by Karen Swan
It’s apparent to me that there are two teams in the chocolate wars. You’re either Team Golden Rough or Team Mint Pattie. Personally, I’ll go either way, but if I had to choose, I’d have to follow my childhood memories and plant both feet firmly in ‘Team Mint Pattie’. (although, I did make the Golden Rough-like chocolate pudding and adored it)
As a child, my Mum always had a bag of something sweet lurking in the bottom of the pantry. Sometimes Golden Roughs, sometimes Fantails, sometimes those mini Honey Nougat Logs and sometimes, and this was always a special week, Mint Patties. It’s no wonder I have a sweet tooth!
When we started dabbling in homemade and healthy chocolate here at MamaBake, my curiosity was peaked. I wondered how many of my favouite choccie treats could be made into slightly new and improved, vegan and healthy(ish) versions?
I whipped up a batch of the chocolate, stirred through some sultanas and nuts and, voila! Fruit & Nut Chocolate.
I added a heaping spoon of peanut butter to the mix and proceeded to devour the Peanut Butter Cups that resulted in record time.
Then it was on to my love, the Mint Pattie. My first attempt was a dismal failure. The coconut centre was too grainy, not smooth enough. What to do?
Then, I discovered creamed coconut (read all about it here) and the world of possibilities opened up!
The amount of maple syrup and peppermint essence will vary depending on your tastes; this is a ‘by feel and taste’ kind of recipe. Creamed coconut is available in health food stores (not to be mistaken with regular coconut cream from the supermarket). I have seen other recipes that use a combination of cashews and coconut oil to create the creamy filling, which may be an option if you can’t find creamed coconut, but I’ve not tried it as yet.
I made these using a mini muffin mold (silicon), because it’s simple and mess free, but you could, for a more authentic look, use a fork to dip the discs of peppermint filling into the chocolate before re-setting in the freezer on a lined tray.
“JUST GET TO THE RECIPE KAREN!” I can hear you from here!
Let me just add one last thing. To get the most out of your little chocolatey, minty treats, make sure to remove them from the freezer a good 30 minutes before you want to eat them (if you can wait that long!). That gives the centre time to soften and have a more creamy texture (the oils in the coconut will make it set hard).
And now, I present to you, MamaBake does the Mint Pattie, vegan style!
(makes around 12)
For the Chocolate:
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
4 tablespoons maple syrup
a pinch of sea salt.
For the Filling:
1/4 cup creamed coconut – softened to liquid form.
2 or 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 to 2 tsp peppermint oil or essence. (use this as a guide and taste before you add more)
Mix all the ingredients for the chocolate and allow it to sit for 15 minutes or so to thicken slightly.
Pour about a teaspoon of the chocolate into the base of your mold and freeze for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the ingredients for the filling in a small bowl and mix well. The mixture will seize a little as you add the peppermint, but keep mixing! If need be, remembering you want a thick paste, not a runny liquid, you could stir the mix over a simmering pot of water to help it combine.
Once the base chocolate is set, roll a small disc of the peppermint filling and spread it onto the chocolate. Leave enough space around the edges so the topping chocolate can completely encase the filling, (something I didn’t do in the batch photographed!). You can make it as thick or as thin as you like.
Pour the remaining chocolate over the top and return to the freezer for about 30 minutes or until set.
Once set, gently remove and store in the freezer in a container or zip lock bag for aaaaaaages (they won’t see out the day, I promise you!).
Remove at least 30 minutes before you want to eat them, so that the centre has a chance to soften and be more consistent with the texture of a ‘real’ Mint Pattie.