Raw chocolate is dairy free and full of antioxidants
Raw Chocolate is becoming very popular because it is totally dairy free, and also free from refined sugar. It just contains a syrup like raw honey, or a product called Sweet Freedom. It is organic, mainly sourced from Ecuador and growers are normally members of the Fair Trade Association. As it is not heated above 42 degrees this classes it as ‘Raw’. It’s packed with vitamins C and E, and has a higher percentage of antioxidants than Green Tea! Packed with magnesium amino acids, and copper, it really is food of the gods!
It’s classed as raw
By keeping it at a low heat when the extraction process takes place this ensures all nutrients are retained. Cacao powder and the butter are then reconstituted, to form the chocolate, so the temperature should be as low as possible to ensure these antioxidants are retained.
This is the real deal and this is how chocolate should be. The over produced confectionery we see on our supermarket shelves is packed with rubbish. Filled with vegetable oils, refined sugars, enhancers etc. This is so pure, and strong, so you don’t need much to satisfy you, with one piece containing so many antioxidants it’s a really powerful foodstuff!
The ‘potency’ is due to the purity of the bean.
There is nothing added. Its pure cacao, and can be quite ‘strong’. You wouldn’t want (or need) to eat more than a square or two, and I would advise not to eat any raw chocolate within and hour of going to bed, as it can be a stimulant. I usually have one a night, although an extra one during the day is sometimes required!
Clients are always asking how to make it – so here is a step by step guide.
You will need all your equipment and ingredients ready and weighed before you start. The area must be free from water. All utensils washed and dried thoroughly or the chocolate will split.
This is a basic recipe.
You can play with the quantities, and you can add all sorts of extras like bee pollen and flax seeds…but not too many in each batch or it will turn out grainy. You can add lemon zest, essential oils ( food grade only!) I often add a dried cherry. (Not Glacé or the sugar will ooze out)
You can also soak dried fruits in Green Tea…but dry them off well before popping into the mould. There are many recipes to be found. Play around. Have fun.
That’s the basic mix. You can add a tablespoon of coconut oil in to the melting butter to add more goodness and a different texture. These quantities should make 15 chocolates in a standard mould.
Melt the cacao butter slowly to keep it classed as ‘raw’.
Pour hot water into a Pyrex bowl and place your bowl of Cacao butter over the top to slowly melt. Take your time…. if you melt over boiling water, you loose the nutrients and the essence of it being ‘Raw’. Meanwhile, measure the powder and any extras.Tip the powder into the melted butter. Mix gently with a spatula… add the syrup and any other ‘bits’. Blend while still over the warm water to give you more time.
When I first started, my mixes would harden before I got them near the moulds. This way you get more time to stir and blend.
Remember, work quickly.
keep any water well away from the area, and try not to get carried away with adding too many extras at once. Beetroot powder is a wonderful antioxidant addition too, and makes the chocolate a rich deep purple colour. Try adding a dried morello cherry to each chocolate for a ‘surprise’ when you bite into it, making the chocolates a little more special if you are giving them as gifts.
I have bought my ingredients from a few places but find the service I get from Elements For Life is superb. There are also recipes on their website that may give you inspiration! The most cost effective way of trying your hand at making it, is to purchase a starter kit. Great gift too!
If you find that the making of it is not your ‘thing’…. you can always purchase ready made Raw Chocolate from most health stores and good delis.