You know what makes a perfect match? Chocolate and oranges. Well, that is what I was craving when I came up with these chocolates...But I didn't have any oranges. I did, however, have tangerines, which turned out to be just as awesome!
You know what made it even better? COCONUT! You may not know this, but I am a huge fan of coconut. And chocolate....probably more so of chocolate. Ahem...in any case, adding tangerines to the mix just turned it into totally awesome.
I wanted to try and replicate an orange cream filled chocolate with this recipe, only using more natural ingredients, like coconut, dates, and raw honey. I try to stay away from things like high-fructose corn syrup and food colorings, which are found in most commercial chocolates.
The result? A success! I achieved a creamy, but slightly chunky coconut texture for the filling. Not quite what I intended, but I actually preferred them over the smoother orange chocolates I was originally trying to replicate!
- 4 TBSP coconut oil
- 1 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1-2 TBSP raw organic honey (or to taste)
- 1 Tangerine, peeled, seeds removed
- 3/4 cup unsweetened flaked or shredded coconut
- 3 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
- 1-2 TBSP melted coconut oil
- Additional unsweetened shredded coconut and/or tangerine zest (optional)
Melt 4 TBPS coconut oil in small saucepan until fully liquified and warm. Add cocoa powder, turn heat to low, and stir until dissolved and no lumps remain. Add honey and continue stirring until fully incorporated. I only added 1 TBSP of honey and the chocolate was rather bitter, so if you prefer a sweeter chocolate you may want to taste and adjust amount to your preference.
Next line 9 regular sized muffin cups with paper liners (or use silicone molds) and drop about 1-2 tsp of the chocolate mixture into the bottom of each cup, just enough to cover the bottom. When I did this step I used 1 TBSP and only used 6 cups, but the chocolate was a little over-powering and I ended up with leftover filling, so I think only using 1 -2 tsp on this step will work out better. You can use your own judgement of how much chocolate you want, but keep in mind this is bitter chocolate (unless you used extra honey). I'm sure mini muffin cups would work great on this step too, just use a little less chocolate. Place muffin pan in freezer for 10-15 minutes to let chocolate harden. Note that you will need to reserve about half of your chocolate for the topping, so don't use it all up just yet.
Meanwhile, pulse tangerine and flaked coconut in a food processor or high-speed blender until the tangerine is pulpy and the coconut is chopped. Add the dates and 1 TBSP coconut oil, continue pulsing until you get an almost a buttery mixture. You may need to add a little more coconut oil if the mix seems too dry. This step is rather tedious if using a food processor. I had to pulse a few times, then scrape the sides, then pulse, scrape, pulse, scrape...etc. Took me about 10-15 minutes. If you have a powerful blender it would probably work better for this step. You could also try using 3-4 TBSP coconut butter instead of the flaked coconut, but you may want to mix in a few TBSP of coconut shreds if you like to have texture to the filling.
If reserved chocolate has started to solidify, warm over low heat and stir until liquid again. Remove chocolates from freezer and scoop about 1 tsp of the orange mixture onto each chocolate disc. Pour additional chocolate over each cup, just enough to coat the filling. Top with shredded coconut or zest if using. Return chocolates to freezer for another 5-10 minutes until fully hardened. Store leftovers (if there are any) in airtight containers in fridge.
*Alternative Method: If you prefer to have more filling than chocolate, you may also want to try this method. Make the filling first, roll it into individual balls, and freeze them for about 10 minutes on a parchment lined cookie sheet while you make the chocolate. Next dip the frozen filling into the chocolate with a fork just enough to coat, place back on cookie sheet, and freeze until hardened and enjoy! I haven't tried this myself yet, but I think it would be delicious!
Whichever way you decide to make these chocolates, I'm sure you will find them scrumptious!