A much coveted Raw Chocolate Starter Kit arrived in the post recently from Choc Chick. Having tried to make raw chocolates rather unsuccessfully last July, I was very keen to give them a second go with this kit which I’d heard was virtually guaranteed to work. I started a post about the health benefits of using raw cocoa powder instead of the more conventionally dutched powder over 18 months ago, but for some reason I didn’t finish it. But it is because of the additional antioxidants that are found in raw chocolate, that I am so keen to get this right.
Raw chocolate is meant to be actively healthy. The ingredients have minimum processing and the cocoa itself has not been heat treated which is the case with most of the cocoa powders we are familiar with. There is also no cane or beet sugars involved.
The kit consists of the ingredients needed to make the basic chocolate mixture plus a leaflet with some recipes, including truffles, fondu and cocktails. As some of you know, I do try to use organic ingredients wherever possible, so I was doubly pleased to find both the cocoa powder and the cocoa butter were organic.
I followed the instructions pretty much exactly, which as you may have noticed, is not something I’m very good at.
- Melted 100g raw cacao butter in a bowl over hot water.
- Ground the seeds of 4 cardamom pods with a pinch of pink Himalayan rock salt.
- Stirred this into the bowl with 6 tbsp raw cacao powder
- Whisked in 2 tbsp Sweet Freedom (natural sweetener from apples, grapes and carob) and carried on whisking until all well incorporated.
- Spooned the mixture into chocolate moulds and left to set. In theory these should go into the fridge (2 hrs) or freezer (20 mins) to set, but my kitchen is so cold this wasn’t necessary.
These were amazingly fast to make; melting the cocoa butter was the longest part of this process. It had a beautiful golden shine which was a real pleasure to stir and it smelt wonderful too – more chocolatey than I had expected, but with sweet syrupy notes – very different to the cocoa butter I use for making body creams. I was more successful this time than the last, but the syrup still separated out on some of the chocolates. Others have used this kit with perfect results, so it must be something I’m doing. The last moulds I filled worked well, so maybe I just didn’t whisk the mixture enough or some water got into the mix somehow or perhaps I should have left it in the bowl to cool a bit before spooning into the moulds OR what has been slowly dawning on me as a possibility, did I miscount the number of spoons of cocoa and just not put enough in? I used the Golden Ticket mould that I’d won in Celia’s giveaway before Christmas and as it was the first time I’ve used it, I was disappointed that I didn’t get perfect results. I shall just have to try again, but like tempering, I am determined to get this sorted out – third time lucky! Thankfully, they tasted lovely and the cardamom was an excellent addition – subtle but most definitely there.
PS When CT came home from work, I let forth my tale of woe. Why don’t you just remelt the bar and try again he said – doh! So I did, adding an additional tbsp of cocoa. While we waited for it to set, he polished off the remaining shells and roses – he had been working hard. His verdict was that they were very rich with a smooth mouth feel and tasted deliciously of cardamom. Its a win win situation, the body says decadent, the mind says healthy. This time, the chocolate came out of the mould beautifully – hoorah, it had worked! Looks like I miscounted the spoonfuls after all. Unfortunately, it was dark by this point, so the photograph is not the greatest.
The kit would be a great Valentine’s gift in itself but if you wanted to give the chocolates to a loved one, Choc Chick also sell heart shape chocolate moulds.