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 drop of rose oil, 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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Please note – if you are wanting to meet any of the specific dietary requirements below, please read my recipe notes.
- 2 c water
- 5 tbsp coconut nectar
- 1/2 c tapioca flour/arrowroot
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 1/2 tbsp agar powder
- 2 drops rose essential oil
- 1 tsp beetroot powder
- 3/4 c cacao butter melted
- 3/4 c cacao powder
- 4 tbsp coconut nectar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
- Pinch sea salt
- Turkish Delight: Heat 1 1/2 cups of the water on the stove top until boiling, then mix in the sweetener and reduce to the lowest heat.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the arrowroot with the remaining 1/2 cup of water and lemon juice until smooth, then pour into the pot, whisking briskly as you pour. The mixture will quickly become super thick and tacky - keep stirring as you go.
- Now sprinkle the agar powder on top, and whisk again vigorously until completely combined, then remove from the heat and add the pure rose essential oil and beetroot powder and whisk again until fully dissolved.
- Pour into a 20 x 20 cm tin lined with baking paper and place in the fridge overnight to set.
- Chocolate Shell: Whisk all ingredients together until smooth and silky, then pour into a shallow bowl for dipping.
- Slice the chilled Turkish Delight into twelve bars, then with a fork, dip into the melted chocolate, turn over quickly, remove with a fork underneath so the excess chocolate can drip back into the bowl, and place on a tray lined with baking paper. Fill in any imperfections and holes with extra melted chocolate at the end, drizzle the remainder on top, and sprinkle with more beetroot powder. Place back in the fridge for at least an hour to set (or overnight).
- You could also use agave, yacon syrup or your favourite liquid sweetener in these bars.
- For the filling, cornflour also works. Arrowroot and tapioca flour/starch are interchangeable.
- The key to making these bars is to stir continuously as you're making the Turkish Delight filling, then refrigerating it overnight so it's as hard as possible before you start dipping (but don't freeze it). Also make sure your chocolate is warm, not hot (and thus runny), but not cold (and too thick). If needs be, you can reheat your chocolate half way through if it's starting to get a bit cold and thick to dip into.
- Unlike most of my other recipes, these bars cannot be frozen. It will change the interior consistency of the turkish delight irreversibly, so just refrigerate overnight to set and store in the fridge not freezer.
- These bars, like all my recipes, are only very modestly sweet. If you prefer a sweeter more traditional chocolate bar, add an extra tablespoon of sweetener to the filling, or to both the filling and chocolate shell.
- If you prefer a harder more solid (less gooey) filling, you can add an extra 1/2-1 tbsp of agar powder to your mix.
- These bars store best in the fridge, so that the filling remains nice, cool and chewy. The dark chocolate also tastes incredible when it's cool and breaks off into chards as you bite into these bars.
- If you don't yet have pure rose essential oil (it's super precious!), you could also use 1 1/2 tablespoons of rose water. Essential oils though impart incredible flavour to your food. If you'd like to learn more about how to use them safely and effectively in your food, as well as for your physical and mental health, watch my online workshop here.
- This chocolate shell recipe is great for you to learn how to make as you'll find it has plenty of other uses. It's the perfect base for making your own homemade chocolate - just pour any leftovers into a lined tray and sprinkle with your favourite toppings (nuts, seeds, coconut, dried fruits). Obviously make enough to cover your Turkish Delight bars first!
- These bars keep well in the fridge in a sealed container for up to five days.