The growing trend of whole food, raw, organic and superfood products brings with it the now very fashionable raw chocolate fad. Fad or not, sugar-addict or health-nutter, whichever side you take or whichever way you look at it, there are many wonderful and magnanimous benefits of raw chocolate. One of which is the ease, deliciousness and satisfaction (and not to mention, cost-effectiveness) of making it yourself.
Growing research has began to unpackage raw cacao versus the popular treatment of the bean; which has been the process of roasting, crunching, and then adding various sorts of sugars, fats, oils and chemicals to what is usually deemed your run-of-the-mill chocolate bar. By not heating the bean over 46C, it retains much of its natural vitamins and minerals and thus health benefits. Although some contest its superfood qualities, the cacao bean has an extremely high-rate of anti-oxidants, magnesium, and ask anyone who has had a St. Lucian 100% cacao hot chocolate, can often be far more potent than a cup of coffee.
With all that said, while many companies do a good job persuading one that raw is just as tasty as those not so healthy calorific bundles of happiness (my top raw pick is Loving Earth made in Australia), making your own, I promise, proves to be just as convincing. I liken it to making a stir-fry, as long as you have the right basic ingredients and a good direction, you can't go too wrong, and you can furthermore tailor it to your own taste preferences. Below are some recipes to get you started. Happy guilt-free chocolate making.
Essential ingredients you want to have covered are:
- raw cacao powder or ground cacao nibs
- coconut oil or cacao butter
- sweetener in the form of honey, stevia, maple syrup, malt rice extract, coconut sugar - one or even a combination is fine
- any extras - nuts, dried fruit, fresh berries, coconut, dates, peanut butter, chilli flakes, tahini. Here you can really go wild with whatever takes your fancy
Then it's a matter of melting the oils and butters and mixing it all up, adding more sweetness or bitterness before letting it set in the refrigerator. Below are some recipes to get you started. Happy guilt-free chocolate making and consuming.
Basic Cacao Butter Raw Chocolate
- 200 grams (1 cup) raw cacao butter or raw, extra virgin coconut oil (or a combination of 100 grams of each),
- melted 30 grams (¼ cup) cacao powder
- 2-4 tablespoons of brown rice syrup (you can adjust the sweetness to your taste)
- Simply melt the cacao butter or coconut oil over a very low heat, either in a small pot or Thermomix (temp 50, speed 1) until just melted.
- Add the cacao powder and rice syrup, mix until well combined. Pour into chocolate moulds or mini cup cake baking cups. Place in the freezer immediately to set. Once set, keep in an airtight container in either the fridge or freezer.
Tahini 4 Ingredient Raw Chocolate
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut butter
- 2 tablespoons organic tahini
- 1 big tablespoon cacao powder
- 6 drops of stevia or 1 tablespoon coconut nectar or maple syrup
- Mix melted coconut butter with tahini until you have a smooth and creamy paste. Add cacao and mix again, you should have a smooth and buttery mixture.
- Pour mixture into a plastic or silicon mold and freeze for 10-15 minutes until it is very firm. Remove and enjoy.