Raw Chocolate Hearts

After quite a couple weeks of intense work I can finally bring you this special Valentine's Day recipe, to say I'm tired and sleepy is an understatement...days prior to V-Day are always crazy for me because all the brands I work with ask me to develop a recipe for them. I've been nonstop cooking and recipe-testing, ate more chocolate than I should and take a million pictures.
If I wasn't stressed enough I had some issues with my Photoshop software and had to edit a lot of pictures ALL OVER AGAIN...ugh, such a pain in the ass! Why does this happen when you are so busy?!
Well, I'm gonna keep this one short and sweet (so sweet!) cause still have to re-edit some pictures and go feed some stray cats I stumbled across yesterday. They are still kittens, one of them looks around 4-months old and it broke my heart when the smallest one approached me for food and started meowing. Of course I rushed home to grab several cans of humid food, poor little kitties were so hungry! Please send me all the good vibes you can so I can help them find a forever home, they aren't feral cats and pretty sure they'll become more friendly once they get used to my presence.
Okay, so this crazy cat lady said it was going to be a short post and still haven't talked about this recipe! This is most probably my favorite raw recipe ever (like EVER!): raw chocolate heart-shaped mini cakes with a cashew-oat cookie crust that has become my obsession. Do you know the Kookie Cat cookies? Well, this crust has a veeeery similar taste. So yummy, not too sticky and not too crumbly, I think I found my go-to raw crust.
I developed this recipe for my friends at Popcorn Shed and added in a handful of their mini popcorn to the crust mixture. Of course you can leave them out and the crust will taste absolutely amazing.
Hope you have a lovely Valentine's Day wether you are taken, single or happily married to your cats!
Share these chocolate hearts with whoever you want: your partner, your best friend, your colleagues…let’s celebrate love in all forms! It's just another good excuse to indulge in chocolate and kick the weekend off in a very good mood.

Raw Chocolate Hearts
(10 servings approx.)

- For the base:
¾ cup raw cashews.
½ cup Popcorn Shed’s Mini Pop! Sweet & Salty flavour, ground into a coarse flour.
½ cup rolled oats.
4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted.
4 Medjool dates, pitted.

- For the chocolate filling:
2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight.
½ cup full-fat coconut milk.
½ cup pure maple syrup.
¾ cup raw cacao powder.
½ cup coconut oil, melted.
1 teaspoon pure vanilla powder.

- For the chocolate topping:
200 g dark chocolate, chopped.
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil.
Popcorn Shed’s Union Shack cherry bakewell gourmet popcorn.

First of all, we need to prepare the base so it chills in the fridge and firms up.
For the base simple pulse cashews, oats and popcorn in your food processor until a coarse flour forms. Add in chopped dates and coconut oil, and process until the mixture is fully combined. Press into a heart-shaped silicone muffin tin and let it set in the refrigerator while we prepare the chocolate filling.
To make the filling, drain well cashews and discard the soaking water. Place them in your food processor and mix with the full-fat coconut milk until a creamy mixture forms. Add in maple syrup, raw cacao and vanilla powder and process again until well combined.
Gradually pour in the melted coconut oil and process until the mixture looks creamy and soft.
Fill each cavity with the chocolate cream, gently smooth the tops and transfer to the freezer until very firm. It’s very important that cakes have hardened before unmolding.
For the chocolate topping simply melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler, stir in the coconut oil until mixture looks glossy and dip each chocolate heart into the ganache.
Immediately place a few popcorn on top so they adhere to the chocolate topping.
Store cakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator and allow them to thaw at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes before serving.