So I borrowed a book from the library a couple weeks ago with a delicious looking recipe for chocolate turtles. Of course it was made with stuff like refined sugar, heavy cream etc., so I figured there had to be a way I could make one of my very favourite chocolate treats in a way that I could enjoy without derailing my health. So I tried just doing some straight substitutions for better ingredients than what he called for…and while the end result was very tasty…it wasn’t quite what I had in mind.
So after a few trial runs with making some healthy caramel, yesterday I held my breath to see how everything would work together this time….and it is incredible!!
Here’s my end result – it’s a low glycemic, vegan, sugar free, clean chocolate turtle…that even helps with gut health!!
Now I’m not going to lie, there’s a few steps involved. But if you are like me and needing to find a delicious alternative to your favourites while following a restricted diet, you have come to the right place!
First you want to roast your pecans at 350 F until they are fragrant – about 10 minutes. (I put my cocoa butter in the oven in an oven safe dish to melt at the same time). One they have cooled enough to handle, then arrange them in 3’s on a parchment lined baking sheet (I put 2 vertical, side by side, and 1 sideways across the top). You want there to be no space in between them so they stay together.
Next put 1 tsp of the healthy caramel sauce on top and spread around to all the pecans – this will be your ‘glue’ to hold them together for the next step, so keep that in mind.
Then pop them in the deep freeze for about 2 hours, or until the caramel is hard enough to hold them together. As you are waiting for them to harden you can make your chocolate coating.
Once they have hardened, use a skewer to stab in the middle of the caramel to pick the turtle up and dip it in the chocolate coating, then return to parchment. Use the extra chocolate to drizzle on top…or pop the turtles in the freezer for 10 minutes and repeat the process to make a very neat looking turtle. Once finished with the chocolate coating then return turtles to freezer. Let freeze at least 10 minutes before serving.
- 2 c pecan halves
- 1 c healthy caramel sauce
- ½ c cocoa butter (you can substitute coconut oil, but flavour and consistency changes slightly), melted
- 6 tbsp cacao powder (use 'raw'/non-alkalized if possible)
- ½ tsp vanilla (I like this or this best, but extract is ok)
- ¼ c Lakanto (erythritol + monk fruit)
- pinch sea salt
- optional: 1 tbsp pure peanut butter (no sugar or added oils), if tolerated
- Roast pecans on baking sheet at 350 F until fragrant, about 10 minutes (this is a good opportunity to throw your cocoa butter in the oven to melt at the same time)
- Once pecans are cool enough to handle, arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet in 3s, ensuring minimal space in between (I lined up 2 vertically and 1 horizontally at the top)
- Put 1 teaspoon of caramel on each cluster and spread over each nut (this will be your glue to hold them together for the next step)
- Place your turtles in the freezer and freeze until the caramel gets hard enough to hold the pecans together (was about 1.5-2 hrs in my deep freeze), use this time to make chocolate coating
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high for 30 seconds (or long enough to get rid of grittiness from Lakanto), pour into measuring cup or something similar sized and set aside until base layer is ready.
- Pick up frozen turtles with a skewer stuck into the center and dip in the chocolate, once it has mostly stopped dripping, place back on parchment
- After they are all coated you will likely have some leftover chocolate, you can either drizzle the remainder on top of your turtles OR you can dip your turtles a second time with the same technique (just pop them in the freezer for 10 minutes in between so the first layer can harden up)
- After coating, freeze for 10 minutes before serving.
- Store leftover turtles in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to eat.
I got thumbs up all around at my house…let me know what you think!