My co-worker brought me a gift last year. It was the best chocolate ever. It was something I have never tried before. Raw chocolate with cherries. It is quite a conflictive treat-you want to eat it all soooo badly, but on the other hand you want it to last forever. So we nibbled on small pieces for a couple of weeks until we had to accept the bitter truth-that our 100 grams pack of raw dark choc was gone. 😦 I have never bought raw chocolate since that experience, partly because of the price (at about 10€ per 100 grams its way out of our league) and in a way because it is not really easy to find. The one we got as one of the best gifts received EVER was bought in Kalček, an organic shop in Ljubljana, with a nice on-line shop. Link below.
So my trip to the vegan waters and raw cakes went well, I decided to look up some of the chocolate recipes. I do always check all the ingredients of the things I buy. Almost to thoroughly. And my husband does not precisely love me more for it. But I am satisfied to know my shopping cart in details. All in all, I AM paying for it, right?
After so many years of label checking and some hours of successful internet surfing, I determined key ingredients from most of the chocolates.
- Cocoa powder
- Cocoa paste/butter
- Vanilla essence
- Soy lecithin (emulgent, helps the fats distribute evenly)
- Sweetener (sugar, honey, agawe syrup etc.)
That was basically it. I gave it a go with a simple version. Three ingredients only, small quantities (still enough for a couple of weeks to one month supply). And to use the ingredients I had at home at the moment. And of course-to go raw again. That means I could not heat or boil the ingredients. So avoid cooking, microwaving, baking altogether.
These are the recipes I have first consulted and I will give them a go when time comes or when the existing supplies run short 😀
And where to buy the ingredients online:
Also an amazing chocolate fan page from Slovenia, with the most known brands and less mainstream chocolate brands and factory presentations:
And the inspiration crept in to my heart. I had cocoa powder ready. No cocoa butter but virgin coconut oil. And a huge jar of honey from our friend. Thank you, Anja!
I used a sauce pan, I melted 1/2 cup of coconut oil on low fire (steam) and added 1/2 cup of organic cocoa powder to whisk it all together. When liquid I added 2 tbs of honey (I prefer pine or chestnut honey, adds up to the bitterness of the cocoa notes) and mixed well with a whisk. When mixed I extended it on a parchment paper covered wooden board, sprinkled the mix with some flower of salt (fleur de sel) and pushed in pieces of sliced dry figs. I left it to dry outside (it was a cold day, not above 3°C) for a couple of hours, I cut the pieces and placed them in between the parchment paper layers. That way they did not stick together and each piece is extravagant and sacred 😀
There is probably a reason why industrial chocolate makers use soy lecithin to equally distribute cocoa fat. That made me think about buying some lecithin myself for the next chocolate making weekend. My chocolate now had some visual defects (you can see the borders of figs slightly white and the bottom of the chocolate changed colour to white). The coconut fat did not mix evenly with other two ingredients, but I have to confidently assure it does NOT change the taste or alter the experience of enjoying a supreme piece of chocolate.
We will see how long I will keep falling to the raw chocolate rabbit hole, but one thing I know. I will try to book a visit to the Zotter chocolate factory in Austria. Especially after my brother and his family shared their mind blowing experience with us. Getting to know prime ingredients and the process will boost my inspiration and my blood sugar. I know it will be worth it. I am especially looking forward to trying some special tastes: plums&bacon chocolate, cheese&walnuts&grapes flavour, sacramental wine and frankincense zest etc. And I hope to meet you there one day. In case you decide to travel to Austria..or to simply enjoy their Web page, here is the link. To chocolate!