While I love nothing more than going out and really indulging every now and then, I also garner great satisfaction out of making sweet things at home that I love to eat but that also benefit my energy levels and my skin. If you use chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa solids, you will reap rewards from it's high antioxidant profile - wonderful for your skin and overall health. In addition, the nuts are a rich source of protein, iron and magnesium, which are all very important in a healthy diet. However, the most important thing to know about this chocolate slab is that it is utterly delicious! I urge you to give it a try - I promise you won't be disappointed.
300g of dark chocolate (I highly recommend Lindt 78 or 85%)
200g of homemade or good-quality bought granola (Foods of Athenry or Wicked Wholefoods are bought lovely)
50g of pistachio nuts
50g of pecan nuts
50g of almonds
50g of unscented coconut oil or butter, whichever you prefer
1-2 tbsp of maple syrup
4 dried figs, chopped
1 tsp of vanilla extract
First, line a 9" cake tin with parchment paper. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees, sprinkle the nuts with a generous pinch of sea salt and toast in the oven for 10-12 mins, watching them carefully to ensure that they do not burn. Melt the chocolate, maple syrup and the coconut oil or butter together in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Ensure that the surface of the bowl is not in contact with the water, and that the mixture does not overheat. When fully melted, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. After about 15 minutes, add in the remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly. Pour into the prepared tin and press down firmly. Place in the fridge to set for a minimum of two hours. To serve, dip a sharp knife into boiling water and wipe dry. Cut the slab into triangles and serve.
This makes a delicious accompaniment to a strong espresso or cup of coffee. For dessert, try serving a scoop of good vanilla or coffee ice-cream with a slender wedge of the chocolate slab on top. I hope you enjoy this treat as much as I do.