It is that time of year when all thoughts turn to chocolate. Halloween and chocolate candy, they just go together. Even with all of our trick or treating many of us have have never eaten “real chocolate”. Most commercially produced chocolate bars, (think Hershey’s) only contain about 10% actual chocolate, the rest is sugar and fillers.
This year why not EAT some delicious real chocolate candy made with simple raw ingredients? Making raw chocolate is probably one of the easiest things you can do. As a bonus it just happens to be good for you. In fact, Raw Cacao is considered a super food. It contains theobromine which invigorates our entire system, phenylethalamine which increases our sense of happiness and well being, trytophan which elevates and stabilizes our mood, anandamide, the “bliss” chemical which relaxes the body and the mind. It is higher in anti-oxidants than green tea and wine. It also contains protein, good fats, calcium, carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, magnesium, folic acid, and the vitamins A, E, K. It is rich in iron. Super food indeed!
The most important part of this indulgent experience is to make sure that you use truly raw cacao. The health benefits are only derived from cacao in it’s raw state. One of my favorites is Pacari from Ecuador. It is organic, heirloom (never heated above 118 degrees), and single origin (not blended with cacao from other countries or regions). These are 3 important things to look for when you are purchasing raw cacao.
The next part is to have fun choosing a mold. There are thousands to choose from, ranging from bugs and spiders to hearts and flowers. They are very inexpensive and can be used over and over again.
Basic Raw Chocolate
- 1 cup of raw cacao butter
- ½ cup raw cacao powder
- 2 tablespoons of raw agave nectar
Melt the cacao butter over low heat. Either in a dehydrator, in a double boiler with hot water, or in a sauce pan over the lowest heat. If using the stove top method, you can keep an eye on the temperature with a candy thermometer making sure not to bring the cacao over 118 degrees. Once it has liquefied, whisk in the cacao powder and agave until smooth. Pour into a squeeze bottle and then fill the molds. Set in the freezer for 5 – 10 minutes until set and then pop out of the molds. Because are no chemicals or stabilizers in this yummy chocolate keep them in the fridge until serving time.
From there get creative! You can add chopped nuts, coconut, or dried fruit. Add pure mint extract for a chocolate mint. Play with flavors and textures to recreate your favorite candy bar. Indulge in a little raw chocolate and Have a Happy Halloween!
Pacari Cacao can be found at:
Chocolate molds can be found at:
http://www.amazon.com/ keyword: chocolate molds