How To Make Your Raw Chocolates More Interesting
Raw chocolates are easy to make. They are also said to be much better for you than regular chocolate; more of the beneficial active ingredients in raw cacao are retained. However, I find plain old raw chocolate on its own can be just a teeny bit boring. So I’ve come up with a few ways to make them a bit more interesting.
A raw chocolate making kit is a very good place to start. I’ve tried a few in my time and so far I’ve had the most success with the organic raw chocolate starter kit from Indigo Herbs. It comes with a recipe, cacao powder, cacao butter, agave syrup, vanilla powder – all raw and organic. A 300g pack costs £12.99. The process is a very simple one, it’s just a case of melting the cacao butter and then stirring in the other ingredients. The tricky bit comes if you want to do anything fancy with it. I don’t like my chocolate too sweet, so I didn’t use all of the agave syrup. The downside of this is that the mixture is quite thick, which makes it more difficult to work with. I’ve added various ingredients to raw chocolates before, but this time I decided to have a go at some filled ones.
Indigo Herbs is an online health food shop based in Glastonbury, the capital of all things alternative. Passionate about natural health and wellbeing, they supply a good range of high quality and often organic superfood powders, teas, nuts, seeds and dried fruit. As well as the raw chocolate making kit, I also received the following goodies.
Chaga Mushroom Extract
Known as the king of medicinal mushrooms, Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) is commonly found growing on birch trees. It has long been recognised in countries such as Russia and China as an aid to a healthy immune system, but Western science is only now catching up. The extract, which is in powder form, has a surprising purple colour and a slight earthy tang. It’s sweetened with maltodextrin (2%), which is a bit of a shame as I prefer to add my own sweetener if I feel it’s needed. I added a little chaga mushroom powder to some of the chocolate, which I then spooned into moulds. There was only a hint of flavour, so I think I’d add a bit more next time. A 50g pack of chaga extract costs £11.99, but there are other sizes available.
Super Vital Powder
This is a mixture of acai powder, organic baobab powder and beetroot powder, which has a lovely purple-mauve colour. It’s high in vitamin C and antioxidants and makes a great addition to smoothies. It’s surprisingly sweet, with fruity notes and an earthy undertone. As soon as I saw it, I wanted to use it in my chocolates. not only for the nutritional boost, but also to give colour and make the filling stand out. A 100g pack costs £7.49, but there are other sizes available.
Rise & Shine Tea
This is a lovely loose leaf herb and floral blend, which has both a refreshing taste and a refreshing effect on the body. Best sipped in the morning, it contains: meadowsweet, calendula, peppermint, rosemary, ginkgo, ginger and nettle. A 50g pack costs £3.99
How to make your raw chocolates more interesting
- Fill your chocolates with delicious fillings. I made cashew cream (see recipe below) using my Froothie Optimum 9200A power blender, but you could use a nut butter, make caramel, chocolate mousse or whatever else grabs your fancy.
- Make chocolate bark by scraping the chocolate over some greaseproof paper and scattering over dried fruits, nuts or seeds. I made some with a scattering of dried wild blueberries and a dusting of super vital powder. It was thoroughly delicious, so much so, we ate it before I got a chance to take any photographs.
- Add a flavouring or super powder to the actual chocolate, before pouring into moulds. I used a little chaga powder in the moulded leaves and roses you can see here. I’ve also used cinnamon and cardamom as in these cardamom raw chocolates, banana powder and rose petals and lucuma powder.
- Add chopped nuts or dried fruit to the actual chocolate rather than on top of it. I’ve tried Brazil nuts and mulberries, both of which are delicious.
- 100g raw cacao butter
- 100g raw cacao powder
- 60-100ml raw agave syrup (how much you use will depend on how sweet you like your chocolate)
- 1 tsp (3g) vanilla powder
- 100g cashew nuts - soaked in water overnight or for at least 3 hours
- 50-75 ml water
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 tsp super vital powder
- 2 tbsp agave syrup or more to taste
- Gently melt the cacao butter in a medium sized bowl over a pan of hot water.
- Stir in the vanilla powder, followed by the cacao powder.
- Add the agave syrup, stir and taste. Add more if needed. Stir really well, the recommendation is 100 times, until you have a smooth and glossy mixture.
- Using a teaspoon, coat chocolate moulds thickly with just over half of the mixture.
- Place in a freezer for 10 minutes to set or a cold place for an hour or so.
- Drain the cashew nuts and rinse.
- Throw into a power blender or food processor (I used my Optimum 9200A) and blitz.
- Add 50 ml of the water and the remaining ingredients and blend again until the mixture is smooth and has the consistency of whipped double cream. If it's too stiff, add a bit more water.
- Spoon (or pipe) the cream into the chocolate shells, leaving enough space for the chocolate base.
- Freeze again for another 10 minutes or so, then cover with the remaining chocolate.
- Freeze for another 10 minutes or leave in a cold place for a couple of hours or so to set, then turn out of the moulds.
- I made 24 chocolates and used the remaining chocolate to make chaga chocolates.
- Substitute any superfood powder for the super vital powder. A green one would be fun.
- Substitute agave syrup for sweetener of choice.
Other recipes using ingredients from Indigo Herbs that you might like
- Banana and blueberry granola bars via Rough Measures
- Raw supergreen macaroons via Wallflower Kitchen
- Spinach and wheatgrass crêpes via Rough Measures
Thanks to Indigo Herbs for sending the products to try. I use the Optimum 9200A for smoothies, spreads, sauces and even chocolate making. The post contains affiliate links. Buying through a link will not cost you any more, but I will get a small commission. This helps keep Tin and Thyme blythe and blogging. Opinions are, as always, my own.