I don’t know about you but as the days get shorter and colder, I often find myself substituting in sugar, chocolate or other pick-me-ups in place of sunshine. It’s not intentional, but it happens and it’s something I’m trying to be a bit more mindful about. With Halloween approaching it’s all too easy to use “the season” as an excuse for over-the-top helpings of chocolate, sugar and whatever else. While totally ok (and leaning towards welcomed on the day and a few days before and afterwards) is a habit I would prefer not to create for myself.
Since we stopped our mid-week shops I’ve thankfully had some checks already put into place before the sugar onset began. So instead of turning to the nearest and biggest bag of sweeties as the check out till, I’ve opened up my cupboards instead to see what I could make that would scratch the chocolate/sugar itch.
And behold, my new obsession; dark chocolate almonds. Four ingredients and about 40 minutes later and I’ve made something that I am totally comfortable eating a handful of, and giving my kids a few of without any guilt. These almond are also serving as double duty. My hope is to cunningly get the the wee people hooked on the bittersweet taste of dark chocolate if I can. Dark chocolate a better-for-you alternative to some of the milk and white chocolate that’s pawned off on kids but filled mostly with cocoa fat and a variety of sweeteners, rather than the good stuff. And while I’m not entirely sure if it’s working, it’s a good excuse to make these anyway.
200g whole almonds
150g dark chocolate (I used 70% here, not sure if 85% would work just as well- next time)
1 heaped tbsp coconut oil
flaked sea salt
Preheat your oven to 200C/400F. On a baking tray, spread out your almonds so they are just one layer. Place in the oven for 10-12 minutes to toast. You should be able to smell the earthy nutty slightly sweet almond aroma when they are ready.
Meanwhile prepare a second tray with a large piece of parchment paper over it, or rather than using two trays, just measure out and tear a piece of parchment paper so you’re ready to go.
In a medium size pot bring water about 1/3 way up, to the boil. Then turn your heat down to simmer, placing another large heat proof bowl over the top, creating a double boiler or bain-marie. Add your chocolate and coconut oil to the bowl and gently stir while the chocolate melts.
Once the chocolate is fully melted remove from the heat and add your toasted, but cooled almonds to the bowl. Stir to make sure each almond is well coated with chocolate.
Tip coated almonds onto your covered baking tray, spreading them out as much as possible, again just one layer. Sprinkle your flaked sea salt on, pop into the fridge for 20-25 minutes or so, then break into individual nuts or small pieces.
You can change this up by adding cinnamon, chilli flakes, rosemary etc. Change up the nuts too- I’ve now got peanuts in my cupboard just waiting for their chocolate bath!
Store in a sealed tupperware or jar in the fridge for up to one week. A nice addition to your Halloween celebrations.