So! Here’s the good news, chocolate is good for you! The real stuff that is. Most good quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content (70% and above) doesn’t contain any dairy and is packed with beneficial minerals and iron.
Raw cacao powder has nearly four times the antioxidant value of processed dark chocolate, 20 times more than blueberries, and 119 times more than bananas. It is high in antioxidant flavonoids, and minerals; copper, potassium, phosphorous, iron, zinc, and magnesium. When made at home you can make sure the mixture doesn’t get too hot which means it retains all this wonderful goodness! These are often referred to as ‘raw chocolates’ for that very reason (not overheated).
You can buy cacao powder in most large supermarkets now, and cacao butter can be bought online. The two brands I normally go for are Indigo Nutrition and Sevenhills Wholefoods.
Making your own chocolate guarantees that you know exactly what has gone into it and it’s great fun to do!
- 60 g Raw cacao butter, grated - you can buy this online
- 35g Cacao powder
- 2-3 Tbsp of Agave Syrup or Honey or Maple
Absolutely key to this recipe is to not allow your chocolate to get too warm. Why?
- Over-heating kills the nutritional value
- Your mixture is likely to seize – which is the ‘chef term’ for turning grainy
Place a squeaky-clean bowl over a saucepan of hot water (bain marie). Ensure no water touches the bowl or goes inside the bowl. Pop the saucepan on a medium heat until you start to see bubbles rising but don’t allow it to boil. Grate the cacao butter, add to the bowl & allow to melt slowly. Don’t keep the water boiling, turn the heat off and just give it a quick blast every so often if necessary. Add your chosen sweetener to the melted butter & stir in thoroughly. Allow it to melt in with the cacao butter, make sure it is whisked in well. At this point you could add a drop of mint, or orange essential oil or a drop of rose essence. Once melted, place the cacao powder in a sieve & sift into the butter to avoid lumps. Stir in thoroughly with a balloon whisk or fork, until it starts to slightly thicken. You are going to need to be quick and sure with this. The chocolate should be shiny, runny & easy to pour. Use a spoon or a small jug to transfer to your chocolate moulds. Want to make different kinds of raw chocolate at home? You can add a little rose essence, vanilla essence, cinnamon, crushed nuts, goji berries, salt etc. Go ahead and get creative!