I can finally understand the raw chocolate craze. I do love to indulge in chocolate every now and then because it’s such a comfort food in its own right. Unfortunately though, it doesn’t always agree with me. Too much sugar, my body says and my tummy bloats and bloats and bloats. You get the picture.
I have recently come across organic cacao butter at Aldi (yay!) and decided to make my own raw chocolate for the occasional guilt free indulgence. It’s so easy too and kid-friendly; what else could you ask for?
What is raw chocolate?
If you’ve not heard of the term before, raw chocolate is chocolate which is made in a raw or minimally-processed form, making sure the mixture never reaches a temperature higher than 42C.
Avoiding exposure to higher temperatures is said to allow for the preservation of nutrients in cacao such as iron, zinc, magnesium, copper and vitamin C which also contains higher levels of antioxidants than the roasted variety used in most chocolate.
This, to me, sounds like eating raw chocolate is actually good for you because – nutrients + no refined sugar = healthy. Right? Sounds logical. So I am going with that.
Original recipe and tips
Luke Hines has a great recipe for raw chocolate in his book Healthy Made Easy which has only 4 ingredients. I’ve followed the recipe as is, though I have decreased the amount of cocoa butter (because 1 cup didn’t add up to the grams guidance he had set out) and used chocolate molds, rather than making the chocolate in a slab, as recommended. Kids love this!
Chocolate molds are fun!
You don’t really need this but if you would like your chocolates to come out in little shapes like I have shown here, you will need to buy a silicone chocolate / candy mold of some sort, like this. Ebay has heaps and heaps of cheap ones too, if you are willing to wait a few days for delivery.
If you don’t have a silicon mold or don’t want to use one, simply spread the chocolate mixture in a baking tray as described in the recipe below. Once set, you will be able to simply cut it with a knife or break it up with your hands.
Fun ideas for flavourings
One last note before I give you the recipe itself: You can play around with different flavours, if you like. That said, you don’t have to add anything to the basic recipe if you don’t want – it’s perfectly lovely as is!
I made three slightly different versions with the basic recipe below and they are all delightful.
My dinosaurs and bunnies are made with the basic recipe, with no added flavourings (yum!).
With the shells, I added a handful of puffed brown rice and some crushed up freeze dried strawberries for a mild strawberry flavour and a lovely crackle (see their other side in the photo below).
Finally, with the flowers, bugs and butterflies, I added a few drops of an alcohol-free peppermint extract (bought at Aldi too!) to make mint chocolates. Be careful with the amount of the extract you put in though, the chocolates could end up being bitter and the mint flavour overwhelming so perhaps start with a small amount, to be safe.
This recipe is based on a raw chocolate recipe from Luke Hines’ cookbook Healthy Made Easy.
Homemade raw chocolate
- 120 g (1 cup) cacao butter
- 120 g (1 cup) cacao powder
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 vanilla pod, split and scraped (or a big squeeze of vanilla paste)
- Stir all the ingredients together in a saucepan over low heat until runny.
- Use it in its melted state to top or dip desserts, or pour over a baking tray lined with baking paper and set in the freezer for about 30 minutes for a basic chocolate slab. You can also pour the warm mixture into chocolate molds – see below.
- If you’re making different flavours: Separate the runny chocolate mixture into different bowls (one for each flavour) and stir in your mixings. I like a few drops of peppermint essence, granulated nuts, puffed rice or freeze dried strawberries (each in different bowls).
- If you are using chocolate molds: Carefully spoon in the runny chocolate mixture into clean molds and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes, or longer if you can.
- Once set, carefully push out of the molds. If you made a slab, cut or break it into bite sized pieces.
- Store your chocolate in a suitable airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Interested in other ideas for healthy snacks?
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