Heads up: highly visual recipe post ahead. Largely because no words can describe how delicious these raw mini hemp-filled chocolates are. I think these are right up there in my top 5 recipes ever. Possibly even my numero uno. That's how much I love these little chocolates and all their hempy goodness.
I recently made a recipe for something that didn't quite turn out (happens heaps with my experiments...). But there was an element to it that I really enjoyed -- a concoction of hemp and dates and a few extras. I kept thinking what I could use something like that for and settled on making chocolates. No real plan, just blended the filling, froze, cut into squares, coated in chocolate and let things set. Then tasted. Holy cow, Batman!! These turned out the most delicious things ever. I just had to keep tasting them to make sure I wasn't dreaming... ;) ... and even after working my way through a few I still felt like they were surreal...
What was even more surreal is that the taste transported me to a time I used to have these traditional Polish / Russian (and possibly other Eastern European countries) chocolates. In Polish they are called Ptasie Mleczko and in Russian Ptichye Moloko (meaning "bird's milk". Not sure what bird's milk is referring to though? o.O ). I know that probably many of you have no idea what I'm talking about, but those who know the candy will probably be as excited as I am to have a wholesome version of something reminiscent of those melt in your mouth delights.
I recall back in not so healthy-eating times I could go through a box with my parents in a sitting... And not to derail on that point, but wouldn't it be nice to have a child's metabolism again? ;) How crazy it seems now that as a child I could eat half a box of these chocolates, go through an entire loaded funnel cake, enjoy a giant beaver tail all to myself (getting rather Canadian here... :) ) >>> Where did it all fit and go??? It'll always remain a great mystery...
But back to these candies, upon my first bite I knew exactly what I was tasting -- they somehow, even though they look nothing alike, to me somehow taste like those little chocolatey, marshmallowy, soft and delicate treats. I even had to call my Polish friend over to ascertain I wasn't crazy -- inspection passed!
Hemp is such an incredible food that's loaded with all kinds of good-for-you things. I've been toying with all kinds of hempy recipes lately (well, often in general to be honest), and thought these raw chocolates are a beautiful way to add some extra of those nutritious seeds into your day. Love it when dessert can be delicious and good for you at the same time.
Just for perspective, hemp hearts are an excellent source of protein, have a great omega-3 to omega-6 essential fatty acids ratio, iron, Vitamin E, and are an excellent source of iron, amidst a billion other things.
You can make these little fellas large and pudgier, or small and thin -- the size is up to you. Either way you'll probably want more than one ;)
I decorated mine with some little chocolate balls I had, a few cacao nibs, and a few more hemp seeds. And then drizzled some of the chocolate on top too for an extra something. Looks fancy perhaps, but super easy to do. If you're going to be adding any toppings, you need to act fast though before the chocolate sets so that they set into the coating too.
The filling in these is a complete melt-in-your-mouth delight. My absolute favorite part. The chocolate is just the cherry on top here... a vehicle to enjoy the hempy filling. It's really delicate and soft. You'll need to freeze it to let it set, and then cut it into squares and be ready to dunk into chocolate straight away (meaning have your chocolate melted and ready to go). Otherwise they'll get soft on you and become more difficult to handle while coating.
Coating things is best done once things are frozen anyways as the chocolate sets faster, so nothing unusual here really. Just wanted to highlight it in case you defrost the filling, cut into squares and go away for a bit... Not a good way to go here. And on that note, if for any reason they do get soft (like if it's an unusually hot day), you can always refreeze a few minutes again to firm that filling up before dunking.
I also like to freeze my tray beforehand. That way once you dunk the filling in the chocolate and set it on the chilled tray, it'll begin to set straight away and is less likely to spread into a puddle of chocolate around your treats (though of course you still need to make sure you wipe off any excess chocolate after dunking to avoid that dreaded puddle anyhow). There's a video tutorial in the Unconventional Treats video pack on the best way to coat chocolates, and also for making your own chocolate coating from scratch if you prefer to use that instead of a bought chocolate for melting.
And speaking of that, you can either use regular chocolate or chocolate chips here for the melted chocolate, or go with some chopped raw chocolate bars, or for a homemade and actually raw version use this DIY magic shell if you prefer (though it does make a thinner coating that is not room temperature stable, but on the up side it gives you control over the sweetener you want to use, and allows you to use carob instead of cacao for an alternative + it's easy to make! So up to you).
A soft, chocolatey, marshmallowy mini raw candy bar with a melt-in-your-mouth hemp filling. Dairy-free and gluten-free.
- ¾ cup hemp hearts
- 5 soft medjool dates, pitted (the fresher the better)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, softened (at room temperature)
- ½ tsp raw ground vanilla bean (or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract, though the fresh vanilla is much better)
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate of your choice
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/16 tsp salt
Optional decorative toppings:
- chocolate shavings, cacao nibs, hemp hearts
- Process all filling ingredients, except maple syrup, in a food processor until just combined (don't over-process). Add maple syrup and process once again to briefly combine. Line a medium/small tupperware container with some parchment paper (I used a 7" x 5" x 2"). Transfer the mixture into the container and flatten, pressing it down evenly into a "block". Freeze for 1 hour or until firm to the touch.
- Melt the chocolate, coconut oil, and salt together (double boiler method or microwave). Set aside. Have your toppings handy and a small tray lined with parchment paper to set the final product on.
- Remove the filling from the freezer. Transfer the set filling block onto a cutting board. Trim off any uneven edges and cut into 8 rectangles. Dunk each rectangle in the melted chocolate to coat, wipe off any excess chocolate by running the fork tines over the rim of the melted chocolate dish. Set on the tray to set. Repeat with remaining pieces.
- Sprinkle with any toppings if using. Drizzle with a bit of the remaining chocolate if you like. Place in the fridge or freezer for 20 mins more to set. Enjoy! Keep leftovers refrigerated.