Thursday, March 25, 2010

Homemade pecan turtles

Let me just state for the record that I am not a confectioner. The idea of stirring molten sugar until it reaches just the right temperature, then catching it at the precise moment before "soft ball" becomes "hard ball" makes my lips numb. So when I saw this recipe for homemade raw pecan turtles that didn't involve any extra putzing around the kitchen, I was sold. Alas. They did not turn as well as I had hoped.

Raw Vegan Chocolate Turtles
from Love Veggies and Yoga
makes 4 pieces - I doubled the recipe, but original quantities are listed below

1/3 cup pecans (or walnuts)
1/2 cup melted chocolate (or two Baker's Chocolate squares, or chocolate chips, or a cocoa/agave/coconut oil combination)
1/8 to 1/4 cup agave nectar + pinch of salt (freeze this to make your raw vegan caramel)

1. Melt half of the chocolate.
2. Divide the pecans into four equal piles on a wax paper-lined baking sheet.
3. Pour the melted chocolate over the nuts. Distribute as evenly as possible.

4. Pour the caramel sauce over the chocolate-drizzled nuts.

5. Melt the other half of the chocolate, and pour over the top of each pile.
6. Freeze or refrigerate to harden.

Looking at the photos now, I see that they don't actually look as terrible as I remember. I made these on the night The H and I were both struck with food poisoning (unrelated to this recipe!) so perhaps that is clouding my memory a bit.

My major upsets with this recipe:

-- The vegan "caramel" only ever tasted of salty agave syrup
-- Pouring cold "caramel" over warm chocolate and then MORE warm chocolate over the top led to the massive spread-out seen above (the photo following Step 4)
-- My turtles don't have any chocolate underneath
-- The one I taste-tested completely fell apart--perhaps due in part to the lack of a chocolate bottom

Once they hardened enough to remove from the wax paper and *not* crumble instantaneously, I threw them all into a plastic leftovers box and crammed it into the freezer. There they lie, mocking me every time I shuffle things around. Perhaps one day I will try them again. If I do, I will be sure to put the pecans onto circles of melted chocolate, then chill between each subsequent layering step to reduce the chance of spread.

Or I could just leave perfection to the masters, and order some Awesome Chocolates next time the co-op ordering window opens.

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