Friday, November 4, 2011
Have you ever heard the term 'Raw Chocolate' before? you're maybe more familiar with the word 'Cacao'.
David Wolfe, in his excellent book 'Superfoods' puts Cacao (raw chocolate) in second place in the list of the top 10 superfoods. But please don't think that with this he means the chocolate bar you get from the shops....no no no....this actually refers to the main and most important of its ingredients: CACAO.
"All chocolate is made from cacao beans (Also known as cocoa beans). Cacao is chocolate. All the antioxidant value, mineral benefits, neurotransmitter rejuvenating properties, and overall health-giving qualities of chocolate are found in original cacao. Chocolate consists of just one ingredient - no sugar, no dairy, no chemicals required - that one ingredient is cacao."
And because I love chocolate, as much as you do out there, I became very interested in this particular part of the book.
Amazing to read that Cacao is the best natural source of the following nutrients:
-Omega-6 Fatty Acids
-Methylxanthines: Caffeine and Theobromine
No wonder why is also called -since the 18th century- "the food of the gods"!.
I was very surprised (and happy!) when Indigo Herbs (where I bought the Lucuma powder) contacted me to offer to send me a "Raw chocolate kit" to give it a try, experiment and then let them know what I thought about it. It took me a second to say DEAL!. This happened immediately after I read David Wolfe's book....isn't that the sweetest coincidence?.
A few days later I received this in the post:
Without even opening the packet, I could smell the chocolate....ooooh my!, the contents?:
Raw Agave Nectar, Raw Cocoa Butter, Raw Cacao Powder, Vanilla and a leaflet with the instructions.
Because it was the very first time I had in my hands the wonderful opportunity to make my very own chocolate, instead of using all the ingredients at once (this wonderful kit contains enough to prepare 750gr!), I decided to use 100gr to begin with.
I honestly felt like Willy Wonka!.
Temperature is really important....and as Michael, from Indigo Herbs, told me, you don't really need a fancy thermometer (although, if you have it, great!), simply put some water in a pan and as soon as it reaches the boiling point, remove it from the heat. Wait 5 minutes, use a heat proof bowl and place it over the water. Put the Cacao butter in the bowl (make sure no water comes in) and wait until in melts completely.
Once you see that the butter has completely melted, add the vanilla. Mix it well with the butter.
After that, add the cacao powder, one spoonful, stir gently and blend well, then another one until you've added all the cocoa powder you want to use.
Once the cocoa powder has blended completely with the butter and vanilla (pic above), add the raw agave nectar whilst still stirring gently.
Then stir and stir until you get a nice creamy consistency, like the picture bellow. Then with a spoon fill your chocolate moulds, you can also use ice cube trays (the silicon ones) or little petite four cases.
Because I knew the raw chocolate is bitter than the one you usually get in the shops, I added a little ball of marzipan to go inside my treats... (I love marzipan).
After that, put the tray in the freezer until they set and are firm enough to pop them out and enjoy them!.
I have to say....the flavour is intense and sensational... you feel 'chocolate satisfied' quicker than with the commercial type of chocolate. Knowing you're getting the very best of the cacao beans, all the goodness that ancient civilizations also enjoyed in many ways, makes you feel even better.
My 3 year old tried one of these treats and was soon asking me for more!!!....brilliant!!.
I still have more raw ingredients to give it another go so keep an eye on my blog.
My suggestion? definitely give yourself the pleasure of making your own, proper chocolate... your life won't be the same!
If you want to get a 'Raw Chocolate Kit' for yourself or as a present for someone else, go to Indigo Herbs of Glastonbury online. Excellent service and quality.