Chocolate & Coconut Cups with a Hazelnut Surprise

Oh my!!

I know you are supposed to be humble upon your own creations – but I’m not gonna make it this time. This little, creamy, flavourful, chunky, heavy, delicious and healthy treat is absolutely one of the best I’ve ever had. My fellow nutrition geek girl friends tasted it the other night fresh from the fridge, and they said that it was the best piece of chocolate they had ever had!!

So what is it that makes this filled chocolate cup so very special? For once it is healthy and knowing this can be interpreted in too many ways, I will just say: No this does not mean that it can be eaten all the time at all times, but it is a wonderful snack, dessert and quick energy fix. And here we are talking gooood energy! It is chocolate of high quality with a healthy content of cocoa (70+), it is coconut sugar that does not play around with your blood sugar, it is fibers from coconut flour and it is healthy fats from hazelnuts and coconut oil!

Speaking of coconut oil, I have actually planned a little praise on my own. I think that it is time we gave some credit to the amazing and beautiful oil that are very misunderstood by many.  Whenever I use coconut oil with my mom around she comments on the use of saturated fat and that it’s unhealthy to get too much coconut oil. That is a sad rumour to have labelled on you when you are actually one of the healthiest oils we can get our hands, skin and insides on to!

First of all – yes coconut oil contains saturated fat. But 2/3 of the fatty acids in coconut oil are medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) that are considered quite healthy and have some awesome qualities. Let’s take it from a beginning: MCFA’s are being absorbed in the body in a way that makes sure that they are only being utilised as body fuel instead of being layered as adipose tissue. They secure a long lasting feeling of satiety, a slightly increased metabolism and have been proven effective in treatment of cardio vascular diseases. Further more coconut oil is easily digested, has anti inflammatory effects and it makes your skin and hair glow.
As with any other oil, or food product really, the quality plays a very important role. You should always choose an organic extra virgin coconut oil, to be certain that it has not been processed in any harmful way that can be dangerous for the body. Another great thing about coconut oil is that it has a sweet and tropical flavour that pairs great with asian food, in desserts, smoothies and porridges. But you can also get flavour neutral versions if you are not into the tropical twist every single time. Another great thing when it comes to cooking with coconut oil is that it’s actually the only oil that can handle a fairly high heat without being destroyed and become a ‘harmful’ oil.

An important thing to remember when including more healthy fats in our diet is to make room for it energy wise. It is not simply an addition to our regular diet – unless you wanna gain some serious weight. No, we need to remove some of the other energy rich sources (did anyone say sugar), yes for example sugar, processed foods and refined starchy carbohydrates. Try for example to remove some of your banana and fruit in your morning smoothie and add a spoonful of coconut oil instead. It will add a lovely taste, creaminess and increase satiety. Or maybe you could eat one less piece of bread for lunch and add some extra oil onto your salad. It is small adjustments that sometimes makes the biggest difference.

As goes with these lovely bites, they are very rich, filling and absolutely perfect accompanied with a cup of coffee. I will enjoy one before my afternoon yoga or later as a little treat after dinner. They are super easy to make, it literally takes 10 min in total, and you can keep them in the fridge or store them in the freezer. They only need 10-15 minuted to defrost and you have a great comfy bite on a rainy afternoon.

Chocolate & coconut cups with a hazelnut surprise
Makes 15 cups

Chocolate shell
150 g dark chocolate 70%
1 Tbsp coconut oil

Hazelnut center
3 tbsp hazenut butter or another nut butter (60 g)
1-2 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 Tbsp cocoa nibs, blended into very small bits
1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp coconut fibres or ground desiccated coconut flour
1/2 tsp ground vanilla
A pinch of salt

1 fresh fig, cut in cubes

Melt chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler. Prepare 15 small muffin cups, preferable silicone, and add 1 Tbsp of the liquid chocolate to each cup. Place in freezer for 5 min while making the filling.
In a bowl add all of the ingredients for the filling and mix thoroughly to avoid any lumps. Remove the cooled chocolate cups from the freezer and add 1 Tbsp of filling in each and top with 1 additional Tbsp of liquid chocolate. Gently place 1 piece of fig in each cup and place the cups back in the freezer until they have set.
Store in the fridge for up to a week – or as long as you can keep your hands of them 😉