Raw Chocolate

Raw Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

Here is my now not so secret recipe for one of my top selling raw nut butters! It makes a great Christmas gift packaged in small mason jars. Although not as smooth as the one I make and sell (because it is stoneground) this butter is equally delicious and is ground in a food processor. Once processed if you have a vitamix you can puree the butter again to make it even smoother. I always sprout and dehydrate my hazelnuts to enhance their nutrient content and digestability however; you can also make this recipe with raw or lightly toasted hazelnuts. Toasting the hazelnuts really enhances the flavour as well. Raw cacao paste is available at natural food stores. It is essentially cacao nibs ground into a paste.





makes 3, 1 cup mason jars  or 6 1/2 cup jars.

  • 6 cups of sprouted and dehydrated hazelnuts (or raw or toasted, see note below)
  • 1/2 cup of coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of melted cacao paste
  • pinch of salt

To sprout the hazelnuts soak them in water for 12 hours. Strain, rinse and then dehydrate at 117 F. for 24-36 hours until thoroughly dried.

To toast the nuts preheat your oven to 350 F. Spread hazelnuts onto a large cookie sheet. Roast for about 10 min. or until they begin to brown slightly and are fragrant. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool before rubbing the nuts gently between your palms to remove the skins.

In a food processor grind the nuts for about 2 minutes. They will break down and begin to release some of their inherent oils.





Set up a double boiler on your stove, a larger pot with a few inches of water in it and then a stainless steel bowl on top.

Chop up the cacao paste and place it in the stainless steel bowl over the boiling water. Stir until melted.






With the food processor motor running, add the melted cacao paste, coconut sugar, vanilla and salt.



Continue to process until smooth. This can take up to 10 minutes. The mixture and your food processor can tend to heat up as you mix so feel free to give it a break. If you are using raw nuts it is best to keep the mixture from overheating to keep the enzymes in tact. Process for 3 minutes, give it a 15 min. break or so and repeat until your desired consistency is achieved. Allow it to cool before blending again in a vitamix blender if desired. Pour into mason jars, allowing the mixture to cool before sealing. The butter will remain fairly liquid at room temperature but will thicken up substantially in the fridge. It is delicious at room temperature drizzled on ice cream or desserts and chilled spread on toast or fruit slices.



Cold Brew Cacao with Hazelnut milk

Cold brew cacao is rich and smooth with subtle notes of true cinnamon, cardamom and chocolate. Whizzed in the blender with a splash of raw hazelnut milk and a drop of hazelnut flavoured stevia is my favourite way to enjoy this refreshing brew. I am not a coffee drinker, not because I don’t like it, it just doesn’t agree with me. Making a cold brew with cacao instead of coffee is the perfect way to reap the benefits of raw cacao on a hot summer day.  Theobromine, the stimulant in cacao results in a steady crash-free buzz unlike caffeine and is loaded with antioxidants and minerals.

Raw cacao nibs are readily available at your local health food store and if you want to make your own hazelnut milk, follow the instructions for hazelnut milk in the “Nut Nog” recipe.

Special equipment: food processor and blender





  • 11/2 cups of raw cacao nibs
  • 9 cups of water
  • 1 tbsp. of true cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. crushed cardamom pods
  • a 1 gallon jug
  • a nut milk bag
  • 1 recipe of raw hazelnut milk or milk of your choice
  • hazelnut flavoured stevia


In a food processor, grind the cacao nibs to a coarse powder. Grinding it too fine will allow the beans to escape through the nut milk bag so keep it fairy coarse.




Line a 1 gallon jar or large pitcher with a nut milk bag, securing the bag around the top of the jar or jug. Scoop the ground cacao nibs, the cinnamon and crushed cardamom pods into the nut milk bag and then pour 9 cups of water over the ground cacao into the jar.







Cover the jar with a tea towel and let the cacao steep in the water overnight or up to 16 hours.

Remove the cacao filled nut milk bag from the jar, squeezing gently to remove the excess liquid. Strain the remaining cacao tea into a pitcher using a fine mesh strainer or a chinois as pictured below.




