade cashew butter. Thanks so much for this great recipe – it will definitely be a go-to for me!

  25. Hi, what would you suggest I could use instead of cashews as I am allergic too them, thanks

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