As I probably mentioned before lately we don’t eat a lot of meat, maybe once or twice a week. It’s quite challenging because for last two years we’ve been eating mostly meat, fish and lots of low carb veggies. But recently we were a bit fed up with meat and decided to try incorporate plenty of different veggies and seasonal fruits with addition of grains, pasta and flour. Although the last two not too often, using more of an organic wholemeal or spelt flour. Luckily Spring and Summer gives us some variety of veggies and fruits, so we take advantage of them without filling of guilt or regret. Although at the beginning I have to admit I felt slightly uncomfortable preparing meals with high carb ingredients.
One of my favourite fruits are apricots, and since I’m also a big fan of dumplings, combination of these two makes my mouth watery. To make the dumplings even more special I decided to add a bit of cacao to it. All freshly cooked, piping hot, drizzled with heather honey makes a perfect Summer meal. Maybe it’s not the most nutritious one, but for sure it’s the comfort food of the Summer season. And since they require a bit of time and work, they won’t become our everyday meal.
Try to find small, juicy and ripe apricots – they will be the best for this recipe. Since cacao dough is more on a dry side so addition of something sweet will be a great idea. I used heather honey, but you can choose from: honey, maple syrup, whipped cream (homemade is the best), double cream sprinkled with some brown sugar. As a decoration use other fruits like wild blueberries, raspberries or finely chopped strawberries.
I used a mix of plain flour and spelt flour. Spelt flour is not as fine as plain flour, so I wouldn’t use only spelt flour to make these dumplings. Plain flour gives a lot of elasticity and flexibility, and makes more delicate dough, which is important especially with a fruity filling. So you can use either plain flour on its own or with small addition of wholemeal or other more nutritious flour.
Preparation requires a bit of work and patience, that’s why it’s a good weekend recipe when you have more time to spend in the kitchen without rushing yourself. Personally I really enjoy the process of making dumplings, it’s kind of meditation for me. These repetitive steps make me more calm and quiet inside, although I know that for some people making dumplings is not as calming activity as it is for me 🙂
What about you, do you enjoy making dumplings? Which kitchen activity (apart from eating) gives you a sense of calm and inner piece?
chocolate dumplings with apricots
NOTE: my measuring cup is regular 250 ml glass
INGREDIENTS for several dumplings:
- 1 1⁄2 cup plain wheat flour
- 1⁄2 cup spelt flour
- 1 large egg
- 1⁄2 lukewarm water
- 3 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 500-600 g small apricots
- heather honey for drizzle
- optional: wild blueberries for decoration
Make a pile of flour with a hollow on top, like a volcano and add 3 tablespoons of cocoa. Combine a little, and then make a hole into which place the egg. Cover it with a mixture of flour and cocoa and start kneading. Pour a little water on it and a teaspoon of olive oil and knead until you get quite elastic and uniform dough. Sprinkle with a little bit of flour if needed, but in small amounts so dough won’t get to dry. Addition of olive oil will make the dough more elastic and flexible. Kneading will take a couple minutes, so take your time and enjoy the process.
When your dough is ready set it aside for a moment to rest and wash the apricots, dry them, cut them in half and remove the seed.
Roll out the dough thinly and cut out circles using a glass or a mug. Thinner you roll out the dough more delicate will be your dumplings, also might be more prone to brake while cooking. If you don’t have much experience don’t roll too thin.
Place a half of the apricot between two discs and stick together all around the edge. You can also make small pinches on the edge. Boil large pot of salted water and cook dumplings in several batches, for 5 minutes from the moment they start floating on the surface of water. Remove from water with a slotted spoon, arrange on the plate and drizzle with honey, optionally decorate with blueberries.
The best are freshly cooked, but if you have any leftovers you can fry them on a pan with a little bit of butter until hot and crispy.