Lilly Pilly Chocolate
There are over 60 varieties of Lilly Pilly in Australia and all that produce fruit are edible, so why not make the most of them with this yummy + healthy recipe?
Where to find Syzygium varieties?
Often planted in public parks by Councils around Australia, in people's gardens for hedging and available to buy to grow at nurseries as well as online, it's easy to find lilly pilly growing in your area or to purchase plants online to grow in your own backyard.
Gathering + Processing the Fruits:
It's a bit of a tedious job to de-seed the fruits but it's also rewarding!
Drying the fruit means you can store it and use it whenever you like and in a huge variety of ways. It also increases the beautiful 'zing' and vibrancy of flavour, reducing the tartness and making the taste more enjoyable.
1. Collect the fruits from the trees (you're looking for the darkest colour of that
particular fruit so you're getting them at their ripest) and rinse to remove bugs, leaves etc
2. Press each fruit individually to open up revealing one or more small seeds inside. Remove the seed/s and either keep them to dry in the sun and try planting, or discard
3. Place the fruit pieces on your dehydrator trays and set the appliance and keep on until all pieces are fully dried. OR use your oven on it's lowest setting until the fruit is dry,but keep in mind this most likely won't keep the fruit 'raw'
4. Store fruit in an air-tight jar or container in the pantry
Note: to make a really vibrant-tasting powder or meal, simply use a coffee grinder or other suitable appliance to break down the dried fruit. Yum!
How to Make the Chocolates:
- Use a bar of your preferred brand of plain healthy chocolate
- A combination of pure organic cocoa (I like Organic Times), raw honey or Grade B maple syrup, coconut oil
- Optional: cacao butter
If making your own chocolate mixture add about 1/2 cup melted and fairly warm coconut oil to a bowl with 2-3 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1-2 tablespoons sweetener (depending on your tastebuds) and 1 tablespoon cacao butter shavings if you're including that.
Stir the chocolate mixture really well to remove lumps then add in 2-3 tablespoons of dried lilly pilly pieces.
Either pour onto a tray of baking paper or into silicon moulds, sprinkle a bit of fruit on top then place in the fridge to set.
Break up the 'bark' pieces or remove the chocolates from the moulds then enjoy!
This sort of chocolate will melt not long after being taken out of the fridge because it's made with coconut oil and not tempered.
If using bought chocolate add chunks of your chocolate to a double boiler to gently melt then add lilly pilly pieces in. Set as per the previous method.
This sort of chocolate will stay firm for a while once removed from the fridge because it was originally tempered.
The beautiful ZING and sweetness you get when you bite into a piece of lilly pilly chocolate is quite unique!
- Oven with tray or a dehydrator for drying the fruit
- 1 bowl for the fruit, 1 bowl for the seeds, 1 bowl for the de-seeded fruit
- Silicon moulds or baking paper placed on a firm tray or board that fits in the fridge
- Double boiler or make your own with a saucepan that just fits a glass or other bowl/container in the top (water goes into the saucepan to summer, ingredients go into the bowl on top)
- Silicon spatula
Free from: Gluten / Grains / Dairy / Refined sugars / Soy / Legumes / Nuts
ALWAYS USE CAUTION WHEN GATHERING AND CONSUMING WILD FOODS.
ENSURE ACCURATE IDENTIFICATION IS MADE AND YOU UNDERSTAND THE POTENTIAL HEALTH ISSUES ASSOCIATED, SUCH AS WITH FOODS HIGH IN OXALATES ETC.
TRY TO SOURCE ONLY FROM CLEAN ENVIRONMENTS. E.G. NOT CONTAMINATED WITH TOXIC WEED SPRAYS.