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09 December 2008 @ 03:48 pm
Culinary Adventures: Raw Chocolate Episode 1  
Having the kitchen to myself this afternoon, I finally decided to get serious about making raw chocolate. The results were, let's say, revealing.

Batch #1

Made from:

cacao butter, ground cacao nibs, mesquite meal, lucuma powder, raw agave syrup

Lessons Learned:

  • It takes ages for cacao butter to melt using a chocolatiere set to 43°C.

  • It is not a good idea to do the mixing of the ingredients in a blender as the cacao butter goes solid again almost instantly.

  • I do not like the taste of mesquite meal. Now I finally know what ingredient puts me off most store-bought raw chocolate.

  • Agave syrup renders the chocolate lumpy. Probably too much water in it. Unfortunately, raw sweeteners tend to be liquids.

  • Silicone molds may be more expensive that rigid plastic molds, but they are invaluable when it comes to raw chocolate.

The result: Edible. Better than the worst store bought raw chocolate I've tasted. But I wouldn't offer this to anyone :-(

Batch #2:

Made from:

ingredients of batch one, coconut butter/oil, ground freeze-dried mangosteen, whole hemp seeds (for crunchy-ness)

This batch went much better, still there were lessons to be learned:

  • Freeze-dried mangosteen tastes great, but it's slightly sour which does not work so well in chocolate. Must look into other freeze dried fruit.

  • Addition of coconut butter improves texture, but makes chocolate much more vulnerable to heat. Still, I think I'll keep using it in the future.

The result: Better, still not satisfactory though.

Ideas for the future:

  • Try xylitol, almond butter and other freeze dried fruit for additional ingredients.

  • Do the whole mixing in the chocolatiere pot.

Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Purpleyin/Hans: chocolatemissyvortexdv on December 9th, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC)
What's raw chocolate compared to what people usually call chocolate?
Illman: Who Specsillman on December 9th, 2008 05:27 pm (UTC)
It's chocolate only made of raw (usually defined as heated not above 40 to 45°C) and minimally processed ingredients. There are a few places that sell it, mostly in the UK and US. It's very hard to get in Germany and the only store that to my knowledge sells it, charges a riddiculous amount per bar.
Purpleyin/Hans: stylemissyvortexdv on December 9th, 2008 05:37 pm (UTC)
Never come across it, must have a look for it sometime. Which ones have you tried? That way I know what to avoid. :)
Illmanillman on December 9th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)
The Raw Chocolate Company wins the prize for the worst offering of the ones I've tried so far.
I also tried most of the bars in RawLiving's range and they are decent enough. I love their High Crunch bar. RawCreation's bars are fairly nasty, plus very pricey, but I read that they have changed their recipe and I haven't tried their new bars yet. Conscious Chocolate is the best and most afordable, IMHO.
Purpleyin/Hans: rosemissyvortexdv on December 9th, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC)
What sort of price do they tend to be? If they're cheaper here I could always post you some. :)
Illmanillman on December 9th, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
Since they tend to be around 2 GBP per bar, some even more, it's basically a special occassion food for me.

I did mailorder a couple along with the ingredients for making chocolate, so I'm good for the holidays. The price is the chief reason why I'm experimenting with making my own chocolate. It's fun as well :-) Plus, I picked up a cookery book a couple of months ago, that features some raw chocolate recipies.
doxymomdoxymom on December 9th, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC)
I've never tried raw chocolate.

On a sidenote, if you use Xylitol, be aware that the stuff is poisonous for dogs, if you have any. Of course, chocolate is too but sometimes they can get away with eating a little chocolate. Not so with the Xylitol.

Just letting you know.
Illmanillman on December 9th, 2008 06:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the info! It actually says so in big letters on the container the xylitol came in. Not to worry though, I don't have any dogs :-)
doxymom: aeryn raindoxymom on December 9th, 2008 07:47 pm (UTC)
:-) You're welcome! Here in the US, I don't think it comes with warnings.