Raw Marbled Chocolate and Orange Tavoletta

By Karen Foster

Passionate about chocolate? If so, you’re sure to savor this indulgently rich chocolate and orange tavoletta. This delicious raw recipe is packed with three power houses in nutrition, cacao, cinnamon and coconut oil.

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For the Crust
1 cup almonds
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cacao (or carob) powder (see differences)
1/2 cup dates
4 tablespoons coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

First process nuts, cinnamon, salt and cacao powder into small crumbs.
Add dates, coconut oil and vanilla extract and process again.
Press into the bottom of 9″ square pan and place in fridge whilst working on filling.
For the Marbling
5 tablespoons melted cacao butter
1 cup cashews
1 tablespoon coconut nectar or honey
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup water

Mix all ingredients in a high-power blender until completely smooth.

For the Filling
2 cups cashews
1 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 cup coconut nectar (or 1/2 cup maple syrup and 1/4 cup xylitol)
1 & 1/2 cups grated cacao butter
2 cups cacao powder

Before making this chocolate filling, you should place the grated cacao butter in the dehydrator to melt. Alternatively you can melt it in a bowl over another bowl of hot water.
Mix the cashews, orange juice, orange zest, vanilla, and coconut nectar (or maple syrup plus xylitol) in a blender until smooth.
Add cacao butter and cacao powder, and blend again.
Pour chocolate mixture onto base and use a spatula to achieve a level surface.
Drizzle the marbling mixture over the top in lines using a plastic bottle or a spoon. Drag a toothpick across the top to create the marble effect.

This recipe is wonderful just out of the fridge, so don’t be shy to chill your completed project for up to an 1 hour.

Differences Between Cacao and Carob
Like cacao, carob is a tropical pod that contains a sweet, edible pulp. But their different plants and have different flavors.
Unsweetened carob powder may be naturally sweeter than cocoa powder, but carob is not as flavorful as chocolate. It actually has a more bitter taste, making the cacao seem sweeter.
Baking with carob may means less sugar, since carob powder is naturally sweeter than cocoa
Both have equal parts of calories and fat.
Cacao is RAGING with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants (more antioxidants than any other plant food), making cacao a superfood.
Cacao has also shown to stop artery-clogging plague, lower cancer risk, has cardiovascular benefits, and lowers cholesterol.
Some people report adverse effects, like headache, jitteriness or allergic reactions to cacao– in this case carob is preferred.
Cacao has mood enhancing chemicals: caffeine and theobromine that can be addicting.
Carob is caffeine free (good for kids).
Carob is more alkalizing for the body.
If substituting one for the other in recipes: replace one part cocoa with 2-1/2 parts carob powder by weight is order to mimic the taste. But I’ve also done a 1:1 before and had no problems.
Due to cacaos popularity, especially for making it into conventional chocolate, there are environmental and ethical issues present with harvesting cacao. Raw cacao is going to be prepared differently than commercial chocolate. Buying Fairtrade or better organic is always recommended.

Karen Foster is a holistic nutritionist, avid blogger, with five kids and an active lifestyle that keeps her in pursuit of the healthiest path towards a life of balance.

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