Health Hack for Writers

Raw Chocolate

Home made chocolate is a healthy treat which can be enjoyed guilt free.  Perfect for soothing  heart and brain after a hard day at the writing rock face.

Unprocessed chocolate is a ‘superfood’ packed with minerals including calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc and antioxidants to name but a few. I read somewhere that it offers 150 benefits to our bodies. The Latin name for the cacao bean translates as ‘food of gods’ and the Aztecs and Mayans did use it as an offering to their gods.

The basic ingredients for raw chocolates are cold-pressed raw cacao powder and raw cacao butter, and since no cooking is involved the nutritional values mentioned above are maintained. 

So, chocolate is truly healthy? Absolutely.

Plain Raw Chocolates                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
100g cacao butter shaved/grated/chopped                                                                                                                                                                                       
75g cacao powder
1½ – 2½ tablespoons (25-40ml) raw honey
¼ – ½ teaspoon vanilla powder
himalayan or sea salt (good pinch)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Put the cacao butter in a glass bowl over hot water from a boiled kettle. The base of the bowl should not touch the water. Let stand until melted, stirring towards the end. Temperature should not exceed 115°C. Leave to cool a little. Stir in cacao powder, vanilla, and salt. Continue stirring until well combined. Pour into moulds or paper cases. Chill until set.

Additional Flavourings:
chopped nuts and/or dried fruits
chili or cayenne powder
peppermint edible essence (+ cacao nibs)
raspberry edible essence
orange edible essence (+ orange zest)

Raw Chocolate Truffles
140g ground cashew nuts /ground almonds
100g raw cacao powder
40g raw cacao butter
40g coconut oil
vanilla essence or powder
coconut or date sugar or honey or agave syrup or yylitol or mashed medjool dates
himalayan salt / cayenne Pepper / chili powder

Grind unroasted cashew nuts and combine with raw cacao powder. Melt raw cacao butter & coconut oil in glass bowl over hot water. Combine melted ingredients with dry ingredients. Add chosen sweetener & salt + optional cayenne or chile.
Roll teaspoons of the stiff mixture into balls or press into moulds. (If desired, roll the balls in cacao powder or coconut flour). Set in the fridge.

Replace half ground nuts with finely mashed medjool dates/plump dried apricots.
Add pieces of crystallised fruit/orange & lemon zest/dried cherries/cranberries.

There are plenty of creative variations. Using the Plain Chocolate Recipe I double dip crystallised ginger (dusting off  excessive sugar). Or add spoonfuls of dried cranberries, sultanas, candied peel or crystallised pineapple and drop teaspoons of the mixture into moulds or little paper cases.

A dash of chili powder, or cayenne pepper is essential for my chocolates. Note: If you want to use peppermint, lemon, or orange flavours, please use food grade essences rather than essential oils – whatever some new brands may suggest.