8/18/12

A Chocolate Craving...

POSTED BY: ERIKA 


Keeley and I are HUGE chocolate fans.  We love all kinds, but are particularly fond of really good dark chocolate.  With all of the trade shows that we’ve gone to, we’ve had the opportunity to try so many different varieties from milk, to dark, to raw, with all sorts of unusual ingredients.  In the past few years the chocolate market has really taken off and tons of artisan chocolates have emerged.  I love standing in the chocolate bar aisle at stores like Whole Foods and New Seasons and looking at all of the new combinations that chocolate makers are coming up with!  From dried fruit, to nuts, spices, oils, even savory ingredients like tortilla chips, different chocolate bar ingredients always get my creative juices flowing as I am constantly thinking of new flavor combinations!


So when Keeley and I came across a recipe for how to make homemade raw chocolate we couldn’t resist!  This recipe is from one of our favorite blogs called My New Roots, written by the wonderful Sarah B.!  She creates incredibly delicious and wholesome recipes using fresh ingredients that are often raw.  Before reading her post, I never considered making chocolate, something that I eat almost everyday!  The idea of making chocolate seemed very intimidating, but Sarah B’s approach to chocolate, using raw ingredients, made it very approachable!  Here are some pictures of the finished product and the ingredients we used!  This changed my world…and that is not an exaggeration!  




Raw cocoa powder 



Vanilla Bean



Dates




NOM NOM.


Recipe from My New Roots:


Ecstatic Raw Chocolate

Makes 2 large chocolate bars

Ingredients:
30 g / 1oz raw cacao powder
100 g / 3.5 oz very soft, pitted dates
85 g / 3 oz cacao butter
1 vanilla bean, scraped (optional, but delicious)
pinch of flaky sea salt (optional, but delicious)


We added toasted quinoa for added crunch!


Directions:


1. Begin by pitting the dates and mashing them with a fork, or food processor. You may want to remove the skins first if they are tough. Do not soak dates, as the water will cause the chocolate to seize up.
2. In a double boiler (or a glass bowl over water) over low-medium heat, melt the cacao butter slowly until completely smooth. Add the cacao powder, vanilla, salt, and lavender, and stir to thoroughly combine. Remove from heat.
3. Add the dates and fold to combine. You may need to let the mixture cool a little before this is possible, so put the pot or bowl in the fridge until the chocolate firms up a bit. Taste for sweetness and flavouring.
4. Once the chocolate is cool and you can form a rough ball with it, divide the  chocolate in half and place one section on a piece of parchment paper. Fold the parchment paper over the chocolate once and use your hands to mash it down into a thin piece. At this point you can fold the remaining sides up around the chocolate to create a bar and press the chocolate into the corners. Alternatively, you can press the chocolate into a mold or chocolate form. Place in the fridge or a cool place to firm up. Repeat with the other half. Store chocolate in a cool, dry place away from direct light. 


I hope this inspires you to make your own chocolate!  It was so easy to do and it was great to be able to control exactly what went into our chocolate bars.  We decided this would make great gifts!  How fun would it be to get/give a homemade chocolate bar as a gift?!  


That’s all for now! 


Hope everyone enjoys a relaxing Sunday :-)


Erika



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