Raw chocolate is where it’s at. It’s dairy-free, vegan and relatively healthy. But have you tried making your own? This post not only has a recipe for the basics, but lots of ideas on how to make it more interesting. Includes a recipe for raw chocolates filled with a fruity pink cashew cream.
Raw chocolates are easy to make. They’re 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 it more interesting.
Why Eat Raw Chocolate?
Good raw chocolate is rich, smooth and delicious. Its a win-win situation, the body says decadent, the mind says healthy.
The interest in raw foods generally is growing and it’s no revelation now that chocolate can be good for you. It has a number of virtues including vitamins, minerals, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, flavanoids and theobromine. The darker the chocolate the better it is for you. So far, so good.
However, this is mitigated against by excessive processing and additives such as sugar that go into “normal” chocolate.
The general wisdom is that raw chocolate is healthier and keeps more of the original antioxidants. As long as you don’t eat too much of it, that is. The ingredients are minimally processed and the cocoa itself is not heat treated which is the case with most of the cocoa powders we’re familiar with. Usually there are no cane or beet sugars included either.
Agave syrup is a common sugar replacement in raw chocolate, but the jury is still out as to whether it’s actually better or worse for us. It has a low glycaemic index but is high in fructose. Luckily, there are other sweeteners such as Sweet Freedom, date syrup and maple syrup. So if you make your own, you can choose the one you’re happiest with.
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 Raw Chocolate
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 and vanilla powder. All of the ingredients are raw and organic. A 300g pack costs £12.99.
The cacao powder is Peruvian Criolla which is said to be the best quality cacao there is. Once, out of interest, I compared it to some other raw cocoa powder I happened to have in the cupboard. The Criolla smelt richer and sweeter and had a darker colour. It tasted richer and fruitier too.
Raw chocolate making is a lot easier than “normal” chocolate making. For a start there’s no tempering required. The process is actually a very simple one and amazingly fast. It’s mostly a case of melting the cacao butter and then stirring in the other ingredients.
The scent of melted chocolate wafting around the kitchen makes any actual “work” quite delightful. Melting the cocoa butter is the longest part of this process. It has a beautiful golden shine which is a real pleasure to stir and it smells wonderful too. With its surprisingly chocolatey and sweet syrupy notes, it’s very different to the cocoa butter I use for making body creams.
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. See the recipe at the bottom of the post for both raw chocolate and the boosted cashew cream filling.
Raw Chocolate Top Tips
1. Stir your raw chocolate mixture really really well. Indigo Herbs recommends at least one hundred stirs. The first time I tried making raw chocolate, I only gave it a brief stir and the result wasn’t pretty. It certainly didn’t end up as anything I could reliably call chocolate.
2. The trick to getting well set and shiny raw chocolate with a good snap is to place it in the freezer as soon as you’ve poured it into your moulds. If you let it set at room temperature, the liquid might start to separate out resulting in streaky and sticky chocolates.
3. Ensure you give your moulds several hard bangs on a suitable strong surface, before placing in the freezer. This is so the chocolate settles properly in the moulds and that you get rid of any trapped air bubbles.
How to Make Your Raw Chocolate 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. At various times, I’ve also used salt, cinnamon, cardamom, banana powder, rose 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 dried mulberries, both of which are delicious.
Superfood Raw Chocolate. PIN IT.
Other Recipes Using Ingredients From Indigo Herbs
- Banana and blueberry granola bars via Rough Measures
- Goji berry bliss balls via Tin and Thyme
- Pea protein pancakes with a spicy peanut sauce via Tin and Thyme
- Purple Easter biscuits (vegan) via Tin and Thyme
- Raw supergreen macaroons via Wallflower Kitchen
- Spinach and wheatgrass crêpes via Rough Measures
- Vegan salted caramel sauce via Tin and Thyme
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you try making any of these raw chocolates, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. And do please rate the recipe. Have you any top tips? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
If you’d like more raw vegan food recipes, follow the link and you’ll find I have quite a lot of them. All delicious, of course.
Cashew Cream Raw Chocolates. PIN IT.
Raw Chocolate With Cashew Cream Filling – The Recipe
Raw Chocolates with a Boosted Cashew Cream Filling
- 100 g raw cacao butter
- 100 g raw cacao powder
- 60-100 ml raw agave syrup or Sweet Freedom (how much you use will depend on how sweet you like your chocolate)
- 1 tsp (3g) vanilla powder optional
Cashew Cream Filling
- 100 g cashew nuts – soaked in water overnight or for at least 3 hours
- 50-75 ml water
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 2 tsp super vital powder or use a superfood powder of your choice
- 2 tbsp agave syrup or more to taste
- Gently melt the cacao butter in a medium sized bowl suspended over a pan of hot water.
- Stir in the vanilla powder, if using, 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.
Cashew Cream Filling
- 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 further 10 minutes or leave in a cold place for a couple of hours or so to set. Then turn out of the moulds and enjoy.
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. If you buy through a link it won’t cost you any more, but I will get a small commission. This helps keep Tin and Thyme blithe and blogging. Opinions are, as always, my own.