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rawcacao

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

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 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!)

Enjoy!

 

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.  (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.

 

 

Ingredients:

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.

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