Friday, 4 November 2016

Matcha, Vanilla and Lemongrass Bars with Dark Chocolate

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Matcha. It's supposed to be really good for you - it's powdered green tea, so it's more concentrated than the leaf stuff you make your usual green tea with. It does contain caffeine, but also lots of antioxidants that are good for our health, too - and it's supposed to keep your energy levels up as well.

You can make drinks with matcha, stir it into your smoothies or make desserts and puddings with it.

Like this one.

*cue applause*




These bars take 2 minutes to stir together and then you leave them to set in the fridge for another hour or two. The chocolate sets on top straight away, and then you cut it into bars and nibble on with a cup of camomile tea.

I love coconut-based bars, but most of them have added desiccated coconut in, and if I don't choke on the bits, they seem to give me indigestion. So this one has no bits in. It's completely smooth, and even fudge-like. You might even have everything in the kitchen you need to make them.




I was sent the matcha by Pure Chimp - it's seriously good stuff. It has a delicate flavour that's not too overpowering, and a beautiful, vibrant colour, too.

One of my favourites.




Matcha, Vanilla and Lemongrass Bars with Dark Chocolate
Makes 12 bars
Ingredients
200g block of creamed coconut (also called coconut butter or coconut manna)
3 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
1 lemongrass stem, washed, rinsed and trimmed
1 tsp matcha powder (I used Pure Chimp Super Tea Matcha)
50g dark chocolate (I used chocolate with 70% cocoa content)

Method
Very gently melt the creamed coconut with the coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract, in a small frying pan. Add the salt. Using a sharp knife, slice the lemongrass stalk down the length so it opens out like a book. This will help release its fragrant scent. Stir, until everything is melted together, on a very gentle heat, for about 3-4 minutes. Once the coconut mixture is warmed and smooth, turn off the heat. Stir in the matcha powder until there are no lumps and leave to cool slightly. The coconut  mixture will have turned a vivid green - this is good.

Line a 10cm x 15cm (or thereabouts) container (these are the ones I use) with greaseproof paper or cling film and pour the matcha and coconut mixture into it. Place in the fridge to chill and set, it should take about 2 hours or so to turn completely solid. 

Once the mixture is solid, lift it out of the container using the greaseproof paper or cling film and place on a board. Melt the chocolate very gently - I use a microwave by melting it for 10 seconds at a time on high and stirring, so as not to over heat it. Using a spoon, drizzle the melted chocolate over the chilled coconut mixture. 

Once the chocolate is set, cut the block into bars. Keep in the fridge, in an airtight container. It will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. If left out at room temperature, the bars will soften. 

Notes:

  • To make these bars AIP compliant, just leave off the chocolate topping. You might want to add a touch more maple syrup to sweeten, instead. 
  • For a more pronounced lemongrass flavour, use two lemongrass stalks. 


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