Store the mixture in the fridge.

To Serve:

Combine 1 cup of the cold brew cacao in a high speed blender with 1/4 cup of fresh hazelnut milk, a few ice cubes and a few drops of hazelnut flavoured liquid stevia or to taste. (Remember that stevia is extremely sweet so add a little at a time!)



Raw Raspberry Cacao Hazelnut Granola

Fresh hazelnut milk is the perfect compliment to this delicious granola! It is also amazing crumbled on top of your favourite smoothie. If you don’t have a dehydrator you can bake it on a parchment lined cookie sheet on the lowest setting until dried through. This will take about 3 hours as opposed to 12 hours in a dehydrator set at 117 degrees F. I love using crisp freeze dried raspberries in this recipe. I buy them at The Banff Tea Company. They can also be ordered online from amazon and If you don’t have access to freeze dried fruit you can use dried as an alternative. The texture will be chewy instead of crisp but equally tasty!

As an alternative substitute a chopped apple for the banana, omit the cacao powder, and add 1/2 cup of chopped raisins in place of the cacao nibs for Apple Cinnamon Raisin Granola! This tastes pretty much like Dad’s oatmeal cookies!!!





  • 1 cup raw hazelnuts soaked in plenty of water overnight
  • 2 cups of raw organic gluten free oats
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup of raw cacao powder
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 1 Tbsp. ceylon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. avocado oil
  • 3 Tbsp. of ground flax or  ground chia seeds soaked in 1/2 cup of water for 10 min.
  • 1/2 cup of crumbled freeze dried raspberries
  • 1/2 cup of cacao nibs

Drain and rinse the soaked hazelnuts. Pulse in a food processor for about 10 seconds to chop roughly. Add the oats and pulse again until they are very roughly chopped as well. Place the oat/hazelnut mixture into a medium sized bowl.



No need to rinse the food processor, combine coconut sugar, cacao, banana, cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup, oil, and flax or chia seed mixture in the container until very smooth.



Add to the oat/hazelnut mixture stirring well to combine. Stir in the cacao nibs and freeze dried raspberries.




Spread onto a teflex sheet and dehydrate for about 12 hours. After 8 hours or so you can remove the mixture from the teflex sheet to sit on the mesh screen to speed up the process. Allow to cool. Store sealed at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Raw Salted Turtles

Just in time for Valentines Day! Who wouldn’t love dark chocolate with gooey salted caramel, lightly toasted pecans, and a sprinkle of Icelandic Sea Salt!



  • 60 grams of prepared raw chocolate (see Raw Chocolate post), chopped and melted over a double boiler
  • 1/2 cup of raw pecans, lightly toasted
  • 12 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/3 cup raw almond butter
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 16 drops of Caramel Medicine Flower Extract (Available at specialty markets. Not really necessary but bumps up the caramel flavour)
  • finishing sea salt





Either prepare chocolate from scratch, keeping melted over a double boiler, or melt one batch  of raw chocolate in a double boiler. Be careful not to overheat the chocolate. Keep the water hot beneath but not boiling while you prepare the caramel.





The Caramel:

Remove pits from the dates. Process in a food processor until they form a large sticky ball.


Add the almond butter, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, and caramel extract if using to the processed dates. Continue to process until it forms a large smooth ball. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times.



Roll the caramel into 1 cm. balls and set aside. There should be enough chocolate to make 48 turtles and more than enough caramel so feel free to pop a few caramel balls in your mouth!



With a 1/2 tsp. measuring spoon, spoon 1/2 tsp. of melted chocolate into 48 little foil cups.(1 inch in diameter) Place on a cookie sheet and set in the fridge or freezer to set.



Remove from the freezer. Gently press a ball of the prepared caramel on top of each chocolate disc and then press a toasted pecan into the caramel. If you are using big pecans you might want to break them in half.



Drizzle 1/2 tsp. of the remaining melted chocolate over the caramel and pecans. Sprinkle with a few grains of coarse sea salt and then return to the fridge or freezer to set. Store in the fridge until you are ready to eat or give as gifts!





