Tags

, , , , , ,

naturally sweetened chocolate // the muffin myth

Paul and I have travelled at Christmas time every year for the past five years, and so have chosen to forego gifts in favour of experiences. This year is no exception. Last night we splurged out on a dinner out to celebrate Christmas together – dining out isn’t something we do very often, let alone on a weeknight, so it was a real treat. We’re spending Christmas apart this year for the first time ever in our decade together, so it was a bit of a bittersweet celebration, but lovely nonetheless.

When I’m not doing experiences-as-gifts, I tend to favour those that are homemade or consumable. Or better yet, homemade AND consumable.

naturally sweetened chocolate // the muffin mythThere’s always homemadevanilla extract – and hey, if you haven’t started a batch yet you could still put some vanilla beans in a pretty jar, cover them with vodka, and give the recipient instructions to strain it out a couple of months down the road. Great gift! Also in my gift giving repertoire this year is going to be little bars of homemade naturally sweetened chocolate.

You guys, making your own naturally sweetened chocolate from scratch at home is SO EASY! It’s as simple as melting cocoa butter over gentle heat, then whisking in cocoa powder (I used an organic raw cocoa powder) and a sweetener. I’m sharing two versions here, one sweetened with pureed dates and the other with honey.

naturally sweetened chocolate // the muffin myth

I sampled my first couple of batches around the office, and while everyone liked both versions the honey sweetened was the clear favourite. Still, the date version deserves attention, and if you want to make chocolate that is completely raw and vegan it’s a star. Neither version is tempered, so the chocolate is slightly softer than a conventional chocolate bar would be when at room temperature. Storing it it in the fridge easily solves this – though in my mind it’s far from a problem. 

Chocolate is a blank canvas for adding flavours you like. The chocolate in the lead photo here is flavoured with chipotle powder and fleur de sel, and I’ve added a small sprinkle of chilli flakes over the top so that the heat isn’t a surprise. I really hope you try this out, and let me know what flavour combinations you come up with!

giveaway winner

But wait! There’s more! We have a winner for the Vanilla Extract Giveaway! I entered all of the comments (not including any replies from me, just the first comment in each thread) into a random number generator and the winner is #11 – Pauline! I guess it did help to be friends with the inlaws after all!

I want to thank you all so much for entering the giveaway! The response made me wish I’d made a lot more vanilla extract so there was more to go around. I’ve already started another batch, so there will be more vanilla to come!

naturally sweetened chocolate // the muffin myth

One year ago: Spicy Chocolate Snickerdoodles
Two years ago: Cooked Eggnog

Date Sweetened Chocolate Recipe:

Print Recipe

This chocolate is delicious and I hope you try it out! The texture is a bit different since dates make up a large portion of the ingredients, but I think it’s a really lovely treat. And it melts in your mouth just like any other chocolate does! Be warned, the texture seems a bit gritty when the chocolate is fluid still, but once it sets it becomes much smoother. Make sure you get the softest possible dates – you can’t soak them in water to soften as it will make the chocolate seize up. Fresh Medjool dates have worked beautifully for me.

Adapted from My New Roots

.

100g very soft pitted dates
85g cocoa butter
50g raw cocoa powder
seeds scraped from 1/2 a vanilla bean (optional)
pinch of sea salt (optional)

.

Line a loaf pan (narrow, if possible) with parchment paper and set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the dates a few times and then run the food processor until they are very pureed – my dates always form a ball at this stage.

Melt the cocoa butter over a double boiler, or a heat-proof bowl over boiling water (or, real talk, I’ve melted my cocoa butter in the microwave and it works just fine). Add the melted cocoa butter, cocoa powder, vanilla, and sea salt to the dates, and run the food processor until everything is well combined and very smooth.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with any toppings you like, and set in the fridge to chill. Once the chocolate is set you can let it sit at room temperature, and use a sharp knife to slice it into little bars. Store at room temperature or in the fridge.

Honey Sweetened Chocolate Recipe:

This chocolate is much darker and much more intense than the date version. I love to mix a bit of chipotle powder and sprinkle the top with a bit of sea salt, but you can take it in any direction you want. This recipe comes from my sister in law, who is my chocolate making guru.

.

100g cocoa butter
100g raw cocoa powder
80g local organic honey, optionally raw
seeds scraped from 1/2 a vanilla bean (optional)
1/2 tsp chipotle powder (optional)
fleur de sel and chilli flakes for sprinkling (optional)

.

Line a loaf pan (narrow, if possible) with parchment paper and set aside.

Melt the cocoa butter and honey together over a double boiler, or a heat-proof bowl over boiling water (or, real talk, I’ve melted my cocoa butter in the microwave and it works just fine). Whisk in the cocoa powder, vanilla, and any mix-ins like chipotle powder.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with any toppings you like, and set in the fridge to chill. Once the chocolate is set you can let it sit at room temperature, and use a sharp knife to slice it into little bars. Store at room temperature or in the fridge.

MM_Know_Icon_FINAL

You’re eating chocolate! What a treat! And the best part is that it’s all natural home made chocolate without any scary additives. This is the real deal! Cocoa butter is still very high in fat, so eat this chocolate in moderation as you would with any other chocolate. Well, maybe slightly less moderation. Enjoy it! Raw Cocoa is antioxidant rich, and the flavanoid content appears to be helpful in protecting blood vessel linings and thus preventing high blood pressure.

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2013

About these ads