I’ll be honest, I’m rather proud of this one! I don’t have a sweet tooth and I’m always trying to come up with desserts which taste good, have a bit of a wow factor and mostly which are as healthy as possible.
With this one, I think I’ve got it!
- It needs no refined sugar, no carbs and no oil.
- Honey is a natural sugar with good antioxidant properties
- Apples are low-calorie fruits and contain many vitamins and minerals
- Dark chocolate with high cocoa and low sugar content has great antioxidant benefits and has been proven to have several beneficial effects on the body and brain
- Almonds are also a great antioxidant and support healthy brain functions and skin
- The poaching juice is full of powerful spices which do wonders for the immune system and health in general
Approx. Preparation time: 5 mins
Approx. Cooking & Assembly time: 25 mins
- 2 apples
- 1 cup of plain almonds
- 200g of dark chocolate (use good-quality chocolate with a high cocoa content)
- 6 fresh mint leaves (keep the leaves whole, and pick some which are undamaged as these are use for decorating the plate)
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 small piece of ginger
- 4 green cardamoms
- 1 clove
- 3 black peppercorns
- 6 cups of water
- Peel the apples and remove their core (if you don’t have an apple corer, you can do this with a long pointy potato peeler or a knife)
- Wash the mint leaves and leave them aside on a piece of kitchen towel
- Peel and chop the ginger in medium size chunks
- Crush the cardamon with the flat side of a knife blade, or in a mortar
- Put 6 cups of water to boil on high heat in a pot. The pot should be deep enough that the apples can be submerged in water in it
- Add to the pot the cinnamon, the ginger, cardamons, clove and black peppercorns. Bring the water to the boil.
- When the water is boiling, add the honey and stir it in well so that it dissolves through the water.
- Add the apples, submerging them as much as possible in the water. Cover half the pot with a lid.
- Lower the heat and leave to simmer for 20 minutes, or until the apples are completely soft (the blade of a knife should be able to cut through smoothly)
- Whilst the apples are poaching, put a pan on high heat.
- When the pan is hot, toss the almonds in the pan. These will only take 3 to 5 minutes to toast depending on how hot the pan is, and they can burn easily, so keep and eye on them, stirring them around regularly. If the almonds start burning, take them off the heat immediately
- When the almonds are toasted, roughly chop them, either using a knife or a blender. Leave the chopped almonds aside until serving time.
- A few minutes before serving, melt the dark chocolate (you can pop it for a few seconds at a time in the microwave or use the bain-marie method)
- Assemble in a bowl or a bowl-y plate:
- Place the apple on the plate, with the hole made by the removed core facing upwards
- Pour some of the cooking liquid over and around the apple, ensuring you’re not also dropping the whole spices in the plate
- Fill the core of the apple with chopped almonds
- Cover the entire apple with dark chocolate – some of it will fall into the liquid, that’s alright!
- Sprinkle the chocolate with chopped almonds
- Place one of the mint leaves on top of the apple, and the other two on the liquid
- Serve warm!
Tip – you can serve the remainder of the poaching juice as a post-meal infusion!