Home-Made Chunky Dark Chocolate Butter


ChocolateButterDesert

UPC’s Crunchy Dark Chocolate Butter

I love indulging. Some of my favorite indulgences, as we’ve covered here in this blog, are life’s simple pleasures. This is obviously not a complete list, but certainly these items will make the top of my list: chocolate, bacon, chocolate bacon, smoked salmon, good wine, good tequila, good rum, sleeping soundly and waking up refreshed, and staying up all night just to watch the sun rise. As far as I’m concerned, the above list of indulgences should be on EVERYONE’S list! Ok, fine, I’ll give that some people just don’t like salmon. My wife doesn’t like salmon, and smoked salmon is even worse to her. While this is intriguing to me, particularly as a pleasantly munch down on some spicy smoked salmon, and she makes faces at me, I don’t particularly mind. That just means I get to keep it to myself! Fortunately, we share interest enough of our other indulgences that this has never been an issue. So, today’s recipe, hopefully, will become a regular indulgence for you all as it has become for me.

I’ve been working on this recipe for months now, and while you’ll see that it is quite simple, putting the pieces together has been a real challenge! Chocolate is amazing, in all it’s forms. It can be a real challenge to work with, though, because getting your recipe just a little bit wrong can result in it being quite bitter. While I love chocolate, and even really really dark chocolate (I eat the good baking chocolate bars straight – but only the good ones), I don’t love bitter. There are definitely some recipes that bring out the bitter in chocolate more than others. Not this one though. This recipe produces the kind of indulgent decadence that I can really look forward to!

UPC’s Crunchy Dark Chocolate Butter; What you’ll need:

  • ChocolateButterDesert_CocoaNibsAndChocolatePowder1 tablespoon Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Carob Powder
  • 2 tablespoons Cocoa Nibs
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Butter
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 1 Storage Jar (a nut-butter jar?)

Serves: Umm… Only 1!!! 🙂
Prep time: 10 minutes.

1. Mix the cocoa powder, carob powder, and cocoa nibs thoroughly.

2. Pour the mix into the jar, then add the coconut butter and the coconut oil on top, in that order.

ChocolateButterDesert_PreMixed

As the coconut oil melts, it will loosen up the coconut butter for stirring.

3. Close the jar and place it somewhere warm so that the coconut oil can melt, and the coconut butter will soften.
Note: If you can’t think of a good warm place to put it; you can easily just throw it in the oven on the lowest heat setting for 5-10 minutes.

4. Let it sit until the coconut oil has completely melted, then begin stirring.

ChocolateButterDesert_Mixing

Start to stir after the coconut oil has fully melted.

Serving:

Since it’s warmer now, it’s the optimal time to serve it over your favorite fruit! This will be amazing over nearly any fruit, but particularly strawberries, raspberries, mangoes, and pineapple.
If you’d prefer to eat it in a more solid state, just let it sit at room temperature for a while, then dig in! It will be thick, like coconut oil or macadamia nut butter, and perfect for eating with a spoon!

ChocolateButterDesert_Spread

Freshly made, still warm Crunchy Chocolate Butter over Starfruit!

Questions:

  • Do you like your indulgences?
  • What are your 3 favorite indulgences?
  • If you could take one of your non-food indulgences, and compare it to a food, which food would it be most comparable to?
  • Are there any indulgences that you used to enjoy but don’t anymore?
  • Why don’t you enjoy them anymore?
  • Do you miss them? Or have you replaced them?

What’s For Dinner? Cocoa Steak


CocoaSteak

UPC’s Cocoa Steak

I was paid a tremendous compliment yesterday in the comments section. And it got me thinking. Don’t worry, it didn’t hurt; at least, not yet. The compliment was something along the lines of:
“You should totally start to sell your meals as a “Weekly Meal Plan and Shopping Lists” kind of thing, and I’ll be your first customer!”
Understandably, I was completely blown away! Obviously the comment is there on yesterday’s post, and you all are more than welcome to go read it in it’s entirety, but I think my paraphrase above is accurate enough for this discussion. This is one of the most incredible compliments I’ve been given – and to pay proper honor to a compliment of this magnitude, I need to take some serious time and think about the implications of the idea. There is the surface: obviously everyone wants to make more money. There’s really no question about that, right? But underneath that surface are some more important questions, and some issues.

The biggest issue is that my entire site is a blog setup, and there is no real setup here for pay services. There are some exceedingly easy and simple ways to deal with that, like writing my meal plans and shopping lists in e-book format, putting them up for sale somewhere, and linking them to a page here through an e-book sales site. In fact, I already have a linked e-book, where a few of my recipes were published in the Fat Burning Chef book (GREAT book, if you haven’t seen it yet). So it’s an easy issue to solve; but it takes time. And it seems to be time well spent, especially if I already have a customer ready! Then there are the other issues: generating content (I can, but have not done), deciding on pricing, setting up the whole sales-side of this idea.

And on to the questions which are not yet issues. The first is this: will my writing be impacted or changed by a sales opportunity? Clearly the answer is yes. Every experience changes us. So will I be better, or worse, for the experience? And would selling my material make me more in tune with what you, my readers, want? Or would it change my focus enough so that my content stopped being the content that you have grown to know and love? These are important questions. And hopefully you’ll all be willing to help me answer them in the Questions section at the end.

CocoaSteakInPan

Cocoa Steak; What you’ll need:

  • 1 lb Grass-Fed Steak (I used a rib-eye; but any thicker cut will do)
  • 4 tablespoons Cocoa Nibs (preferably organic)
  • 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 1 tablespoon “Herbs De Provence” which is a french blend made up of: Rosemary, Thyme, Fennel, Basil, Savory, Lavender, and Marjoram
  • 1 large Organic Sweet Potato, quartered

Serves: 2
Cook and Prep time: 40 minutes

1. Put the steak in a large pan on high, covered. Cook until sizzling loudly.

2. As soon as the steak is sizzling loudly, turn the heat down to medium-low, flip the steak leaving the seared side up.

3. Thoroughly, but carefully, cover the seared side of the steak with the cocoa nibs. Try not to let any fall in to the pan; though don’t worry too much if they do.
Re-cover the pan and continue to let it cook covered.

3. After about 10 minutes of total cook time (including the searing at the beginning) add the coconut oil in the middle of the steak, and sprinkle the herbs de provence on to the steak.

4. Put the quartered potatoes around the steak in the pan and re-cover.

5. Carefully Move the steak a bit every 10 minutes, so that it doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pan. This shouldn’t be an issue, but it’s better to be safe in this case.
Note: This is a good time to prepare your sides; a salad, or just some sliced vegetables will compliment this very well.

6. Cook on the same side, with the cocoa nibs undisturbed until serving. To the best of your ability, try to cut and serve the steak with the nibs still on the top. Serve and enjoy!

Questions:

  • What are your thoughts on my intro, and the idea of me selling a “Weekly Meal Plan and Shopping List”?
  • If I set it up, what meal/recipe/idea would make purchasing this from me truly “worth it” to you? What would your determining factors be that makes mine worth your money?
  • Have you ever purchased meal plans and shopping lists before? Have you used a free one? What were your thoughts on what it did well, and what it did poorly?
  • If I do this, I’ll need to make sure that it’s accessible, usable, and obvious. What kinds of updates to my site would you recommend for me to make these available and, ideally, utilized by you, my readers?