Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dark Chocolate Hearts!

Flavonol antioxidents found in chocolate with high cacao content have been linked to some nice health benefits. Moderate consumption of such flavanoids helps decrease the risk of stroke by improving blood flow, blood pressure and lipid levels. So these dark chocolate hearts are not only delicious, but literally good for the heart.
Pistachios, hazelnuts, coconut, pumpkin seeds, raisins and sea salt make them extra special!

Dark Chocolate Hearts:
*4 oz high quality dark chocolate (70% cacao content or higher)
*your favorite nuts and seeds, raisins and coconut, (chopped) about a Tbsp of each
*1/2 tsp high quality sea salt-optional

Bring 2 inches of water to a simmer in a double boiler (or you can set a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water). Break up the chocolate and place in the bowl. Melt, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula. Meanwhile, chop nuts, seeds and coconut. Remove bowl of melted chocolate from heat making sure no steam gets into the bowl. Allow to cool slightly.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slowly pour chocolate out onto parchment in a large disk. Sprinkle chocolate with nuts and seeds, and sea salt. Allow to fully set up in a cool place. When firm but still slightly soft, cut out hearts in the chocolate with various heart shaped cookie cutters. Transfer to a plate and serve or store in an airtight container in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before enjoying.

Happy Valentine's!

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