chocolate

Paleo-ish Products I Love – #1 Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

I decided that in between recipes I will post a paleo-ish product I love. These will be products I usually have in my kitchen or I love as an occasional, guilt-free treat. Like the one I’m posting now is an example of one of those guilt-free paleo-ish treats. Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter. It’s like a guilt-free version of Nutella, except with a grainy texture and a little more salt added to it…and way better for you, as in, having less sugar per serving, and no artificial flavors.

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This is a great logo too. Fun and playful. Makes me feel better about what I’m eating. Not guilty.

As for the ingredients…Nothing there you can’t pronounce. Sugar is not the first ingredient. It’s not sweetened with refined sugar and doesn’t contain gluten or dairy either 🙂 I love this stuff! Pure chocolatey goodness.

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Okay, I have to admit….The only thing I don’t like about this stuff is that it’s $8-9 for a 16 oz jar at Mom’s Organic Market and even more on Amazon. But when I purchase it I have to consider, I won’t be eating this every day and buying this every time I go to the store, because it’s a treat. It’s also 12 carbs/2 tablespoons so, when I do indulge, I’m scooping some on a spoon and that’s probably it for the day. And even if I have more than one serving, it’s not bad for me! Google the benefits of almonds and keeping nuts in your regular diet too. Not bad at all. They also sell Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter in 1-2 serving packets at Mom’s Organic Market and Roots Market in Olney, MD. They could possibly sell it at Whole Foods too, but it probably costs $500 a jar or packet….If you don’t understand that joke, you need to read this.

Everything in moderation 🙂 I’ll leave you with a few words Steve’s PaleoGoods posted on Instagram yesterday about what the Paleo diet is all about. They will get their own post here as well some time soon. They’re awesome people with awesome healthy and quality products. Check them out.

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Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes with Cherry Filling and Mascarpone Whipped Cream

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I went on a big google search for a good flour-less chocolate cake recipe to satisfy a serious chocolate craving (and I mean serious, I’m going on two weeks now) and landed upon this recipe for Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes with Cherries and Homemade Mascarpone from the blog My Blueberry Kitchen. I try to follow the Paleo diet the best I can, which leads me to my adaptation of this recipe. So, my version has no refined sugar and no grains. I use coconut palm sugar which is low glycemic, has a bunch of vitamins and amino acids and stuff…Let me know if you have any questions. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes

3.5 oz dark chocolate, broken into cubes. I used about 3 oz of a leftover 70% chocolate bar from Trader Joe’s and a a half ounce of 80% dark chocolate bar by Green&Black. I usually look for chocolate sweetened with organic cane sugar.

3/4 stick of unsalted butter

1 tbsp strong black coffee

2/3 cup coconut palm sugar (I get it from Moms Organic Market, 4.99-5.99 for a 1lb bag)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

3/4 cup ground almonds- I used Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour. You can also throw some almonds into a food processor. Same thing. Whatever.

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

For the filling  (you can skip the filling if you want, they taste great either way)

1 cup cherries, pitted

1 tbsp coconut palm sugar

2 tbsp pure orange juice

For the topping

2/3 cup heavy cream

4oz mascarpone (I used the Bel Giosio brand. Room temp.)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 heaping tbsp coconut palm sugar

Your favorite dark chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life brand. I found the best price per bag at Moms Organic Market) or cherries to decorate

Directions:

To make the cupcakes:

1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a cupcake or muffin tin with cupcake cases. Set the mascarpone cheese out on the counter to get to room temp.

2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl, over a saucepan of gently simmering water (double boiler). Stir in the coffee and leave to cool. Once cooled, stir in the coconut palm sugar and vanilla. The sugar won’t dissolve, if it’s gritty looking that’s okay.

3. In a separate bowl beat the egg for about 3 minutes until fluffy. Gently fold in the chocolate mixture, followed by the almond meal, salt and baking powder. Really make sure that chocolate mixture has cooled down before you fold it in. You don’t want it to cook the egg.

4. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cups, filling each one about 2/3 full. Bake for about 20-23 minutes until crisp on the outside, but still slightly gooey in the middle (insert a clean skewer into the middle to check.) Cool on a wire rack if you feel like it. I left mine in the tins and they were just fine.

To make the cherry filling: ( again, they will taste great without filling if you want quicker cupcakes)

1. Put the pitted cherries, coconut palm sugar and orange juice in a saucepan and simmer for about 15-20 minutes – stirring and gently pushing the cherries down with the back of a wooden spoon fairly regularly – until the cherries have turned mushy and most of the liquid has been absorbed.

2. Leave to cool, then fill the middle of each cupcake with a generous teaspoon of compote. If your cupcakes didn’t sink in the middle, kind of push the center down with a 1/2 teaspoon measurement.

To make the mascarpone whipped cream:

1. Beat the heavy cream, coconut palm sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form. Gently beat in the mascarpone until well combined.

2. Pipe or spoon a dollop of cream onto each cupcake. I used a ziploc plastic sandwich bag to pipe it. Easy.