Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Delightful Misunderstandings of Chocolate + Macadamia Nut

Mrs. Powder reunites with her long lost soul mate Mr. Fat. Emotions of the vanilla persuasion swirl in their heads. Feelings of sweet and salt come to the surface as things start to heat up. They must not allow things to get too hot for their guests are on their way. They take a moment to cool themselves before welcoming Mr. Macadamia and Mrs. Coconut with enveloping arms.

...or something like that...

Raw Chocolate!

200 grams raw cocoa butter, chopped into small bits for easier melting
12 tablespoons raw cocoa powder
2 tsp raw agave
1/8 tsp Himalayan sea salt (or less)
2 drops liquid vanilla stevia
¼ tsp ground vanilla beans, or scrape the inside of half of a bean
2 tbsp melted virgin coconut oil – optional, can add olive oil too for something different

Using the double boiler method (I usually use a sauce pan with some water and a 1L glass pyrex measuring cup), put the cocoa butter in the pyrex and melt on med-low, stirring so the bottom never gets too warm (keeping it raw - under 115 degrees - or room temperature to the touch). When all of the butter is almost melted, take the glass measuring cup out of the water/off the heat. Make sure you never get any water in the cocoa butter, it will ruin your chocolate. Continue to stir the melted cocoa butter until no more solid white chunks remain.

Add the rest of the ingredients and frantically stir with a whisk for a while until it starts to cool and thicken. You probably don't have to whisk it the whole time... maybe you can let it sit and cool for a few minutes before whisking again.

Taste for sweetness, saltiness, overall flavour and adjust to your taste buds. (I like dark, bitter, salty chocolate).

When slightly thicker, but not too thick, pour into chocolate molds or some other mold.

In the molds I usually have several different nuts and fruits or a combination of the two. My faves are: raw macadamia nuts, goji berries, home made trail mix, large coconut flakes/chips, jungle peanuts and dried strawberries.

Sometimes I like to separate the chocolate into a few bowls and try adding different flavours such as: black/green peppers (see "The New Salt" post about my pepper selection from Montreal), lavender, olive oil, curry powder, cocoa nibs, lucuma powder, macca powder...the list goes on and on.

This batch, I also rolled individual macadamia nuts in the chocolate. Be careful when you keep your nuts in the fridge and do not allow them to come to room temp. they will make the chocolate harden fast!

*They have THE BEST raw macadamia nuts at Nu Roots in Canmore - taste just like the ones from the mac nut farm on the big island of Hawaii - well worth the $.*

Place all chocolate in the molds in the freezer for 10-20 minutes to harden and then take out and pop out of the molds. Place in fridge for storage. You can always improvise with molds. Silicone muffin cups work fantastic, as do silicone mini muffin mats (silicone is great because you can easily pop the chocolate out). If you are using muffin cups try putting your favourite nut butter in the middle to make a home version of those peanut butter cups we all used to eat as kids.

I kind of just figured this recipe out for myself, with no real understanding of chocolate and how it works. If you have any tips for me or your own chocolate recipe, I'd love to hear it!

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