Ok, this is a big call, but I’m going to say it… This is the best chocolate I’ve ever eaten. I’ve been making chocolate for a few years now and it’s pretty much always been great. I’ve always used the usual ingredients – cacao butter and powder plus a sweetener, vanilla and a pinch of salt, then added any sort of filling/flavouring I’ve felt like, nuts, coconut, dried fruit, nut butter, cinnamon, edible essential oils. Well, I bought some cacao liquor (aka cacao paste) a few months ago – cacao liquor is not at all alcoholic – and set about creating a fab chocolate recipe with it a couple of weeks ago. Well after quite a bit of experimenting, I am pleased to say I have found the perfect ratios. You don’t have to use the optional filling ingredients I have suggested, but I really like the texture they add. Without them, the chocolate is lovely and smooth and melts in your mouth. Whichever way you choose, I hope you love it!
100g cacao liquor (also known as cacao paste) *see Tip for an alternative to using this
100g cacao butter
75g raw honey (or slightly higher weight of maple syrup)
20g cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla powder
pinch of salt
large handful of coconut flakes
large handful almonds
handful of dried fruit such as blueberries, cranberries or white mulberries
1. Using a sharp knife, slice the cacao liquor and cacao butter into 1cm wide chunks then place in mixer bowl. It is essential that your bowl is 100% dry for chocolate making, or your chocolate will split.
2. Blitz for 15 seconds/speed 9/MC on. Melt for 10 minutes/37/speed 2/MC on, stopping half way to scrape any solids from the sides of the bowl and the tops of the blades.
3. Add honey, cacao powder, vanilla and salt. Combine for 4 seconds/speed 4/MC on. Scrape sides of bowl, taste mixture and add a little more sweetener if you like a sweeter chocolate. Cook for 5 minutes/37/speed 3/MC on.
4. In the meantime, toast coconut and almonds in a 170°C oven until coconut begins to change colour. Transfer to the silicon mould you are going to set the chocolate in. Top with your choice of dried fruit.
5. When the chocolate finishes, immediately pour it into the silicon mould, sprinkle over some chia (if using) and place into the fridge to set.
6. When completely set, cut into pieces and store in a jar or container in the fridge.
If you can’t get your hands on cacao liquor, you can leave it out and make the following changes to compensate – increase cacao butter to 150g, increase cacao powder to 50g and reduce honey to 60g. After completing the step of adding the honey, combine and taste the mixture and add a little more if you like a sweeter chocolate.