These days everyone has heard about the wonderful superfood properties of raw cacao, and that it can be a healthy indulgence from time to time. The cost of buying raw chocolate bars can really add up though, if, like me, you are sure to indulge VERY healthily in raw chocolate. Happy news! A few years ago I started making my own at home, and not only is it much cheaper, it’s also ridiculously easy to do, and you can make it according to your own taste and creativity. Even happier news, I’m about to share my recipe with you, yay..
Basic chocolate recipe:
Raw cacao butter
Raw cacao powder
Agave syrup or coconut nectar to sweeten
A small pinch of salt
Take as much raw cacao butter as you will need to make the amount of chocolate you want (you might want to use a small amount, say half a cup, at first, as a trial until you get the ratio correct of how you like your chocolate to taste).
Place small pieces in a bowl, with the pinch of salt, and either liquefy it in a dehydrator (especially if you want it to keep its “raw” factor), or melt it over a saucepan/bain-marie, on a very low heat. Once it starts to melt, turn off the heat and stir, keeping it on the stove, until melted and smooth, then take it off the stove. You do not want the cacao butter to boil or get too hot, as this will destroy its healthy benefits, and change the taste.
Once melted, stir in the cacao powder, one tablespoon at a time. Use a fork or small whisk to help prevent lumps. Taste it as you go, and adjust to how much cacao powder you want, it will taste quite bitter.
Start adding the sweetener once you have enough chocolate-y goodness happening, keep taste testing as you go, (what a chore) until you find a balance between the sweetness and chocolate that you like.
Pour it into moulds, carefully place in the fridge or freezer, and 30mins later, you will be eating some divine chocolate!
Raw cacao is full of anti-oxidants, iron and magnesium. It’s great for muscle cramps, headaches, and fatigue. Yes ladies, this is medicine for that time of the month!
Variations: Try any of these by themselves, or together, in your chocolate;
Add vanilla seeds and pod to the cacao butter as its melting, and whisk it in. Remove the pod before adding the chocolate. Yum!
If you like some spice, add cinnamon or ginger powder to the chocolate and whisk in.
Essential oils mix well with chocolate, a few drops of lavender, orange or peppermint oil, will flavour the chocolate accordingly, and offer some of the oils health benefits.
Place goji berries, hemp seeds, roasted almonds, anything you can think of, to the moulds before you add the chocolate to set.
For an extra superfood kick, you can try adding 2 or more tablespoons of superfood powders to your chocolate batter. Spirulina or chlorella powders are high in protein, iron, essential fatty acids, and many other minerals. They are also very detoxifying. Maca powder is also a high protein food, its loaded with B vitamins, increases energy and balances hormones. Experiment with your favourites!
White chocolate recipe:
Cashew paste or creamed coconut
Agave syrup or other sweetener
Place a 50:50 ratio of cacao butter and either the cashew paste or creamed coconut in a bowl, and liquefy as mentioned above, whisking as it melts. Add sweetener to taste, but keep in mind, this will not be anything like the sickly sweet white chocolate available commercially, it will be creamy and taste like a sweet nut butter.
It’s perfect for layering with the dark chocolate above or on its own, with any of the variations mentioned above. To layer, half fill a mould with the desired ‘first’ colour. Place this in the freezer until solid, then pour over the next layer. Place back into the freezer until this layer too is solid, and then pop out of the moulds. You can decorate the tops of the chocolates with any left over liquid chocolate batter.
I like to colour mine with Spirulina or chlorella powder, to make it turn green, then add a few drops of peppermint oil, layer with the cacao for a healthier version of a mint slice. Instead, add beetroot or goji berry powder to make it go pink, and add rose-water, rose flavoured chocolate! Make sure to whisk well with a fork or mini whisk to stop any lumps from the powders.
Pour into moulds, and set in the fridge.
There you have it! I hope these recipes inspire you to make your own fantastic chocolate, and I would love to hear any feedback if you do, if you enjoyed it, and what other creations you manifested with chocolate.
Sami Lou xo