Rachel Lambert: forager, author, guide

Valentine Foraging and Rosehip Chocolates

Foraged fruits in chocolate, shared on a wild food foraging course

Here I share a deliciously wild and decadent chocolate recipe using foraged rosehips. Tart bites of red flesh in a rich, dark chocolate. I use fresh Rosa rugosa fruits for this recipe, but you could use rehydrated rosehip fruit leather.

I first made this recipe for a Valentine's Day foraging course I led at Men-a-Tol. Valentines day is not everyone's cup of tea, so if you prefer walking boots to roses do read on!

Leading a foraging walk near Men-a-Tol

Men-a-Tol is an ancient site in West Penwith, about four miles from Penzance. It consists of a holed stone between two upright stones. The holed stone is large enough to crawl through. It isn’t known what the site was originally used for, though speculation includes passing small children through the hole to remedy ills, and use as a fertility site.

Prehistoric Men-a-Tol site visited on a foraging walk in Cornwall

What to expect on a foraging walk

I chose this venue to integrate the fertility aspect of this ancient site. Adding an additional aspect to Valentine's day for those wanting to conceive.

The walk involves an atmospheric wander down an old track lined with tall hedgerows. There's a 360° view of the moors. Running this course in February means dressing warmly as the site is quite exposed.

Learning about gorse flowers on a foraging course

The first time I led this foraging course, when we reached the stone site, I remember one couple decided to crawl through the stone together - as is the custom if you're wanting to conceive.

I thought little more of it until several months later I received an email from them announcing the imminent birth of their first child! Apparently two weeks after our Valentine's foray she was pregnant.

A pregnant woman in a summer field
Pregnancy inspired by the fresh outdoors!

Two years later I was leading another group to Men-a-Tol for that year’s Valentine’s celebration. We were just about to start the walk when the same couple introduced themselves carrying a 13 month old bouncing boy of their back.

‘We’re going for a second’ they announced as they strode off towards Men-a-Tol!

Foraged fruits in chocolate, shared on a wild food foraging course

Rosehip Chocolate recipe

This recipe was inspired by the Valentine, hearts, and the chocolate theme. I wanted to give chocolate a wild twist, and came up with this. I gave them to the foraging walk participants when we reached Men-a-Tol and they went down a treat! Rosehips are naturally both sweet and tart, and red, of course.

How to make wild rosehip chocolates

  • 200 g Dark chocolate (I use Green and Blacks cooking chocolate)
  • 100 g Rosa rugosa flesh (flesh not fruits)

Carefully and patiently remove the flesh from around the outside of the fruit, careful not to dislodge the tight ball of hairy seeds (see also 'how to make rosehip fruit leather'). You want to avoid these seeds as they can irritate the digestive tract.

Chop the pulp a little, to ensure that you don’t have too bigger pieces of flesh or fruit skin. To melt the chocolate, place it in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure the bowl doesn't touch the water.

Once the chocolate has almost melted, stir in the rosehip flesh. Pour into chocolate moulds or line a dish with greaseproof paper and spoon in the mixture. Leave to cool at cut into chunks, or peel out of the moulds. Eat within a few days. .

Foraged fruits in chocolate, shared on a wild food foraging course

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