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. (charlieschocolatefactory.com) 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.