I am a little bit in love with myself right now [yes, again. I know!]. I made raw chocolate from scratch and, while I still have much to learn, it is very, very good.
Here’s how I did it, and my method is very simple to replicate. With no sugar, gluten or dairy (or other animal products) in this recipe, my chocolate is suitable for vegans and coeliacs 🙂
Recipe #92: Raw chocolate. All of my ingredients were raw and organic. Note that the methods for batches 1 & 2 are detailed for illustration purposes only and should be avoided if one is serious about making smooth and very delicious chocolate.
► Buy a packet of teeny tiny chocolate cups and set them up on a large platter or two. You’ll need around 55 cups for this recipe.
► Clear a space in the fridge that is big enough for the platter(s). Make sure that the door compartments (or anything else) does not butt into this space when you close the fridge door.
► (optional) Place a thin layer of chewy/crunchy bits in the bottom of each cup to add texture to your chocolates. I used goji berries, crushed macadamia nuts and bee pollen.
► 170g cacao butter
► 10g coconut butter
► seeds of 1 vanilla pod [split the pod, then scrape the seeds from the middle with a sharp knife]
► 95g agave syrup [or you could use honey]
► good pinch salt
► 1 heaped tbsp maca powder
► 120g cacao powder [or, if you prefer a more “milk chocolate” flavour, use around half of this amount]
These ingredients are pricy — I spent $34.95 on 500g cacao butter and $19.95 on cacao powder alone — so I recommend shopping online. I am just about to start using Raw Power and Loving Earth for my supplies.
Prepare the cacao butter by chopping it into little pieces. This will help it to melt faster.
► Batch #1 — Melt the fats in the Thermomix, followed by everything else.
When I sourced the ingredients for my raw chocolate, at first blush I was struck by how expensive it is. This is especially true if you seize your chocolate, as I did for Batch #1. My Thermomix theory was sound, I think, but it took me forever (20 minutes) to melt the cacao butter, coconut oil, salt and vanilla at 37°C. I sifted in the maca and cacao powders, added some agave syrup, mixed it all up, and all went swimmingly [see the “before” photo, below] — until I decided that my chocolate needed a touch more sweetness.
Adding that smidgeon more agave syrup (or it could have been a drop of moisture from the Thermomix lid) was the seizing point and the point at which I became very miffed at myself for about half an hour. I tried to revive my grainy mess with more coconut oil; alas, it was a lost cause.
With two ziplock bags full of tasty but seemingly useless brown sludge, I continued on to Batch #2.
► Batch #2 — Everything in the Thermomix together, a method inspired by this post in the Quirky Cooking blog.
This didn’t work so well on account of the fact that cacao butter is very hard, not easy to cut through like coconut butter/oil. My Thermomix [incidentally, his name is Mac] got a little caught up in the slow meltage of ingredients and had to stop for a break every few seconds. After about 5 minutes of stop-starting, I poured everything into a double-boiler and whisked vigorously as I melted the mixture down the good old fashioned way.
The end result wasn’t bad. The chocolate was airy and not as smooth as I would have liked, but I really liked the flavour, particularly with the goji berries.
Knowing that I could and would do better, I looked to Batch #3 for results.
► Batch #3 — Slow addition ingredients over a double-boiler. Proven method. Awesome result.
I melted the fats with the agave syrup, salt and vanilla over a double-boiler. When this was well and truly melted, I sifted in the cacao and maca powders a little at a time, whisking vigorously and constantly scraping the remnants from around the edge of the bowl. The end result was smooth and delicious.
Setting the chocolate:
I used a dessert spoon to fill the tiny chocolate cups, then I placed the tray of chocolate into the fridge for around 30 minutes to set. I am storing the chocolate in layers separated by baking paper.
Next time, I will make my chocolate with cacao butter alone. I just know Batch #4 will be brilliant; check in with me again soon for a refined recipe!
…and what of my seized chocolate (Batch #1)? That’s definitely not going to waste. You’ll have to read my next chocolate post to find out how that chapter ends!
For my earlier adventures in chocolate, look to:
- It’s all about the chocolate, Part 1
- It’s all about the chocolate, Part 2
- 10 things you can do with ganache
- The third way I like to eat Nutella
I had so much fun running my latest chocolate experiments. Thanks for reading — and I hope you are sufficiently inspired to make your very own chocolate!