It’s incredibly rewarding to see a few extraordinary ingredients, melt in the pot together, to create a divine, alchemical blend of sensual deliciousness. There’s nothing quite like a bit of Homemade Artisan Chocolate.
Chocolate has been given a bad rap over the years, mainly owing to the refined sugar, dairy, additives and ethics of it. I still hear people saying ‘oh chocolate, I’m trying to give it up, it’s not good for you’. Well, actually, the truth is… it can be really good for you, once we abandon that old school, conventional, packaged wrapped, un-healthy stuff. The good thing about making your own chocolate at home, is that it can not only be super healthy and ethical but it’s also insanely delicious.
Raw cacao is actually really good for you
Cacao is loaded with phenylethylamine (big word, also called PEA for short), which is known for elevating our mood, to support energy and give us that feel good factor we all enjoy so much. It’s also excitingly rich in flavanoids and antioxidants which are linked to healthy heart benefits (e.g. lowering blood pressure and improving good cholesterol). Cacao is one of the best food sources of magnesium (needed for brain health, nervous system health and strong bones & teeth) and is good for iron. On a personal level, I feel so nourished after eating it.
Raw Cacao versus Regular Cocoa – what is the difference?
It might sound confusing (baffled me at first), but it’s easy once you know the difference. Cocoa powder (spelt slightly differently to cacao) is the the name given to the ground cacao beans that have been roasted/heat-treated before turning to powder. Cacao is the name given to the raw stuff (which hasn’t been heat treated).
- cacao = raw (the purest form, with more nutrients intact)
- cocoa = heat treated (less nutrients and sometimes (not always) chemically treated)
Raw cacao is said to preserve more of the ingredients than the regular heat-treated variety.
That said, you could still use an organic, fairly-traded cocoa powder instead of the raw stuff – just make sure it is pure and the only ingredient in your tub is cocoa. In some places you might buy something called cocoa powder and find it has all sorts of other ingredients like milk powder and sugar in it – so watch out.
Just be careful that whatever you buy only has one ingredient in it – cocoa or cacao.
And ALWAYS buy organic & fairly traded varieties.
What is Lucuma?
Lucuma is a magical ingredient. It is a fruit, typically found in South America and has a maple/caramel sort of flavour. It works like a dream in chocolate, balancing out any bitterness whilst bringing its delectable sweetness out to play. In this recipe I am adding it in its powdered form to bring in a little je ne sais quoi. Nutritionally speaking, this low GI natural sweetener is a powerhouse of antioxidants and vitamins & minerals. If you don’t have it, just leave it out (no substitution required) and you’ll get a lovely tasting regular raw chocolate instead.
Where to get your chocolate making ingredients from?
I am often getting asked about ingredients. Available in any good health food store.
Often easier (and less expensive to buy online). Here are some products that I use in the UK & USA…
USA Chocolate Making Ingredients:
UK Chocolate Making Ingredients:
Quick Chocolate Making Video
Here’s a super quick video tutorial for making homemade chocolate.
This is using the basic recipe…
Making Chocolate Look Posh (if you want)
You can make this chocolate as fancy, dancy or as gorgeously simple as you wish. I added about three crushed bazil nuts and a few goji berries for fun. You can of course use any nuts (unsalted) or dried fruit. It’s a playful thing to do and also gives it a bit of a ‘delight factor’ on the eyes.
- 50g raw cacao butter
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 4 tablespoons raw cacao powder
- 2 tablespoons lucuma powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 brazil nuts (optional)
- 1 tablespoon dried goji berries (optional)
- ‘Shave’ the solid cocoa butter with a sharp knife or grater. Shaving is just really thin slicing that makes the cocoa butter crumble. The finer you can get it, the easier it will be to melt. You can leave it in big chunks if you like, but be prepared to wait a while for it to melt.
- Melt the cocoa butter. You can do this by leaving it in a warm place in a heat proof glass bowl by a fire or directly above a hot radiator. It melts at 34˚C. The idea is to melt it, rather than cook it, maintaining its ‘un-cookedness’. If you don’t have a gentle heat source then use a hob or stove. Put the cocoa butter in a small, oven proof, glass bowl and then put that bowl in a pan containing an inch or so of really hot water. Keep the hob/stove burning on a low heat. The heat will then transfer through the bowl, enough to melt the cocoa butter. Give it frequent stirs to assist the melting process. Don’t keep it on the heat any longer than it takes to melt it. See video for demonstration of melting method.
- The best time to use it is when it has just melted. If it is too hot, then it takes longer to cool down and the coconut sugar will sink to the bottom of the chocolate when added.
- Add the coconut sugar and vanilla extract to the melting cocoa butter during step two. The melting cocoa butter and vanilla will help to soften and dissolve the sugar. (Note: if you vanilla extract isn't water based then add ¼ teaspoon of water - which will help to dissolve the coconut sugar).
- When the cocoa butter has finally melted, mix in the cocoa powder and any other remaining ingredients. You can also just toss everything in at the beginning stage (still works, just a matter pf preference).
- Spoon into a container lined with parchment paper and make a bar. A loaf tin is the perfect size for this.
- If you are using brazil nuts and goji berries to garnish, then pop them on as soon as you've poured the chocolate into the parchment paper. Crush or chop the brazil nuts and sprinkle, along with the gojis, on top of the chocolate. They'll slightly sink in to the blend, holding them in perfectly when it sets hard.
- Chill in the freezer for 20 minutes or in the fridge for 45 minutes and then pop out of the container, slice with a sharp heavy knife and enjoy or give to your friends as gifts.
- This keeps for ages in the freezer if you want to save it.
Pin Raw Chocolate on your pinterest board for later…
Thank you for tuning in. If you enjoyed this recipe, you’ll love my book Angelicious. It’s jam packed with over 100 super healthy, delicious recipes to inspire your soul! Available as an ebook or in print…