Homemade Raw Vegan Chocolate

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I have to admit that this is the first vegan recipe I have ever tried.  I had a recipe to test for a freelance piece and I decided to toy with it.  Normally, I’ll bite a hunk of dark chocolate and it has the ceraceous consistency of those wax lips you get around Halloween.  It takes forever for it to begin to melt which is when you can finally say Unleash the Kraken!!!  Um…I…I mean…flavor.  If you start screaming about krakens you might find yourself in a padded cell.  Without chocolate.

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The chocolate here is about half cacao butter.  You can take a piece from the freezer and it immediately begins melting.  This is desirable as you are struck with the chocolate jolt and you don’t even have time to think about krakens.

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup cacao butter
  • Celtic sea salt for sprinkling(you can use pink Himalayan salt or some large grained salt.  Just don’t use iodized salt.  It will make you cry.)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut palm sugar (I couldn’t find this so I used turbinado sugar.  I couldn’t get the chocolate warm enough to melt the sugar, though.  Well, I could have heated it enough, I was just concerned that I was going to irreparably damage my raw chocolate.  Why buy raw chocolate if you are just going to cook it?  This batch was grainy but delicious.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (I have some really nice extract from Honduras, but McCormick will do nicely)

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Method

The best way to render the cacao butter is to grate it so that it melts easily.  As you grate the cacao butter, heat a pot of water until it is steaming.  You don’t quite want it at the boiling point.  The cacao is cold pressed and the object is to keep the temperature as low as you can so you don’t destroy the nutrients with heat.

To be honest, my first notion was to microwave the cacao butter until I researched it.  Heat it slowly.  The heat destroys flavinoids or something.  Hey, I just scanned for the best way to heat cacao butter.  I never planned on learning.  If you are interested in the nuances of raw cacao, I’m sure Google will accommodate you.

Using a heat resistant bowl, like Pyrex or stainless steel, melt the butter by placing the container in or on top of the pot of hot water.  Or if you want to be fancy, a double boiler will do nicely.

Once melted, add all ingredients and mix thoroughly with a wire whisk.  When everything is fully incorporated, pour into molds like ice cube trays.  I poured my chocolate off into an aluminum pan.  Then you want to sprinkle some salt over the top.  Chocolate that is highlighted with sea salt is something you want to enjoy.

Place your container into the freezer for around 20 minutes or you can let it cool in the refrigerator for about two hours.  You do the math.  20 minutes or two hours.  I put mine in the freezer too.

All photos courtesy of Stacy Crumpley.
All photos courtesy of Stacy Crumpley.

Next time I’m not going to fool with vegan pretexts.  I’ll use honey to avoid the grainy texture and I’ll punch it up with a dose of sriracha.

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