Sunday, September 30, 2012

Super Easy Raw Chocolate Recipe

If I'm craving something sweet and tasty, there's nothing quite like good dark chocolate. Unfortunately, in Thailand, I mean this very literally. The candy aisles of the 7-11 stores are filled to the brim with imported KitKats, M&Ms, Snickers, Hershey bars, and various other Western candies and chocolates as well as (often fairly strange) Thai concoctions. There is a lack, however, of natural, vegan, non-sugary, and of course raw treats. What's a girl to do? Make my own, of course.

There's not a huge variety of ingredients available here either, but, luckily, all you need to make this chocolate is 5 minutes and 3 ingredients. You can fancy it up if you want, or keep it simple. Here's the low-down:

Simple Homemade Chocolate
- Raw cacao powder (preferably) or dark cocoa/ carob powder, otherwise
- Honey
- Coconut oil

Other tasty, but optional, additions:
- Pink Himalayan sea salt
- pure vanilla extract
- chopped nuts (almonds, cashews, hazelnuts)
- shredded coconut
- dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, etc)
- peppermint essence
- chili/ cayenne
- superfoods such as maca powder, hemp seeds, gogi berrie

Making the chocolate is ridiculously easy. Gather the three vital ingredients (cacao, honey, coco oil), a bowl, a spoon, and an ice cube tray or chocolate mold. It's best if the coco oil is in liquid form for this, so if yours is solid, place some in a heatproof bowl, and place that bowl in a warm water bath to liquify it.

Pour some cacao powder into a bowl. Maybe 1/2 cup or so (I never measure for this recipe). Then add in some honey- a little less than the quantity of cacao. Mash it up a little then pour in some coco oil and stir until the consistency is fairly runny. Have a taste! Depending on the type of honey and cacao powder  you want, and the proportions you've used, you might need to adjust. If it's too bitter, add honey. Too sweet, add cacao. Too thick, add coconut oil! Keep tasting and adjusting till it's delicious. Add in anything extra you like. Vanilla and sea salt bring out the flavours of the chocolate. The other suggestions are great for making fruit and nut chocolate, coconut chocolate, extra healthy chocolate or whatever you like. Experiment, have fun, and don't be afraid to be creative and try some new combos!

Once you've got a yummy mixture pour into an ice cube tray, and stick it in the freezer to set. Lick the spoon, wash the bowl, and by the time you're done the chocolate should be about ready. The coconut oil needs to cool, which holds everything together. Pop the chocolates out and enjoy! If you prefer, you can make chocolate bars, by pouring the sauce into larger trays, scoring it when the chocolate is partially cool, then breaking apart when fully cold. You can also just use this as a delicious chocolate sauce, maybe over some delicious raw ice cream?!

It sounds too good to be true, but it's not! I've served these chocolates to many a skeptic, and I've then seen many fingers getting licked clean by happy people on a chocolate high. Very delicious!

The only downside to these chocolates is that they do need to stay cold to be solid, as they melt very quickly here in the tropics. If you live in a cold climate it will be a bit easier, or, alternatively, you can use cacao butter rather than coconut oil to maintain the consistency.

Don't get too hung up on the details, just play around and have fun. Making raw chocolate is also a lot cheaper than buying decent dark chocolate, and only takes a few minutes! You'll have lots of time left over to go make some cacao bliss balls, which I'm going to go do now!


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