*This giveaway is now closed*
I first tried The Chocolate Yogi chocolate at last year’s Vegan Day Out here in Melbourne. The Chocolate Yogi were handing out samples at The Cruelty Free Shop and I might have had three samples… of each flavour. In my defense I did buy some bars because it was the best raw organic vegan chocolate I’d ever tried! I’ve since bought bars of this beautiful chocolate for gifts, though there maaaay poooossibly have been this one time where the chocolate I bought as gifts for someone ended up being a gift for my mouth that day.
The Chocolate Yogi team are Malindi and Ed who hand make their chocolate north of Sydney. Each bar is stone ground from bean to the final chocolate bar form and free from dairy, soy, gluten and white cane sugar. Some of the bars are also caffeine and theobromine free. The Chocolate Yogi website states “we see our chocolate as a bridge for those who want to break away from conventional chocolate (which can be quite a tough habit to break!) towards healthier wholefood versions of their favourite treats”.
For this reason, Malindi and Ed have created a series of familiar, classic flavours such as Creamy Mylk (I believe it’s as close to traditional non-vegan milk chocolate as you can get, with the added bonus of being raw, organic and downright delicious!); Deep Dark with 64% cacao solids from single origin Criollo beans; Frothy Toffee (my favourite) which is slightly sweeter with a lovely toffee flavour, and Deep Mint which is infused with peppermint oil.
The flavours listed under the premium range include Cherry Coconut with its soft centre surprise (the cherries are sweetened with organic apple juice); Dreamy Chai flavoured with cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom and black peppercorns, and Salty Caramel which is a mylk chocolate bar filled with a lovely soft caramel centre made with cashews, maple syrup and coconut oil.
The Chocolate Yogi work with ethical traders who have direct relationships with the cacao growers. Suppliers take care to wash and sanitise the cacao beans with citrus based sanitisers. The beans are then quality tested and hand sorted before being made in to the final product.
The ingredients are pretty delicious too– evaporated coconut nectar, raw coconut, raw lucuma, raw cacao, vanilla and infusions of cinnamon sticks, fresh ginger, cardamom, black peppercorns and cloves.
The Chocolate Yogi kindly sent me all their flavours to review and to use in recipe creation. Challenge accepted! I loved the Frothy Toffee flavour so much I knew I had to use that first.
Lately I’ve been a bit obsessed with Lumberjack cake. Not the actual cake itself but more what I can do with the ingredients. My mum’s old recipe has the apples and dates, with a lovely topping of coconut and almonds. I love the blend of caramel or toffee flavours with apple, so my first recipe is a layered apple parfait style dessert (or breakfast!) with The Chocolate Yogi Frothy Toffee cashew cream swirl, topped with toasted almonds, coconut and more Frothy Toffee.
I wanted to keep the chocolate in a raw state so on Malindi’s advice, I very gently melted the chocolate in a bowl over some hot water. This keeps the temperate of the chocolate in the ‘raw’ category. You can make this recipe 100% raw if you like by keeping the apples raw and the almonds and coconut untoasted.
Lumberjack Style Parfait with Cashew Cream and Chocolate Yogi Frothy Toffee
For the apple layer: Peel, core and thinly slice two large apples (I used Granny Smith). Place them in a saucepan with a splash of water and a pinch of cinnamon. Cover with a lid and gently simmer until the apples have softened. Remove from heat.
For the topping: Put 1/4 cup of slivered almonds and 1/4 cup of shredded coconut in a frying pan while your apples are stewing. Toast gently until browned. Take your bar of Chocolate Yogi Frothy Toffee and keep one piece aside for decoration if you like. Gently melt the bar in a bowl over hot water. When the chocolate has melted, stir in the toasted almonds and coconut but leave about a tablespoon of melted chocolate aside for the cashew cream swirl.
For the cashew cream swirl: simply swirl a tablespoon of the melted chocolate through a cup (or less if you prefer) of cashew cream. Don’t overmix, you want to keep a swirled effect.
Layer your parfait by placing a layer of the apple, a layer of cashew cream, another layer of apple, more cashew cream then finally the Frothy Toffee almond coconut topping. If you’ve kept a piece of the chocolate bar aside, cut it in to little pieces and sprinkle it on the top. Serve warm if you can!
You can also mix some finely chopped dates through the cashew cream too if you want things a little sweeter.
Note: there are lots of cashew cream recipes online and some recommend soaking your cashews though it can also depend on your blender. I have a power blender so I don’t need to soak. I use one cup of raw broken cashews (these are the cheapest) and whiz them up with a little maple syrup and a tiny splash of water if I find the mixture isn’t blending well. You may have to keep stopping your blender to scrape the sides down a bit. Alternatively try a vegan yoghurt like coconut, or coconut and almond!
The flavours of The Chocolate Yogi chocolate bars are so good that I wanted to make something else, this time completely raw. I’m really happy with what I came up with: I’m calling it Raw Macadamia Choc Cherry Chocolate Yogi Brownie with Cherry and Raspberry Coulis. I wanted to use ingredients with a bit of an Australian feel so as well as macadamias, I’ve used olida (also known as forestberry herb or strawberry gum) which is a native Australian plant. Olida has a kind of berry-ish passionfruit flavour and I like to use a little to enhance the flavour of the cherries and the berries, though it’s completely optional in the recipe as it’s not that easy to find! You can find olida at some online stores that sell native Australian herbs and spices. From my reading, olida is best used in recipes that are not subjected to high temperatures so I thought it would be perfect in this raw dessert!
Raw Macadamia Choc Cherry Chocolate Yogi Brownie with Raw Cherry and Raspberry Coulis
Serves 4 to 8 (depending on the size of your cookie cutters, and how much of the mixture you eat!)
The olida (forestberry/strawberry gum) is optional!
For the brownies:
Put one cup of macadamia nuts, 1/4 cup cacao powder and 1/4 teaspoon ground olida in a food processor and pulse until the macadamias are broken down in to small bits. Stop the motor and add 1/4 cup dried cherries and one roughly chopped bar (watch out for the soft insides!) of Chocolate Yogi Cherry Coconut. Pulse until the chocolate and cherries have been chopped up and incorporated with the macadamias. The mixture should hold together when pinched.
Tip the mixture out of the bowl and on to a surface you can use a cookie cutter on (I used a wooden chopping board). Pat the mixture in to a disc about 1.5cm to 2cm thick, then use a cookie cutter of your choice to cut out as many shapes as you can. Put your cut out brownie shapes in the fridge or freezer while you prepare the coulis.
For the coulis:
Put one cup of pitted cherries and one cup of raspberries (both defrosted if frozen) in a blender along with 1/4 teaspoon of olida. Blend to a smooth puree, then push the coulis mixture through a strainer to get rid of little gritty bits. I prefer the sweetness of the fruit alone but add some of your own sweetener before pureeing if you like.
To serve, place a brownie shape on a plate and drizzle over the coulis.
*This giveaway is now closed*
GIVEAWAY TIME! Australian readers only sorry!
The Chocolate Yogi are offering one lucky Veganopoulous reader a choice of five bars of their chocolate! To enter, use the Rafflecopter widget below. You must leave a comment telling me what five flavours of The Chocolate Yogi chocolate you’d like to try. You can check out the flavours at http://www.thechocolateyogi.com.au/collections/all This giveaway will end on December 17th at 12:00am. Good luck!
Disclaimer: The Chocolate Yogi sent me their chocolate to review. All opinions are my own and I only recommend products I really like. And I LOVE this chocolate!