I’ve been craving prunes for a long time, and how good are they with chocolate? I’m really happy with how the combination of flavours turned out for this one, especially with the added pinch of freshly ground star anise – my absolute favourite spice. You’ll also see a dash of Siberian ginseng powder in there too. I love my tonic herbs!
Siberian ginseng is a tonic herb that is well known for its ability to help the body adapt to stress, fatigue and cold. It is used by those who need extra physical strength or energy. The active ingredients in Siberian ginseng are called eleutherosides and are thought to stimulate the immune system.
Russian cosmonauts used it to help their bodies adapt to the environment in space. Traditionally, students in China would take it during study time to help them sharpen their concentration and improve their mental alertness. Athletes have also used Siberian ginseng as a tonic to help improve their endurance, stamina and overall athletic performance. Others use it to aid in recovery from extreme exertion. Not bad for a knobbly little root huh!
Siberian ginseng shouldn’t be given to children and you can read up on any precautions here.
My favourite spice, has a strong licorice flavour. It is the dried fruit of an evergreen tree native to southwest China. You can grind it in a spice grinder to make a fine powder. Sometimes the little seeds fall out of the pod, but don’t worry because the pod is actually the most fragrant part. Star anise is used in traditional Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian cooking and is a key ingredient in 5-spice powder.
Traditionally used as a digestive aid and to assist in the treatment of respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis. Star anise may also help nursing mothers by increasing lactation. You can also chew the seeds for a natural breath freshener after a meal.
Full of energy and an age old remedy for constipation. They are a rich source of antioxidants, vitamin A and the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron. If your prunes are a bit hard you can soften them by soaking them in a little water before you use them in this slice.
Ginseng, Prune, Cacao, Star Anise and Vanilla Slice
| fills a 9 inch tin, makes 16 servings |
- 1 cup almonds (activated)
- ½ cup prunes
- 4 large dried figs
- 2-3 pinches freshly ground star anise (or more, but start small)
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla paste
- 1 tablespoon Siberian ginseng powder
- ¼ cup cacao powder
- Blitz the almonds in a food processor till they are quite well ground.
- Add the cacao powder, Siberian ginseng, star anise and vanilla paste and blitz to combine.
- Chop the dried figs up then throw them down the chute of the processor with the prunes, one at a time.
- Once you’ve got the consistency of a nice dough, transfer the mixture to a 9 inch square tin lined with baking paper.
- Press it down firmly, you can use the back of a spoon to flatten the surface.
- Pop in the freezer to set while you make the cream.
Prune and Vanilla Cream
- ½ cup cashews, soaked for 8 hours
- ¼ cup prunes
- 2 teaspoons vanilla paste
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- ½ cup water
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- Pinch of coarse sea salt
- Drain any excess water off the cashews once you have soaked them.
- Roughly chop your prunes up.
- Blend everything on high till creamy.
- Serve your slice with a dollop of cream and a thin slice or two of dried fig on top.