I might be on a strict diet at the moment, but my brother turned up the other day to let us try some of his homemade raw chocolate. N was straight in and loved it, I held off a couple of days. It was worth ignoring the diet a couple of time to taste it. The raw chocolate didn’t taste bitter, it was really smooth and creamy despite the fact it’s got no cream in it. So I asked him to share his tried and tested raw chocolate recipe on here for others to try it.
A friend discovered she had a bunch of food intolerances including dairy and raw sugar, so set about making significant alterations to her diet which were understandably difficult. One of her biggest issues was missing chocolate.
I decided to make some chocolate for her as it was just one of those things that I knew would bring a smile to her face and make all the other things she was missing out on, less harsh. (softy, my brother!)
Quick research told me it was easy but it took me a few goes to get to the correct ratios and method to ensure it works properly each time. I’ve shared some tips and what to avoid so you don’t waste the precious (and costly) ingredients.
Chocolate is basically a substance derived from the cacao bean. By products include cacao mass, cacao butter and cacao powder..
We are interested in the purest and most raw form to make the best chocolate and beautifully, the most healthy. That’s right, without all the processed gunk, chocolate is actually full of nutritional benefits.
You want raw organic cacao butter and raw organic cacao powder. They are the only two ingredients but you can add certain things to sweeten depending on your tastes. You don’t want roasted ingredients or alkalised bean products.
Health stores can be good places to get this but online is your best bet. A kilo of butter can be had for around £13 delivered and powder a little bit less. You can definitely make 2kgs for less than £25.
I tend to make rough slabs of the stuff poured on to baking trays or into ice cube trays. Crushed hazelnuts sprinkled liberally on top of the molten chocolate are good, as can be dessicated coconut. Obviously on its own is fine too.
I’ll talk about sweetening first You can use sugar but it kind of defeats the object of making pure chocolate and making something that is supposed to be healthy or at least healthier. Natural sugars are your best bet rather than processed cane sugar. So things like pure maple syrup, coconut sugar or honey are better bets if you don’t want absolutely pure 100% chocolate. Chocolate purity is measured in % so when you see 70% chocolate in the shop, the 70% refers to the percentage of the product that comes from cacao solids. Shop bought dark chocolate can be quite bitter but making it like this from raw products is not as bitter. It just tastes more pure.
I have settled mostly on using coconut sugar which has a lower GI value than standard sugar. The trouble with adding sugars is that you want it dissolved so the chocolate is not grainy. This is difficult by adding it itself. At the same time, you cannot add any excessive water to the mixture or it will seize. I make a syrup from coconut sugar and then add that in the middle of the recipe which the butter will just about accept without separating.
Raw chocolate recipe
You want twice as much butter as powder, so for this example, I used 150 grams of Cacao butter and 75 grams of Cacao powder. For the sweetener, I use one dessert spoon of coconut sugar for every 50 grams of butter I use.
150g Cacao butter
75g cacao powder
3 dessert spoons of coconut sugar
Ok, so to start I make the coconut sugar syrup. Pan on the hob on medium heat, boil the kettle and add just a small amount of water. LIterally about 4-6 table spoons or so is fine. Chuck your sugar in and stir and gradually reduce the water away until you are left with something approaching a syrup. Not too firm, not too liquidy. You are going to need to whisk/mix it into an oily substance later. Put it to one side (remember it will firm up slightly over time as it is left)
If you do not have crazy sharp knives, you can use a grater but you want to get your cacao butter into much smaller pieces so they will melt easily.
Put the grated/sliced butter in to a bowl and then over a pan with an inch of water in the bottom to form a water bath. Do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. You do not want to cook the butter, you simply want to melt it until it is 100% liquid with no solids left at all. The heat should be low. Do not have the water boiling away. Some basic steam will be enough to slowly melt the butter. Stir it to encourage.
Once fully melted, tip the syrup on top and using a whisk, properly mix energetically. It will not 100% want to mix as it is basically an oil and a water based mixture coming into contact with each other. I keep it on the heat at this point
Once mixed, remove from the heat and IMMEDIATELY throw in the cacao powder (which you will have sieved like flour to remove any lumps. It must be absolutely powder with no lumps whatsoever) and with a spoon mix, ensuring all the powder enters the butter and syrup mixture. It will pleasingly form a velvety liquid that will look like molten chocolate. Continue to mix until 100% combined.
At this point you can do what you want with it in terms of putting it in moulds or on to a tray. I don’t bother tempering it but you could if you want it to be a little more brittle with a better reluctance to melt when handled but in the real world, it isn’t necessary.
It will set if you just leave it on the side as the temperature reduces or you can stick it in the fridge for 15 minutes or so. You can tell when it is ready and at this point, you should set about devouring it.
It is quite moreish without being OTT dark like shop bought dark chocolate. Good luck.
Tips for making raw chocolate
1, Never do anything to allow water to enter the mix. It will seize or separate.
2, Don’t let it get too hot or cold. I know it is not scientific. I don’t use a thermometer but as long as your water bath is not boiling away like a madman, you can keep the mixture on the move. Allowing it to cool will see the chocolate start to firm up too quick before you are able to do anything with it.
3, Ensure your Cacao powder is just that. Sieve it in to a bowl once you have measured the correct weight. Lumps will causes you issues when adding to the molten butter
4, Wash your bowls out under hot water asap, as it will make it easier to get shot of most of the mess prior to properly washing them
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This really is chocolate that needs to be tasted to be believed. If you want to try making it yourself, you can buy organic cacao butter, powder and coconut sugar via Amazon via the images or specialist health food shops.
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