Hand made chocolate instructions alert!
I fell in love with the idea of using freeze dried raspberries when I assisted on desserts at Pure Taste Pop Up. As well as being brilliant for adding flavour and for making desserts look super pretty, I couldn’t help wonder if they’d work in raw chocolate!
I’ve made raw chocolate before with coconut oil. For that I follow an incredibly simple recipe that anyone can follow with not to much expense, or expertise, or equipment! This time however I decided to be more adventurous and make use of cacao butter – the real stuff used to make commercial chocolate. Cacao butter is the pure cold-pressed fat edible fat extracted from the cacao bean. As well as being used for chocolate you may be familiar with it from its cosmetic use. It’s creamy in colour, and solid at room temperature (kinda looks like soap) so works much better for raw chocolates if you want to keep them for any period of time outside of the fridge. Cacao butter on its own actually doesn’t have much flavour.
The benefits of making your own chocolate are incredible. Firstly you get to choose your own type and quantity of sweetener – enabling you to improve on shop bought chocolate which is usually made from cane sugar. Then you get the antioxidant benefits of using raw pure cacao too!
My cacao butter came from a health food shop – you can also buy it on-line. You can usually find complete chocolate making kits online which include the cacao powder and butter along with instructions. How helpful!
Here’s how I made mine;
Ingredients (makes 100g of chocolate – number of chocolates depends on the size of your moulds)
- 100g cacao butter
- 6 Tablespoons raw cacao powder
- 1.5 Tablespoons of freeze dried raspberries
- 1.5 teaspoons vanilla essence/extract
- 3 Tablespoons of coconut palm sugar (or 2 Tablespoons raw honey). Honey produces a softer, more truffle-like chocolate.
- Set up a bain-marie, and melt the cacao butter over a very low heat.
- Whilst the butter is melting place a pinch of raspberries at the bottom of each chocolate mould.
- When the butter is completely melted stir in the cacao powder, and vanilla essence, adding enough sugar till you get the taste you desire. The taste will be comparable to a rich antioxidant boosting dark chocolate – not a dairy milk chocolate!
- Pour into the silicone moulds and place in the freezer for 30 minutes or fridge for 2 hours to set. I like mine cold from the freezer. They don’t store incredibly well at room temperature so keep them in the fridge or freezer (if you haven’t eaten them up in one go). They will keep for a long time.
I have also tried adding the raspberries and vanilla (as well as a variation using ground cardamom and orange extract, plus one with sea salt!) using my coconut oil recipe which works really well. For some reason the oil and cocoa quantities are in quite different proportions so make sure you follow the correct recipe whether you are using cacao butter or coconut oil.
If you can’t get hold of either then melt down some 70+% dark chocolate, add the raspberries, and vanilla (no need for extra sugar) and set in moulds as above. Get creative with your chocolate!
TOP TIP: If you can’t get hold of moulds for chocolate than cheaper ice-cube moulds work just as well. Silicone ones are best. You can also improvise with baking parchment, or film.