A couple of years ago I ate some homemade chocolate which my friends had made with raw organic Cacao. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, it was that delicious! And I had never even been a chocophile. Driven by the delicious memory I went out and bought the ingredients and then whipped up my first tray! It was not difficult. And since then our fridge has rarely been chocolate-less.
What is fairly mind boggling is that it is not only delicious but insanely good for you. You can indulge on it every weekend and feed it to the kids and the visitors no end.
This raw cacao chocolate is actually fresh, and pure and unlike shop bought chocolate it is not loaded with sugar. Next time you buy a bar of chocolate look at the label – around 30% is sugar! If you make your own chocolate you can drop the sugar content significantly, or skip sugar completely. Whaaat! You say. Will it even be yummy? Surprisingly the answer is yes. Try it. You can also use other things for a sweet accent like vanilla bean extract, orange rind, macca powder, or peppermint oil.
If you are gluten or dairy intolerant no problem! It is GF and DF! What joy! You can also make it exactly how you like it: darker or lighter, plain, or with nuts, coconut flakes or berries.
You may wonder about Cacao and Cocoa. Are they the same thing? No. They are different products yet from the same bean. Cocoa is made with a high temperature process which significantly reduces the nutritional value. Raw cacao is made by cold-pressing the beans and is insanely nutritious. Basically, it is food. I actually remind my family to eat some chocolate!
Raw organic Cacao is packed with antioxidants, iron, calcium, magnesium, chromium, and zinc and contains natural mood boosting chemicals for your brain. To make chocolate you will need two main ingredients: the Cacao powder (dark brown) and the Cacao butter (white and waxy). You can buy the Cacao powder at supermarkets, I buy mine at Aldi. You can buy the Cacao butter at health food shops, or online. I buy my Cacao butter from Loving Earth website and I get it together with friends in a large batch, so it is much cheaper. Check out Loving Earth Australia at https://m.lovingearth.net/cacao-butter.html There is also Loving Earth in the UK.
Here is my tried and tested recipe.
You will need
1 1/2 Cups Cacao butter (raw organic) : from health food shop or online.
1/3 cup Cacao powder (raw organic) : I get it from Aldi but health food shops and most supermarkets have it.
A baking tray : around 40cm by 25cm, with sides 2-3 cm high.
Optional : 1 teaspoon of a sweet accent: vanilla bean extract / maca powder / peppermint or orange oil / sugar. (powdered sugar blends in much better than crystal or syrup form.)
Optional extras for crunch and body : flaxmeal or LSA, coconut flakes, walnuts, cranberries, frozen rasberries, orange zest etc. Choose 2 or 3 of these extras.
8 steps and 20 minutes to heavenly chocolate.
1. Line your baking tray with baking paper. Hint: Baste the pan with a bit of oil first and then the paper adheres for a totally flat surface. You can re-use this paper and tray.
2. Optional: If you want you can sprinkle LSA or flaxmeal on the tray, plus nuts or fruit (like walnuts or cranberries).
3. Place 1 1/2 cups of Cacao butter in a small pot on very low heat and warm and stir – just to the point that it turns liquid. You do not want to actually cook it by simmering or boiling. Once it turns liquid remove from heat.
4. Add in the 1/3 cup Cacao powder and stir. In your next batch you can increase or decrease the powder quantity to get the darkness you like.
5. Optional. Add in 1 teaspoon of a sweet accent e.g. Maca powder / vanilla bean extract / peppermint or orange oil / sugar if you wish. Stir in.
6. Pour your liquid chocolate evenly over the tray. At this moment stop to think of the chocolate river in Charlie and the Chocolate factory.
7. Sprinkle over coconut flakes if desired.
8. Place your tray in the fridge. Wait 15-20 minutes approx. Then break up the chocolate and eat! Put the rest into a container and store in the the fridge. If you put in any fresh produce like frozen berries, banana slices or mint leaves in then you need to keep it in the freezer.
Make a batch each week for a treat and health boost over the weekend!