This year, Noah and I decided to do a little surprise for daddy on Valentine's day. My son really enjoys being in the kitchen with me, so I thought it would be a nice idea to make our own raw chocolate. And you know what ? You don’t need to be an expert to make this easy recipe! In fact, I've done it a few times and I've always been thrilled about how great they turned out. On top of that, it's a 5 minute recipe! My son always has a blast when it's time to choose the flavours and toppings... and he's surprisingly creative!
These chocolate aren't typical! They are preservatives, refined sugar, artificial flavours and food colouring free! They are also gluten-free, dairy-free, can be vegan (if you replace honey with agave nectar) and are made of incredible ingredients used for thousands of years by many healthy civilizations. And they are entirely raw! This means that all the nutritious compounds are preserved! In normal chocolate processing, the cacao beans are roasted to develop flavour. But this process can also reduce some of the most healthy compounds (such as antioxydants) and reduce their amazing properties.
The cacao I use is raw cacao powder that has been minimally processed, sun dried instead of heat treated. With possibly hundreds of health sustaining substances (antioxydants, fiber, magnesium, flavanols and polyphenols etc.), no wonder why it's named a superfood!
Cocoa butter, also known as cacao butter, is the fat extracted from the beans of the cacao tree. It is of course mainly used to make chocolate, but is also a great moisturizer. I often buy my organic pure cold-pressed cacao butter online, but you can find it in health food stores or in specialized stores. If you can't find cocoa butter, you can still do this recipe by using coconut oil instead. The chocolate won't be as creamy, but the result will stil be very pleasant!
I love making these in multiple flavours. That's where the fun begin! I open my pantry and let go my creativity.
Here are my favourite flavours or toppings :
- Expresso : add a shot of espresso powder in the chocolate
- Lavender : add a few pinches of dried lavender in the chocolate or sprinkle on top
- Chilli & cinnamon : add a few pinches of chilli flakes + cinnamon
- Lemon or orange : add finely grated zest in the chocolate
- Mint : add peppermint essential oil in the chocolate
- Hazelnut or almond, coconut flakes & maple sugar : add crushed toasted hazelnut or almond in the chocolate or sprinkle on top + coconut flakes + maple sugar
- Lime & cardamome : add lime zest and a few pinches of cardamome
- Crystallized ginger, pistachios, Himalayan salt & goji : add finely chopped candied ginger, pistachios, goji berries + a few pinches of Himalayan pink salt
- Toasted black & white sesame : add a few pinches of sesame seeds in the chocolate or sprinkle on top
Additional add-ins :
I often incorporate superfood powders to my basic raw chocolate recipe. In this case, I've added Spirulina powder and maca powder. You could also add goji berries powder, acai powder, camu camu or lucuma powder. Remember that a little goes a long way! Don't add too much, otherwise it will overpower the delicate taste of the chocolate. Note that these superfood chocolates taste slightly different than the basic recipe, so you might have to get use to it. Interesting to know that my son and husband didn't seem to notice the difference!
If you don't have chocolate molds (I bought my silicone molds on Amazon), it really is not a problem. Just pour the chocolate on a parchment covered pan and refrigerate. Brake into chunks and you'll have delicious raw chocolate barks! In this case, I topped mine with coconut flakes, pistachios, goji berries, crystallized ginger & Himalayan salt and they turned out lovely!
RAW VEGAN SUPER FOOD CHOCOLATE
Yield : about 24 small chocolates (I use this mold)
1 cup shaved organic cacao butter (about 1/2 cup melted or 100g)
1/2 cup raw organic cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder or vanilla beans - optional (see note)
2-4 tablespoons raw honey (or other liquid sweetener - use agave nectar for raw vegan chocolate) - see note
1 pinches of Himalayan pink crystal salt
1 tablespoon spirulina powder (optional)
1 tablespoon maca powder (optional)
- Melt the cocoa butter using a double boiler method : boil a pot of water and turn off the heat. Place a bowl over the hot water with the cocoa butter shavings and honey (or agave). As soon as the butter is melted, set aside quickly (you don't want to overheat it... remember, it's raw chocolate!). Make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl or the butter. Set aside.
- Pour the melted butter into a mixing bowl. Add the cacao powder, vanilla powder or beans and salt and whisk.
- Add other ingredients if you want (make sure you divide the chocolate into small bowls before adding the different flavours/ingredients).
- Pour the chocolate mixture into silicone molds (or oiled molds). Place the molds on a pan and set into the freezer for about 30 minutes or more. These can be stored at room temperature if your home is cool enough (otherwise, store in the fridge). Raw chocolate tends to melt fast!
- Vanilla liquid extract can compromise the texture of the chocolate, so I encourage you to use vanilla powder or vanilla beans if you want to have a vanilla flavour. Adding a liquid to the fat molecule of the chocolate can form a grainy texture. Also, make sure all your bowls and utensils are very dry!
- We like our chocolate very bitter so feel free to add up to 1/2 cup of honey (or agave or maple syrup) if you prefer your treats sweeter.