One of my favourite chocolate bars when I was growing up were these delicious Turkish Delight chocolate bars by Cadbury. If you haven't tried them, think rose-flavoured jelly smothered in creamy milk chocolate. For a while I had quite the penchant for ballroom dancing (I know), and every time on our way to practice, my dance partner Steve would buy two of these Turkish Delight bars for us to snack on on the way. Let’s just say he got me hooked.
The traditional version however uses a lot of sugar, dairy, palm oil (aka Indonesian rainforest deforestation, and the eradication of thousands of animal species), non-fairtrade cocoa (where the growers are treated poorly and not paid enough to sustain themselves), and artificial red food colouring.
This version I'm sharing with you today instead uses organic fair trade cacao butter and powder to create a delicious dark and sensual chocolate shell. The insides meanwhile are simply filtered water thickened with arrowroot and agar powder (a seaweed), flavoured delicately with natural rose water, a dash of coconut nectar, and coloured brilliant pink with organic beetroot powder. After trying these I was really surprised at how easy it is to make your own Turkish Delight at home - something I’d never have thought of doing before!
These chocolate bars taste sensational too - the perfect sweet treat to have stashed in the fridge. Give them a go and I guarantee you'll be a home-made turkish delight convert too!
Brilliantly Beautiful Beetroot
Beetroots are one of my favourite ingredients, which you may have gleaned from the beet-fest of recipes already on my website (these Beetroot Blueberry Muffins, Beetroot, Basil and Black Bean Burgers, and Raw Beetroot Salad are three of my favourites). I’ve spoken about the benefits of beetroot before here, but today wanted to go a bit deeper (and because of course I had to share these Turkish Delights with you). Beetroots, or beets as they’re sometimes called, have a wonderful sweetness to them, which adds a real depth of flavour to both sweet and savoury dishes. They also have the most incredible red hue to them, making them perfect to use as a natural food colouring when you want to make pink icings for cakes, ruby red salad dressings, or to add to smoothies. Some cafe’s have even started making lattes with beetroot (move over turmeric).
Beets are therefore perfect for colouring our chewy filling in these Turkish Delight Chocolate Bars a wonderfully vibrant pink. I’ve used this certified organic Beetroot Powder from BioBalance, and have been enjoying having a jar in our pantry of late, ready to add a quick and easy boost to smoothies, dressings, bean dips, hummus and baking. The powder works wonderfully with raspberry flavours as well as chocolate, and I've been adding a tablespoon to my Raw Afghan Brownie, Black Forest Chocolate, and Chocolate Raspberry Tart for an added boost of vege-based nutrients.
Beets are interesting in that they are a unique source of phytonutrients (plant nutrients) called betalains. Not only have betalains been shown to be anti-inflammatory (help counter diseased states such as auto-immune and cancer) and act as antioxidants (offsetting free radical damage), they're also known to support phase 2 detoxification of the liver. Eating beets raw (as in this salad here), or by using this beetroot powder, maximises the betalain content, as like many nutrients betalains are significantly reduced with cooking. Beets are also a fabulous source of folate, particularly important in pre-conception and early pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects. If you’re thinking about getting pregnant, or are pregnant or breastfeeding, eating beetroot regularly is a great way to ensure adequate food-based folate intake. Folate is also really important for children too, another great reason to replace the artificial red food colouring in your pantry with this lovely natural beet powder.
Furthermore, beetroots are one of a few vegetables that contain nitrates, which have been shown to strengthen the heart, increase blood flow and lower blood pressure. Perfect for athletes but also for those with hypertension, high blood pressure, heart disease or poor peripheral circulation. Beetroots have additionally been shown to lower the risk of age related degenerative diseases such as dementia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimers. So all in all, lots of reasons to include these lovely bulbs more in your diet!
Back to these luscious Turkish Delight Chocolate Bars. They’re super easy to make with only two steps involved, and it's really fun to dip and create your own healthy chocolate bars at home. The trick to getting the chocolate coating covering them well is to allow the turkish delight to completely set overnight in the fridge, then slice and dip the chilled pieces quickly in melted chocolate which is still quite warm and so doesn’t set too quickly. Dip them in, flip them over, then lift out with a fork and place on some baking paper to set. You can always go back afterwards and fill in any chocolate gaps or imperfections you might have created. I’ve drizzled mine with the remaining melted chocolate to make them look extra pretty, and sprinkled with more of our lovely sweet beetroot powder. They store best in the fridge to keep the insides nice, cold and gooey.
I hope you give them a try, if you’re a turkish delight fan you will love them! If you do make these bars, share them with me on my Facebook page, or tag me in your pics on Instagram @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics. I’d love to see your versions and hear what you think.
Have a beautiful weekend, I’m off to relax after a super busy one last week (filming some new exciting videos… stay tuned!). Til next week, stay happy and well.
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Makes 12 bars
Takes 15 minutes + overnight to set + 15 minutes to dip
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Always use certified organic, local and fairly traded ingredients wherever possible
2 c water
5 tbsp coconut nectar OR brown rice syrup*
1/2 c arrowroot/tapioca flour**
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 1/2 tbsp agar powder
1 1/2 tbsp rose water
1 tsp beetroot powder
3/4 c cacao butter (melted)
3/4 c cacao powder
4 tbsp coconut nectar
1/2 tsp vanilla powder OR 1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch sea salt
* You could also use agave, yacon syrup or your favourite liquid sweetener.
** Cornflour also works here. Arrowroot and tapioca flour/starch are interchangeable.
c = 250ml cup, tbsp = 15ml tablespoon, tsp = 5ml teaspoon