Black Cherry Tessellas
Chocolate Recipes by Visitors

by Rod
(Dallas, TX)

Black Cherry Tessellas


A very intense, dark chocolate treat enriched with the enticing flavors of black cherry juice concentrate and extra virgin coconut oil.

A typical serving is several small pieces (tessellas), often enjoyed with coffee or other beverage.

Tessellas Recipe:

1/3 cup + 1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil, warmed

1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa

3 tbsp black cherry juice concentrate (syrup)

Optional toppings:

2 tbsp finely chopped walnuts or almonds

1/4 cup finely chopped dark cherries


In a small bowl, warm coconut oil and stir in cocoa.

Add juice concentrate and stir to complete intense flavor blend and to create a smooth texture.

Pour mixture into a flat bowl lined with wax paper
(press a sheet of wax paper between two bowls),
then sprinkle on toppings if desired.

Turn the second bowl upside down to create a cover
and refrigerate for several hours.

When completely hardened, slice into bite-size pieces (tesellas) having random shapes (for uniformity, slice when the chocolate is firm in the center, but not hardened).

Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Preparation Time: 25 min.
Serving size: several tessellas
Servings: 14

See the update below for a variation of this recipe.

Development of the Tessellas Recipe

This intense chocolate treat had an equally intense but short development period.

A dozen batches were made since the original concept of a tessara-sized taste of intense dark chocolate to accompany a coffee break or as sweet inspiration for a slow afternoon at work.

The concept envisaged a brief taste treat - not a complete "snack". The final recipe had to be appealing, yet not be so tempting that it would be considered chocolate candy.

"It's not candy!" was my constant reminder when tasty additives such as sugar, nuts or dried fruit began drifting toward the mixing bowl (these were finally accepted as optional toppings).

Considering the accumulating research of the health benefits of both chocolate and virgin coconut oil, the term "tessara" (a mosaic cube within an artistic creation) seemed to be the perfect expression of this new culinary concept.

"Tessella", a portion of a tessera, was the natural complement to the more uniform tessarae since the chilled and hardened chocolate easily broke into pieces when slicing was attempted. So, both tessera and tessella are good descriptive terms for this unique chocolate treat ... and both refer to a small piece of chocolate - a tasty moment of inspiration.

The nutritional components (antioxidants in the organic fruit juice concentrates and medium-chain triglycerides in the virgin coconut oil) were also important - this intense chocolate treat had to offer complementary nutrition. As a taste treat (not snack or meal), the calories - even when consumed daily - are minimal.

Enjoy the intense flavors and smooth texture of this rich chocolate treat, nutritional accompaniment to a daily balanced mosaic of healthy meals and snacks. Whether tessera or tessarae, tessella or tessellas, a new intense chocolate recipe is ready for sampling.

I want to personally thank Rod for sharing his delicious recipe with my web site visitors.

Hey, I tried it and it's very good. Maybe you should too
Please Take Note

It's always wise to eat this or any other chocolate product in moderation.

Cocoa powder contains the stimulant theobromine.
It can be toxic to animals. But according to a SETOX report, Some Food Toxic to Pets “ The amount of theobromine found in chocolate is small enough that chocolate can be safely consumed by humans in large quantities”.

If you are still concerned about the theobromine levels present in this recipe, keep the following in mind.

In a transcript of the podcast Chemistry in its element - theobromine Brian Clegg states that theobromine is toxic to humans. “A fatal dose for an adult human would involve eating more than 5kg of milk chocolate”.

That's over 11 pounds of chocolate. You would have to consume several batches of this recipe to get any where near that level.

So moderation is the key to safety here! Eat just a piece or two as the recipe suggests and you should be ok.

Please remember to consult your health care provider.


UPDATE Crunchy Chewy Version of Rod's Recipe

The Black Cherry Tessellas recipe has been evolving for several months - this version is now my personal favorite because I prefer
crunchy, chewy treats.

The flavor of the zante currants, which taste like raisins, is perfect for this combination of intense chocolate, virgin coconut oil and walnuts:

Tessera de Cocoa Energy Squares


1/3 cup + 1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil, warmed

1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa

3 tbsp black cherry juice concentrate

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup dark zante currants


Line a flat bowl with wax paper (press a sheet of wax paper between two bowls and trim excess if desired).

Combine chopped walnuts and zante currants, then spread evenly in the bowl, over the wax paper.

In a small bowl, warm coconut oil and stir in cocoa. Add black cherry juice concentrate and stir to complete intense flavor blend and to create a smooth texture.

Gently pour warm chocolate over the walnut/currant pieces. Use the tip of a spoon to press any uncovered pieces into the chocolate.

Turn the second bowl upside down to create a temporary cover and refrigerate the chocolate mixture for several hours.

When firm in the center, slice into bite-size squares and store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Preparation time: 25 min.
Serving size: one tessera
Servings: 12

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Chocolate Recipes by Visitors

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Mar 30, 2012
Still craving cranberries?
by: Rod

Cranberry juice concentrate was a runner-up in the contest which selected black cherry concentrate for Most Tempting Tessella. So, what to do with the cranberry concentrate?

This concentrate was finally set aside for summertime cranberry juice cocktails ... until I noticed a 6oz. package of dried cranberries still lingering in the cupboard.

Just substitute this concentrate and this dried fruit (dice if you prefer) for one more tempting Tessella treat.

Mar 30, 2012
Why not dried cherries?
by: Rod

The recipe title should have been an obvious clue, but I experimented with black currants first (3/4 cup per recipe seems ideal). But an equal amount of diced, dried cherries is another flavorful option (instead of currants).

After testing several dozen batches, dried fruit (only) has become my preferred optional ingredient for this intense chocolate recipe. The fruit is placed in the bowl first and is not used as a topping. And the smaller size of the pieces allows the warm chocolate to completely surround the dried fruit.

Mar 25, 2012
Create energy squares with this recipe!
by: Anonymous

Instead of the optional toppings or cacao nibs, mix 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds and 1/3 cup black currants. Spread these evenly over the wax paper before pouring on the warm chocolate mixture.

The sunflower seeds and currants should be at room temperature to allow the chocolate mixture to flow evenly. Additional seeds and currants (or shredded coconut) may be sprinkled on top of the chocolate.

Mar 24, 2012
Try cacao nibs with this recipe!
by: Rod

To add cacao nibs to this recipe (instead of using the optional toppings):

1. Soak 1/3 cup cacao nibs, covered in very hot coffee (or water), for 30 min. Cover the container while the nibs are soaking. Then drain well with a strainer and allow the strainer to set on paper towels while the Tessellas mixture is prepared.

2. Before pouring the Tessellas mixture into the bowl, spread the slightly moistened nibs evenly over the wax paper in the bowl. Then, slowly pour the warm chocolate mixture over the nibs.

3. Refrigerate, then slice as per the recipe.

Nibs soaked in coffee (or hot water), then drained well, may also be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for later use. The nibs remain very chewy, but not so crunchy.

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