I'm a big believer in the mind, soul & body benefits of dark chocolate made with nutritious, organic ingredients. This raw, dairy-free recipe can be used as a smooth, delicious base with many lovely fillings or toppings suggested below.
I have found I get a lovely silky texture from using half organic raw coconut oil and half cacao butter together with raw cocoa powder and a natural sweetener - usually, honey, maple syrup, or rice malt. If you use a solid sugar such as coconut sugar, it can solidify in the mixture if it gets a little too warm. However, it is possible to avoid this.
This chocolate needs to be chilled to set.
I do recommend pouring the mixture into chocolate moulds (which let you break the block apart into pieces once set) or small foil cups, but if you don't have any, just pour it into a shallow container or tray and cut pieces off with a knife to devour on, once set.
- 2 Tbsp organic raw cacao butter (gives the silky texture of chocolate)
- 2 Tbsp organic raw coconut oil (gives a lovely creamy smoothness)
- 3/4 cup raw cacao powder
- Natural sweetener of choice and to taste - my favourite is 1 tbsp raw honey and 1 tbsp organic maple syrup with a little (about 1-2 tbsp) natural mesquite added to the cocoa powder through a sieve. Other options include rice syrup, apple syrup, organic coconut sugar or else ordinary natural cane sugar (fine - i.e. muscuvado sugar or plan old "brown sugar" if needs be.)
Filling or topping
My favourites include:
- Adaptogenic herbs: my favourites being maca, ashwagandha, or he shou wu for a lovely smokey flavour...
- Freeze dried açai or berry powder, or frozen berries
- Roasted fresh almonds, coarsely chopped
- Macadamia or other favourite nuts e.g. cashews
- Dried raspberries or other berries (yum!!!) whole or coarsely chopped - beautiful as a topping
- Raw cacao nibs
- Espresso beans, whole or coarsely chopped- for caffeine fiends
- Dates- for a sweet tooth
- Gogi berries - healthy kick; great with almonds
- Finely desiccated (good quality) coconut - very yum!
- ...Use your imagination!
1. Chop the cacao butter into 2-3cm chunks. Melt slowly, together with the coconut oil - I use my induction stove-top on low heat, as it has amazing temperature control. Otherwise use an oven on no more than 40 degrees Celsius (stirring occasionally). You can also use a double-boiler method as follows:
2/3 fill the same saucepan with water and start to heat towards a boil (but reduce the heat as bubbles start to appear in the water). Place your chopped/ broken up dark chocolate into a small bowl and carefully place onto the saucepan of water, ideally before the water gets too hot, being VERY careful not to get ANY water into the bowl. Gently stir the chocolate in the bowl until it melts.
2. While the oils are melting, sieve the raw cacao powder and mesquite powder (if you are using it) into a mixing bowl, combining gently (a large wooden spoon is great).
3. Once the oils are melted, take off the heat. Add any liquid sweeteners you're using e.g. honey/ maple syrup/ rice malt, and pour into mixing bowl with the dry ingredients.
4. If you are using nuts / coffee beans etc as fillings then roughly chop them first. Mix in any / all fillings you are using, or else spinkle on top after you've poured into the moulds.
5. Pour the mixture into your moulds or small foil cups, or if you don't have any, just pour it into a shallow container or tray. Get the last of the mixture out of the bowl with a rubber ladle or else use fingers and straight onto your taste-buds :)
6. Chill in the fridge for an hour or two to set. Store in the fridge or in the pantry if it's a cooler time of year.