Raw Chocolate

Once you have mastered this basic raw chocolate recipe, you can make “Raw Turtles” which will be my next blog post!

The beans used to make the cacao butter and powder for raw chocolate have not been roasted. The antioxidants, vitamins and minerals have not been destroyed by the roasting process, therefore it is much more nutritious. The beans are however, fermented and may exceed the temperatures dictated to classify it as “raw” but it is a natural process that still renders the beans far superior nutritionally than chocolate made from roasted beans.

This is the first “raw chocolate” recipe that I ever made. It is as simple as combining melted cacao butter and cacao powder with a little bit of added liquid sweetener before pouring it into molds to set. I now make my chocolate from Cacao nibs that are ground with a little sweetener to a liquid in a stone grinder for 36 hours! Because this basic recipe is not tempered, it is best refrigerated once made but is stable at room temperatures up to 23 or so degrees C.

For our purposes, I am not adding any flavours or textures to this chocolate, however; you can add a few drops of food grade essential oils to the mix if desired. My favourites are peppermint, orange, and cardamom. Ground spices are also a great addition along with dried fruit and nuts for texture.

You can buy plastic molds from a company in Vancouver called Charlies Chocolate Factory.  ( They have hundreds of different molds to choose from. Just make sure that you are buying the cheaper plastic molds vs. the hard polycarbonate molds. The plastic molds are better suited for making un-tempered chocolate. If you don’t want to order molds, you can pour the chocolate onto a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet to set and make a bark instead.




makes 3 bars

  • 1/2 cup of melted raw cacao butter (With a knife, shave about 3/4 of a cup of the butter. It will melt down into 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/8 cup of liquid sweetener (maple syrup, honey, or agave)
  • pinch of vanilla powder

Chop the cacao butter with a knife, filling a measuring cup to the 3/4 cup line.



Set up a double boiler on the stove using a small pot with 4 in. of water in it and a larger stainless steel bowl to sit on top. Bring the water to a boil, remove from the heat. Place the stainless steel bowl on top of the pot with hot water. Add the shaved cacao butter to the bowl and whisk until completely melted. (Alternatively you can fill a larger bowl with boiled water and set a smaller bowl on top)

Be really careful not to allow water to splash into the mixture as the chocolate will seize and congeal up into a sticky mess!





Once the cacao butter has melted, whisk in the cacao powder until very smooth. Ensure that all of the powder is incorporated into the cacao butter. Add the sweetener and continue to whisk until well combined. Make sure that there is no sticky sweetener resting at the bottom as it will not set properly. Whisk in the vanilla if using. If the mixture is beginning to thicken too quickly, you might need to heat up the water beneath to liquify it.


Before pouring  the melted chocolate into molds or onto a parchment lined baking sheet, wipe the outside of the bowl with a tea towel to prevent water from dripping into the mix.



Place in the refrigerator to set. This will take up to 1/2 hour. You can place it in the freezer to speed up the process. Remove the chocolate from the fridge and pop out of the molds.


Store in the refrigerator to either enjoy as it is or to make “Raw Turtles”! Stay tuned for the recipe!

If you want to keep them as bars you can order coloured foils to wrap them in from Charlies Chocolate Factory as well. Visit your local paper store to creative with pretty wrapping materials if you are giving them as gifts.

Raw Drinking Chocolate

This basic raw chocolate ganache blends up in minutes and lends itself to a variety of flavourings. I have experimented with dried ancho chilies, and essential oils of peppermint, orange, lavender, and rose, a perfect Valentines gift packaged in 250ml mason jars!

It can be blended with warm or hot water ( depending on how fussy you are about it remaining completely raw) and a little coconut oil  to create a rich and creamy dairy-free treat. I like to serve it in smaller espresso-like cups by the 1/2 cup because it is so rich!

Raw Cacao contains more vitamins and minerals than its roasted counterpart and rumour has it that Aztec Emperor Montezuma would consume 50 cups of cacao before visiting his harem!




