When losing is winning

I have been cooking and uncooking up quite a storm lately, giving Mac the Thermomix and Debbie the Dehydrator quite a workout in the process. Pictured below are just a few of the week’s success stories.

Watermelon candy (idea courtesy of Martine @ Here Me Raw):

watermelon candies

Eggplant parmigiana:

eggplant parmigiana

Pumpkin & chickpea soups:

pumpkin soup

And today represented another experiment in chocolate. I made some gingered raw white chocolate — or, rather, I attempted to — from cacao butter, coconut oil, agave syrup, vanilla and fresh ginger.

White chocolate isn’t chocolate in its truest sense; while it is made predominantly from cacao butter, it does not contain any cacao solids.

gingered white chocolate

It looks all right, doesn’t it? I couldn’t tell. Although I love ginger, I am not fan of white chocolate so I enlisted external assistance. This was an experiment that divided my tasters: I didn’t think the chocolate was gingery enough; Taster 1 thought it was just right in flavour but not in texture; Taster 2 considered it was too bitter and gingery; Taster 3 liked the first taste and spat out the second.

In taking this experiment back to the drawing board, I have already spotted a number of immediate flaws:

  • grated ginger is high in fibre which, like the pectin in lemon zest, prevented the chocolate from reaching the hardness that it should;
  • I left out a substitute for milk powder. I naively thought that making white chocolate could be as simple as emulsifying cacao butter and a sweetener, hence I didn’t do my usual comparative research beforehand; and
  • I should have set clearer expectations about what I wanted from my experiment and, therefore, been more discerning about my tasters. Too many disparate tastebuds!

Of course, every cloud has at least one silver lining — and this one has two: (1) the pectin-like reaction with the ginger tells me that I may be able to make a raw ginger curd using the principles from my raw lemon curd; and (2) I can used my failed chocolate to attempt a ginger and white chocolate ‘cheese’cake next weekend.

Hence, while I didn’t get the result I wanted, I feel far from failure.

If you are interested in some non-experimental raw chocolatey goodness and you live in Perth, please come along to my Chocolate Cravings uncooking class at Rochelle Adonis’s studio. It runs from 6:45-9:15pm on 21 June and costs $100pp; contact details via A Foodly Affair [link defunct].

Wishing you an awesome week with much unbridled creativity!

H 🙂



    • Lovely to hear from you again, Annette!

      Here’s the lowdown on caffeine & chocolate: there isn’t any. Chocolate contains theobromine, which has some similar characteristics to caffeine, hence the confusion. White chocolate has no cacao solids and therefore contains no theobromine.

      I love my Excalibur 9-tray dehydrator. Debbie was the tool that convinced me I could stick to 100% raw. A dehydrator makes the transition from cooked to raw simpler by giving you more variation in texture and flavour.

      A good dehydrator is a decent-sized investment and I would plan out ways that you would use it before you rush out and buy – and even then your routines will change over time. Rather than use mine everyday (as I did for months last year), I now tend to use Debbie for the occasional meal or for foodly experiments.

      Hope this helps!

      H 🙂


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