Before I stopped eating the sort of chocolates you can buy at your local sweetshop, one of my favourite chocolate bars was Fry’s Turkish Delight, a little slab of sticky, rose-flavoured goo covered in milk ‘chocolate’ (I use the word loosely, because once you’ve eaten good raw chocolate, the stuff you can buy in sweet shops will never taste chocolatey again).
For a few weeks now I’ve been daydreaming about making a raw version of these old favourites, but without all the bad stuff. And last week during a ‘raw creation afternoon’ (AKA can’t be arsed to work, let’s piddle about in the kitchen instead) I worked out the magic formula. Take it from me – this stuff is delicious!
This recipe harnesses the magical power of chia seeds, which turn into a jelly-like substance when you soak them in water (that’s really not the most magical thing about them; their nutritional value is what makes them magic, but for the purposes of this recipe it’s the jelly that’s awesome). While the texture of this raw Turkish delight is of course crunchy rather than smooth like ‘proper’ Turkish delight, there’s no sugar in it, no dairy products, no bad stuff - just healthy ingredients and superfoods. And as luck would have it, the finished product tastes bloody lovely too – even my husband, who doesn’t like chocolate, thought they were yummy. Raw Turkish delight for the win!
Before I give you the recipe, a word of warning about xylitol. It’s one of my favourite sweeteners because it’s extremely low GI and tastes very similar to sugar, without any of the bad stuff (it’s made from the sap of birch trees, so it’s natural too). But there are two caveats to bear in mind when you use it. Firstly, it can have a very fast-acting and quite dramatic laxative effect (this may depend on your individual tolerance to it – perhaps resistance builds up over time) – so don’t scoff these all at once. And secondly, if you have dogs (and possibly cats) you must be VERY careful not to spill any where your dog might lick it up, because apparently it can be fatally toxic if your dog eats it.
So, with those warnings out of the way, here’s how to make delicious RAW chocolate covered RAW Turkish delight.
For the Turkish delight:
- 1/2 cup of chia seeds
- 1+1/2 cups of water
- 1tsp purple corn extract 7:1
- 1tsp good quality rose flavouring
- 2tbsp lucuma
- 2tbsp xylitol
Soak the chia seeds in the water for an hour. Every now and then, fluff them up a bit with a fork to ensure no unsoaked seeds are left. Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix well, until the chia gel has turned purple and there are no little lumps of lucuma left. The gel will be very thick and not fantastically easy to stir, but bear with it.
Spoon the mixture into silicone chocolate moulds, and freeze for about an hour, until they’ve set enough to be easily removed from the moulds. While they’re in the freezer, make the chocolate coating…
For the raw chocolate coating:
- 50g raw cacao liquor
- 50g raw cacao butter
- 50g creamed coconut (Patak’s isn’t raw, but it is the right texture – don’t use coconut oil or coconut butter, they’re too greasy)
- 50g coconut crystals (raw) or coconut palm sugar (not raw)
- 1tsp vanilla extract or seeds of one vanilla bean
Place all the ingredients into a bain Marie or in a bowl in your dehydrator, and gently melt them, stirring, until fully melted. Put to one side.
Cover a tray or chopping board with greaseproof paper (or you could use a non-stick sheet from your dehydrator). Remove the chocolate moulds from the freezer. One at a time, remove the Turkish delights from the moulds and use a fork to dip them into the chocolate, fully coating them, then place them on the non-stick sheet. Do this until all your chocolates are covered. If there’s some chocolate left over, you might want to dip everything again, for a thicker shell – otherwise, just pour the leftover chocolate into moulds and refrigerate for an extra treat later.
Put the sweets into the fridge for a while until the chocolate has set. Enjoy every mouthful, and remember to say ‘mmmmm’ with every bite
Note: because this is chia gel and not gelatine, this raw Turkish delight will have quite a soft texture rather than a firm, ‘biteable’ texture like traditional Turkish delight has. So, don’t handle the finished sweets too much or they’ll fall to bits in your hand – eat them straight from the fridge.