  • 3/4 cup clear raw agave syrup
  • 3/4 cup raw organic cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup chopped raw organic cacao butter, melted over low heat
  • 1/8 tsp. himalayan pink salt
  •  tsp. raw wildcrafted vanilla powder ( or 2 tsp. of pure vanilla extract)




Flavour options:

  • 1 small dried ancho chilli, stemmed, seeded and ground to a powder in the blender, and 1 tsp. of ground cinnamon
  • 5 drops of either, orange, peppermint, lavender, or rose essential oil. (make sure that your oils are high quality, food-grade)

Blend the agave, cacao powder, melted cacao butter, salt and vanilla in a high seed blender until smooth. Add your choice of flavours and blend again to incorporate. Spoon into a 1 cup mason jar or two 1/2 cup jars to give as gifts!

You can store it in the refrigerator for an extended period of time however; it is stable at room temperature for up to 1 month.

To make the hot chocolate:

Combine 11/2 tbsp. of your raw drinking chocolate ganache with 1/2 cup of warm or hot water and 1 tsp. of raw coconut oil in a high speed blender. Blend until smooth and frothy. Serve in a small coffee or espresso cup.


Raw Salted Caramel Cacao Tarts



I made these tarts in mini 3 in. tart pans however you can make them in an 8X8 in. square pan and cut them into bars as well. As bars they were one of the most popular treats at my local farmers market booth this past summer! The leftover caramel is delicious spread on tart granny smith apple slices!  I have enhanced the flavour of the caramel with Caramel Medicine Flower extract. Medicine Flower has created an amazing line of  organic natural extracts that can be ordered on line at medicine or purchased at specialty grocery stores. Lucuma also adds nutrition and  a creamy caramel like flavour. Lucuma is an exotic Peruvian fruit that is a beneficial source of carbohydrates, fiber, beta-carotine, vitamin B3, niacin and iron! It is readily found at your local health food store.


The crust:

if using mini tart pans, line each with a single layer of saran wrap. If making as bars, line your baking pan with parchment.

  • 3/4 cup raw unpasteurized almonds (sprouted and dehydrated if possible) *
  • 1/3 cup raw shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 5 pitted medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil softened

*To sprout raw almonds soak in water overnight before dehydrating at 117 degrees F. for 24 -36 hours. Sprouting the nuts not only enhances their nutritional value but also gives the almonds a nicer crunch in the crust.

Process almonds in a food processor until crumbly. With the motor running, add coconut, dates, and coconut oil until the dates are well incorporated into the mixture.


Press the mixture into the saran wrap lined tart pans or parchment lined square pan until evenly distributed. Use the back of a spoon to press the mixture firmly into the pans. Place in the freezer to set while you prepare the caramel.


  • 12 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/3 cup almond butter (raw or toasted. I use a home made combo of almond and coconut butter)
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla powder or liquid extract
  • 1/4 tsp. himalayan pink salt
  • 1 tsp. lucuma
  • 1/2 dropper full of Caramel Medicine Flower extract
  • 1/2 cup pecans, raw or toasted (to arrange onto the caramel)

In your food processor process the dates until broken down and mushy. With the motor running, add the almond butter, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, lucuma, and caramel medicine flower extract if using. Continue to process until well combined. You may need to scrape down the sides of the container a few times to incorporate all of the ingredients into the mix. It should begin to form a large sticky ball!


With a spoon or an off set spatula, spread the caramel onto the refrigerated crusts to a depth of 1/4 inch. You should have some left over which can be refrigerated for later use. This mixture is very sticky and can be hard to spread. Often damp fingers work better than a spoon. Arrange pecans onto the caramel.



The Ganache:

  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • extra cacao powder to dust

Combine all ingredients apart from the extra cacao powder in a stainless steel bowl. Set over a saucepan with a few inches of water in it over medium heat to create a double boiler. Whisk as the mixture warms and the coconut oil melts to create a smooth, shiny, chocolate ganache. Pour equally over the caramel and pecans. Return to the refrigerator to set for at least 1/2 hour.

To garnish, place a tbsp. of cacao into a fine sieve and then tap gently over the tarts to dust. Decorate with extra pecans if desired, sprinkle with coarsely ground sea salt.


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