On Tuesday night I treated myself to a raw chocolate making class at the Light Cellar in Bowness, Calgary. When signing up for the class I was told I’d be eating loads of chocolate and if you know me you know I love my chocolate, so getting excited for this course was an easy task.
Malcolm, the owner of Light Cellar held the class with around 20 other students, mainly couples (great date idea!), and families. Within the first 10 minutes of the class I’d written a whole page of notes on the key ingredients of commercial chocolate, the differences between cacao and cocoa, and the way the cacao bean is grown. I was totally blown away at the information that was coming at me. Specifically when we learned that there were multiple whole foods like chicolin powder, mesquite, or lucuma that we could use to sweeten our home made chocolate instead of agave nectar or other sugars.
Anyone who loves honey as much as I do deserves my full attention. When Malcolm began to share his love for honey due to its antibacterial properties, hundreds of digestive and healing compounds, and high content of amylase (the enzyme responsible to help us digest our carbohydrates), I knew I was in exactly the right place. As a side note: I share his view on honey so much so that I’ve recently decided to wash my face with it. More to come on this subject in the coming weeks. I swear there’s something to it.
Half way through the class we set up work stations and were able to make our own chocolate using all of the ingredients he’d introduced us to.
My concoction was a mixture of: cacao powder, cacao butter, agave nectar, mesquite (if you’re allergic to legumes or peanuts be cautious with this ingredient), camu camu, salt, carob (high in calcium which pairs nicely with the high magnesium content in cacao), and LOADS of mulberries, goji berries, coconut and cacao nibs. I really loaded my chocolate with the best ingredients and it tasted fantastic.
Great thing about chocolate making:
- You can never mess up the recipe: the more creative you are, the better it will taste
- You have complete control over how milky or how dark you want it: as a vegan for many years I had trained myself to love dark chocolate so the chocolate I prepared has higher cacao powder than cacao butter. You can also add extra cacao butter to get a milkier consistency
- It’s super easy to clean up: one bowl = a great recipe to tackle after a long day at the office. I use my kitchen time as a stress reliever but the less dishes the better. I hate dishes.
- It’s a great delivery system: have you ever bought a bag of powdered superfood like maca, ican berry or spirulina and never known what to do with it? Throw it in your chocolate! It’s a great delivery system for powders, herbs, and other remedies that you just can’t handle in a smoothie.
Recipes I’m planning next: chocolate covered coffee beans, hemp & chocolate bars with coconut sprinkle, hot chocolate made from home made cashew milk, and chocolate caramel fudge
Thanks for the inspiration Malcolm!
|¼ cup||goji berries, soaked – alternatively you can use dried fruit of any kind|
|¼ cup||sunflower & pumpkin seeds, soaked|
|8 cups||water, boiled|
|1 cup||cacao butter, melted – alternatively you can use coconut oil|
|2 cups||cacao powder aka cocoa powder|
|1 tsp||vanilla or 1 vanilla bean|
|2 cups||shredded coconut|
|1 Tbsp||chia seeds|
|1 Tbsp||agave nectar|
- Place goji berries and seeds in glass container and add water to cover. Place on the counter for 1 hour
- After hour is up, drain berry and seed mixture and rinse
- Place on a kitchen towel to dry
- Meanwhile, boil water and place in glass or metal mixing bowl
- In smaller bowl, combine cacao butter and vanilla. Place small bowl in mixing bowl with water and use as a “double broiler”
- Be careful not to splash water into cacao butter mixture
- Continue to stir cacao butter until melted. Remove from water and add cacao powder
- Continue to stir until mixed
- Add remaining ingredients, taste, and adjust for your preference
Now that you know roughly how to make your own chocolate, try making cacao treats without a recipe! Be creative by adding as little or as many ingredients as you feel necessary. The less ingredients the more “bar like” your chocolate will be.