March 13, 2019 4:33 pm 6 Comments
Who doesn’t dream of owning their own chocolate factory, complete with an army of nut-nibbling squirrels and singing Oompah-Loompahs? Who wouldn’t want to be able to make their very own Whipple-scrumptious Fudgemallow Delights and Lickable Wallpaper?
Well, now you can. We’ve got just what you need to make your very own, absolutely delicious chocolate. You’ll know exactly what you’re putting into it and can alter the recipe to cater for allergies, preferences and taste. There’s no need to wait to win a Golden Ticket – simply fill up your basket with the relevant ingredients from Naturally Good Food!
What you’ll need
Cacao butter is the basis of homemade chocolate. It’s this that will make your chocolate smooth and velvety, with that wonderful ‘mouth feel’.
Cacao butter is essentially the natural fat from the cocoa bean. It might be pressed out of the beans, or simply drip off them during processing. It isn’t brown, but rather white, beige or cream-coloured.
You’ll need to grate down any particularly large lumps of cacao butter before starting to melt them. The easiest way to melt the butter is probably in a simple ‘bain marie’ (a bowl on top of another pan, with hot, but not boiling water in it). Once properly warmed up, the butter becomes liquid and can be moulded.
Oil, dairy butter or milk
The recipe we provide below doesn’t include any oil, dairy butter or milk in its list of ingredients: you don’t need to use these to make chocolate. However, lots of people do like to add them, to give a smoother, richer and creamier taste.
For non-dairy chocolate, we’d recommend using coconut oil. Add as much as you like, up to the same quantity of cacao butter you’re using. Milk brings creaminess – if you’re making vegan chocolate, we’ve got a vast range of dairy-free milks to choose from. We’d particularly recommend our rice milk – use up to two-thirds of the quantity of cacao butter in your recipe.
Cacao or cocoa powder
We sell both cacao and cocoa powder at Naturally Good Food. Cacao powder is raw: it’s made by cold-pressing unroasted cacao beans. Cocoa powder, on the other hand, is made from ground roasted cacao beans, which have previously been fermented. Cocoa powder has a naturally sweeter and less bitter taste. Both are brown in colour; it’s these powders that will make your chocolate look like ‘real’ chocolate, as well as bringing a depth of flavour.
Sugar, syrup or sweetener
Some people like their chocolate completely unsweetened, but most prefer to add something sweet to the mix. Sugar is the obvious choice – but which sugar? We stock an amazing array of unrefined sugars at Naturally Good Food, ranging from powdery organic icing sugar to heavy, rich, dark muscovado. In between, you’ll find our granulated and fine cane sugars, golden caster sugars, light and brown soft sugars, our sucanat, demerara and coconut palm sugars.
Syrup is, of course, already liquid, making it easy to mix in with the other ingredients. We’ve got golden syrup, maple syrup, coconut blossom nectar, honey, rice syrup and agave syrup to choose from.
To balance the sugar, and bring out the flavours of the other ingredients, you should note that many recipes also call for a pinch of salt. Use the very best – we’ve got amazing sea salts from all round the world.
The little extras
Willie Wonka made the very best chocolate of course, but what took his bars to the level of legend were the additions. It’s your chocolate – add whatever you like to it! Here are some ideas.
- Dried fruit, seeds or nuts: chopped or whole.
- A pinch of a superfood powder: maca powder works well with chocolate, with its caramelly undertones. We’ve also got tart, tropical acai and the wonderfully sweet lucuma.
- A touch of vanilla extract: this will make your chocolate simply more chocolate-y! We’ve got other potent extracts too, including peppermint, coffee and almond.
- A pinch of an organic spice: for a hint of warmth or a real kick.
In addition to the usual melting and cooking kit, you’ll need a mould of some sort to pour the mixture into. Such moulds are easily available to buy, but if the urge to make chocolate has taken you by surprise, then you can simply use an ice-cube tray, an egg-cup or even the left-over shaped inner liner from a shop-bought box of chocolates.
Storing your chocolate
Chocolate made with raw ingredients – and homemade chocolate without preservatives – won’t keep as long as the regular sort, so you may like to refrigerate it. (Or alternatively, eat it all really quickly…)
Homemade chocolate recipe
Here’s a great, simple recipe for making chocolate at home.
100g cacao butter
5 tbsp cacao powder
1 pinch salt
Place the cacao butter in a bowl over a pan of hot water until it melts.
Remove from the heat. Add the sweetener and the pinch of salt. If you’re using sugar, be sure to mix very well, to allow it to dissolve properly.
Stir in the cacao powder and the additional ingredients.
Pour the mixture into a mould and place in the fridge to set.
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This post was written by Yzanne