Sunday, April 20, 2008

Cocoa Nectar Bars

I've recently become addicted to the Clif Cocoa Nectar bars...a yummy no-sugar added, 5 organic ingredient energy bar. In reading the ingredient list, I began to wonder if I could make a facsimile of the bar myself. Today was my first attempt. I'll go ahead and type up the recipe I used today but it will definitely be tweaked next time around. The texture still isn't right, and I think that it might be improved if I had less sticky dates. A dehydrator would probably do the trick, but I don't think that's an investment I'm going to make anytime soon. I overcompensated for the sticky dates by adding more cocoa powder. Fun to play around with this in any case.
I ended up with a fairly healthy bar about the consistency of chocolate fudge. Really good if you need a chocolate fix!
I used whole organic Medjool dates. This info was copied from a web site..."Medjool are large, deep-red coloured dates, usually from Jordan or California. They're expensive but worth it for their delicious toffee-like taste. You can buy clusters of dates still on the stem or packaged in boxes - stoned or with the stones still in. Buy stone-in dates for the best flavour."
They were really yummy. Think I'm gonna have to go eat another 1/2 bar. ;-)

Update: I really don't think I'll have to change a thing about this recipe next time I make them.
They set up to a really nice consistency just wrapped in the parchment, then stored in ziplock bags.

Cocoa Nectar Bars...first attempt:
Made 8 bars after the stuff I ate in taste testing.

1 cup organic dates, pitted
2 squares of Ghiradelli (they're smaller than a regular bar of baker's choc.) unsweetened baker's chocolate, melted (I nuked it for about 30 seconds)
5-6 Tbs high quality unsweetened cocoa powder (I used was over 4 bucks for .29 lb in the bulk section, but soooo worth it)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
~1/3 cup walnuts, divided (I ground some as fine as I could then left some chunky)

Combine the dates, ~4 Tbs cocoa powder, vanilla and ground walnuts in a food processor and pulse until all ingredients are as mixed as they can get. It'll turn into a big wad eventually. Add the melted chocolate and try to blend further.
Remove the "dough" to a piece of parchment. Knead in the remaining cocoa powder and the chunkier walnut pieces, until the mixture is well homogenized.
Shape the dough into a long roll, that is about 3/4 inch thick . Cut into ~4" lengths and then shape into bars.
Wrap individually in parchment paper, and then keep them in a ziplock bag.


Mike said...

Mmmm - sounds good. Last time I posted a comment, Beth made the recipe, so we'll see if that happens this time. Hey - maybe instead of buying a dehydrator, you could just put them on a pan in the oven at 100 degrees for awhile?

Erndog said...

That's a good idea Mike. I'll try that before it gets so hot here that I'm competing with the a/c. :-)
There's a lemon cashew version that I'll try when I finish eating my way through this batch.

Anonymous said...

Love the chocolate Nectar recipe... How about making one for the Cinnamon Pecan bars. They discontinued them for some reason and now I'm in the kitchen trying to perfect it and having a very hard time :)Love to see what you come up with...

Erndog said...

Anonymous- The cinnamon pecan bars were next on my list to try and knock off! I'd love to see what you've tried so far, so I don't end up doing the same thing that didn't work for you. I tried unsuccessfully (twice) to make my favorite...their lemon cashew bars (no lemon concentrate!).

Beth said...

A mere 4 years later, and... Drumroll, please - we made it! Except we only ended up with a little over one bar after our taste testing. Better get home quick, Mike!