March 20, 2011

Rainy day treats - Walnut crusted chocolate-ricotta cups

It has been a very wet weekend here in Sydney and I must admit the rain always makes me feel a little uneasy and anxious. On the other hand I love the sound of the rain and the feeling of having to go nowhere and do nothing, but on the other hand I keep hoping for the rain to ease so I could go on my daily walks and enjoy the fresh air.

Rain or no rain I love having guilt-free treats and these walnut crusted chocolate-ricotta cups could not be more guilt-free. I've used 100% raw chocolate, which even for a bitter chocolate lover like myself is a bit too much to handle on its own. The natural sweetness of vanilla and raw honey is all you need to take away the bitterness, and mixed with smooth ricotta and orange zest it makes a perfect filling for these cups. Perhaps rainy days are not all bad after all...

 Walnut crusted chocolate-ricotta cups
(Makes 8 small cups)

{walnut crust}
1 cup raw walnuts
1 tbsp almond meal
1 large free-range egg white

40g dark (raw) chocolate
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
2 tablespoons raw honey
zest of one orange
100g smooth, low-fat ricotta
1 large free-range egg

icing sugar, to serve
zest of one orange, to serve

Preheat your oven to 170C. 

Place the walnuts in a food processor and blitz until they resemble coarse bread crumbs. Add a tablespoon of almond meal and the egg white and mix well. Take spoonfuls of the mixture and press into small silicone muffin cups.

To make the filling, place the chocolate, vanilla and raw honey into a small saucepan and set on low heat. Stir the mixture until the chocolate has melted, then leave to cool. Add orange zest, ricotta and one egg and mix until smooth. Scoop the filling evenly into the cups. 

Bake for about 20 minutes, then cool on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar and orange zest before serving.