Blog Tags

Chocolate - to make or not to make?

Like most people, I have very little free time for baking.  I also have a very little (but cute) kitchen to do it in, so recipes involving lots of prep and pans don’t appeal.  When it comes to using chocolate that’s free from refined sugar in cooked cakes, I cheat and buy shop bought plain chocolate with no added sugar rather than make my own because basically I want to get to the eating part in as short a time as possible.

Thankfully there are one or two refined sugar free brands available that are very low in sugars (less than 5g in 100g) that range in price and quality.  Most supermarkets offer them.  I tend to use a brand by Tescos called Chocologic that’s sweetened with stevia and erythritol.  These are both good zero/low sugar natural sweeteners.  It’s convenient but it’s not quality so I usually use a little caramel essence or other flavouring to add some further interest and appeal.

For uncooked cakes, seedbars and puddings though, why not go for raw chocolate?  

Raw uncooked chocolate unlike normal dark chocolate is cold pressed and retains the living enzymes that are lost when cacao is heated to make dark chocolate.  These enzymes help to aid our digestion and absorption of nutrients.

I used to imagine that chocolate making was a mysterious and complicated art but it’s so easy.  You can make it from scratch using cacao powder and cacao butter if you want, but if you’re an idle cook like me, just buy the cacao paste. My favourite is by Treeharvest.  It has a lovely warm and rich flavour with less bitterness than some cacao.  Then all it needs is a little natural sweetener, (I use a combo of yacon syrup and liquid stevia or ground xylitol), a little smidgen of melted coconut oil to give smoothness and Bob’s your proverbial.

To melt the cacao paste put it in a bowl along with a little bit of coconut oil.  Put the bowl in a pan of warm water over a gentle heat, stirring it often.
When it’s melted, add the sweetener and any flavour embellishments you might fancy such as orange or mint.  

If you’re not using it as cake or biscuit topping, pour it into chocolate moulds or into a tray lined with baking paper and pop into the fridge to cool.

Posted in: