There’s nothing like a bit of chocolate to elevate the mood! To be completely honest, I’ve actually been down a lot lately – grieving the loss of the ‘love of my life’. I’d lose my appetite for days and weeks at a time, hardly eating anything at all. And then there was chocolate!
During the times that I hardly ate, I often made the effort to lovingly create some food. Even if I didn’t eat it… I’d still make it. It seemed to keep my energy flowing. Reminded me of beautiful things.
One of my favourite things to do is to make chocolate. There’s something about the act of chocolate making that soothes my soul. Chocolate making can be very healing (and that’s before we even eat it).
Why do I find chocolate making so healing? First of all, it’s important to me that chocolate making is done from a place of love. So even if I am down, I close my eyes until I find that place of love inside myself. THEN I make it.
Ahhhhhhhhhhh…. this is healing in itself – no matter what is going on on the outside – we’re always able to access a place of love on the inside.
And the chocolate always tastes divine when we make it from the heart!
As well as the loving act of making chocolate by hand, we’ve got science saying that chocolate has been proven to elevate the mood. YES!!! ” Happy dance – Bring on the chocolate – Bring on the chocolate”.
How many of us can’t resist reaching for the chocolate when under emotional stress! And you know what? There is absolutely nothing to feel guilty about. There are an abundance of health benefits in good quality chocolate – especially those with a high percentage of cacao, made with the sort of healthy ingredients in my recipe below.
Healthy dark chocolate encourages the production of endorphins, the ‘feel-good’ chemicals that make us happier. In addition to that, healthy chocolate contains serotonin, which also is excellent for elevating the mood. Flavanols (which are amazing anti-oxidant nutrients) are also thought to be linked to chocolate’s mood enhancing effects.
These chocolate making items are available at any good health food store or by mail order in most countries. Here are some helpful links to get you started:
USA Chocolate Making Ingredients:
UK Chocolate Making Ingredients:
Here are some chocolate making videos that I’ve made in previous times… for PLAIN chocolate. I’ve included them here to give you a helpful visual guide on how to make the chocolate (although there are a few extra ingredients for the recipe on this page – see recipe below for full ingredients)…
NEW: Super quick chocolate guide (under 90 seconds)
Extended chocolate making guide (13 minutes)
Handy printable instructions…
- 50g cacao butter (5 tablespoons chopped cacao butter)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 3 tablespoons cacao powder
- 1 tablespoon lucuma powder (optional, but recommended!!!)
- Tiny pinch of sea salt
- Handful almonds (about 20 almonds)
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- ‘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 little longer for it to melt.
- Melt the cocoa butter. You can do this by using 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 (see video for guidance). 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. You don’t need to keep it on the heat any longer than it takes to melt it.
- 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).
- Crush the almonds roughly with a pestle & mortar (or use a rolling pin). Leave a few bits to the side to sprinkle on top.
- When the cocoa butter has finally melted, mix in the cocoa powder and any other remaining ingredients.
- Spoon into chocolate mould with a teaspoon OR line a small shallow container with parchment paper and make a big bar.
- Chill in the freezer for 20 minutes or in the fridge for 45 minutes and then pop out of the container, chop or snap into pieces and enjoy.
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