Things must be looking up if I’m able to blog about chocolate, right?
I used to be a chocoholic but until last week, I hadn’t actually eaten chocolate for three and a half years. When I went Vegan whilst breastfeeding my highly food intolerant youngest child, I tried a couple of the yummy vegan chocolates commercially available but found them too potent; yummy but headache and ‘hang-over’ inducing, and of course the chemicals that I reacted too went straight through the breast milk and upset my little one too. That’s most likely due to the amines in the cacao powder, which if you are food sensitive like us, them you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you don’t but you’re interested in knowing why so many people get headaches after eating dark, rich chocolate some of the answers can be found here: Tangerine Tantrums: How our Food Intolerance Journey Began. Other chocolate that is either sugar free or vegan tends to have soy in it, which I avoid like the plague. No soy in our house.
Not eating chocolate was fine actually, I stopped craving it after a few months of being chocolate free (note months, not weeks) and having one less food ‘addiction’ can only be a good thing. UNTIL… Last week when I decided to make my own, low food chemical, vegan, sugar and soy free!
So why did I have to go and invent my own chocolate when I was clearly surviving without it?! Well I’ve had a bag of utterly delectably-smelling Cacao Butter in my cupboard for about 18 months, maybe longer (don’t worry cacao butter has a very long shelf life, mine expires later this year). Just sniffing it occasionally was enough to make me very happy (you should try it, the smell is intoxicating!). I’ve been intending to make my own chocolate for a while, particularly for my food sensitive little girls who have to miss out on sweets and chocolates at parties (well, I think it’s a good thing, but I do need to replace the unhealthy snacks everyone else eats with homemade delicacies, hence the purchase of the heavenly cacao butter nearly two years ago). By the way, the cacao butter itself is lower in food chemicals than chocolate made with cacao butter AND cacao powder. In theory, my lower food chemical, cacao powder free ‘white’ chocolate should also be headache free at least, I’ve been fine so far.
The first batch I made turned out two tone which looks pretty cool but it was an accident. I think this was because I didn’t have enough ‘substance’ to the chocolate and the cacao butter separated from the rest of the ingredients. The resulting chocolates were thinner too, which is ok I guess, but if I’m going to eat chocolate I’d rather have a real hunk in my hand to gnaw away at. I’d have to try to make them two tone again as it was just an early morning experiment and I threw things into the saucepan without measuring anything (my kitchen style).
The second batch, shown in the photo at the top of the post is so amazingly delish I can hardly stop myself popping one in my mouth whenever I go to the fridge. They still don’t look perfect as the cacao butter separates a little around the edges but since there are so many of you waiting for the recipe I promised I’d give with the photo teaser on Facebook, I thought I’d go ahead and post something now. If I perfect it in the meanwhile I’ll update this post.
50g cacao butter
Two tablespoons of carob powder (I use the Carob Kitchen version as it’s pale and we tolerate it better)
Two tablespoons of pure maple syrup
Three tablespoons ground cashew nuts
Gently melt the cacao butter in a saucepan. I find that I don’t need to keep the saucepan on the heat the whole time, once the metal heats up it’s enough to melt the remaining chunks of butter, that way nothing gets burned.
Throw in the other ingredients and stir. Yes it’s that easy.
Using a small spoon, place the mixture into a chocolate or ice cube mould then place in the fridge for 30-60 mins. I use a koala bear ice cube mould.
Then start scoffing.
What do you think? Let me know if you make them, I’ve got a few ideas for some more homemade chocolate recipes as I experiment I’ll be posting the results here! For more on Food Intolerance have a look here, for more Allergy Friendly Recipes look here.