This collection of raw chocolate recipes and techqniues are designed to enable you to make high quality raw chocolate recipes at home.
We cover all the ground work needed to start working with raw chocolate, from making your own, tempering and creating a chocolate bar through to making pralines and enrobing/dipping them in chocolate like a pro.
If you’re interested in continuing your learning experience, you can check out and join my comprehensive flagship Raw Chocolate at Home online course which consists of 4 levels of learning for just $97.
Is Raw Chocolate Really Raw?
Over the past 4 years or so, I’ve gotten a lot of students in my online and live classes asking if raw chocolate is really raw. Back in the day, before we knew the whole story of how it was being produced, I’d always say that it was really raw. My source told me their product was raw and I trusted my source. As time has gone on, and the raw chocolate industry has boomed, more information has come to light on the subject.
Cacao, whether labelled raw or not, has been heated. It’s not roasted, but during the fermentation process (this process was thought to be excluded from raw chocolate production for many years) the chocolate naturally heats to approx 50°c, which is 5°- 7°c over the “raw” temperatures. I have personally had a few chats with people in the industry and it seems all companies ferment their cacao, making it no longer “raw”.
You might have noticed that many companies that once touted “raw” on their labels have turned to using the term “un-roasted”. This certainly is a truer representation of the product. Want to know about about my thoughts on this? Check out this post I wrote called “The Truth About Raw Chocolate”.
If It’s Not Raw Then Why Do I Use That Term?
It’s a very tricky situation because Raw doesn’t have a legal definition or specific guidelines that must be adhered to like Organic or Fair Trade do. For me, it’s all about using the highest quality and best tasting ingredients and, these days, that’s not always using raw ingredients. I have moved into using roasted nut butters because the flavour is far superior to raw butters. Sometimes I will use cooked cocoa powder because the flavour profile is incredible and, in some cases, the look of the end product is much nicer when using cooked v.s raw cocoa powder.
In fairness, I never liked raw chocolate powder. From a “chef” point of view, it’s a far inferior product and is not being treated in a way that enhances its full capabilities. So, why don’t I use a different term? Well, I don’t know what to use, honestly. I could say Unroasted, but that doesn’t roll off the tongue quite the same way. I could say Healthy chocolate, but that then implies that other chocolate is Unhealthy, which I don’t necessarily agree with and I don’t want to put down anyone else’s choices. It’s a predicament, for sure.
Is It Possible To Make Professional Quality Raw Chocolate At Home?
Absolutely! The recipes and techniques we cover in the mini series below are for people making raw chocolate at home as simply as possible. Think of these recipes as a great starting point, but far from the end of the line in terms of what’s possible. In the raw chocolate recipes below, we use a Vitamix blender to make a couple of the chocolates.
The problem with this method is that you don’t get a lot of grinding time and that is stage one of making chocolate. Without getting the traditional grind time of 24-100 hours, you will feel the sugar on your tongue far more and it will feel “gritty and grainy”. That’s simply because it’s not grinding long enough and, really, a blender cannot touch the micron size needed in order to feel “silky smooth” like chocolate you’d be used to. A micron is the sizing used to describe the smoothness of chocolate; 1 micron is 1/1000 of a mm…. very small!
You might then be wondering why the sugar doesn’t just dissolve into the chocolate and leave a silky smooth consistency. It’s a great question. Sugar is not fat soluble, which simply means it doesn’t dissolve in fat or oils. It dissolves in liquid and since we don’t add liquids to chocolate because it interferes greatly in the chocolate being tempered, being ground and holding temper, we need to slowly grind it in order to break that sugar down.
Raw Chocolate Recipes
The first recipe I recommend starting with is either this Dark Chocolate recipe or the next one, Pure Chocolate. I think it’s important to start with an easy recipe and learn how to make it right before carrying on.
What do I mean by “make it right”? This means that you learn how to use the blender or bain marie method and how to properly temper chocolate before moving on to all the bells and whistles. One common difficulty I see students get into is trying to do too much too fast and getting overwhelmed and upset when things don’t work.
Chocolate is a very complex ingredient and has special requirements. As you work with it, you’ll learn more and more about it. What can go wrong and how to correct it. What chocolate looks like when it’s well tempered and what it looks like when it’s not. And more. If you skip ahead and try too much at once, you won’t know what’s going wrong or right and why.
This Pure Chocolate recipe is really easy to make at home as it doesn’t require any type of grinding. You just melt down cacao paste and butter to 42c, temper it and you’re good to go.
The other benefit of this recipe is that it’s sweetener free. Some important points to bear in mind when choosing between this and the dark chocolate – Pure Chocolate is very dark and very bitter, as there is no sweetener, so if you are making a solid bar of chocolate, you might prefer to use the dark chocolate recipe or, if using this recipe, fill it up with dried, sweet fruits like white mulberries, chopped dates, etc… If you’re using it to enrobe, then just be sure the item you are enrobing is sweeter than usual. The darkness and bitterness of this chocolate will need it.
Before you get all stoked about a vegan, raw white chocolate recipe, let me say this; it’s not a great eating chocolate. For that, I would suggest either trading out the sugar for raw cane sugar or making my Blonde Chocolate recipe.
Blonde chocolate is a form of white, as there are no cocoa solids (dark parts) in there, but we use coconut sugar instead of xylitol. The purpose of this raw white chocolate is to make a white base for making coloured chocolate. If you start from an off white or blonde base, the colours will always be dark and murky, you won’t get bright colours.
By using xylitol, we retain the white colour and can make bright, beautiful and true colours used to garnish enrobed and formed chocolates alike, as you’ll see in the Marbled Dark Chocolate video. If you don’t want to use xylitol, you can use any dry, ‘white’ sweetener that you prefer. Xylitol, in big bites, has a cooling taste and feel to it, so it’s not as yummy to eat on its own. When using to colour and decorate something, the amount of the white chocolate used is negligible and you won’t taste.
If you’re wondering what tempering is, I’ll break it down real quick. Tempering chocolate is a process of heating and cooling chocolate to certain temperatures while also keeping it in motion. Why do we do this? Because tempered chocolate is more stable, doesn’t melt at room temp or in your hand, is shiny and have a melt in the mouth texture. Untempered chocolate is waxy in your mouth, has a crumbly texture, has a dull finish and melts very easily.
In this video we break down how to temper as easily as possible. There are many ways to temper chocolate and, once you get into it, you can look into all the varieties of ways to temper and find the one that you prefer. For now, I recommend you start with this method in order to keep it simple for yourself.
In this post I take you through using the white chocolate a few recipes back to marble with dark and make lovely designs in your chocolates. We also get into some bits on using moulds, adding extracts and essential oils to your chocolate and giving it some flavour and texture. This is where you can get really creative with your chocolate and make it your own. The possibilities are really endless, nuts, seeds, candied items, freeze dried fruits, dried fruits, essential oil, medicine flower extracts, spices, cacao nibs, flowers… Once you know how to do it, you can make some pretty incredible creations!
These are really easy to make and the flavour combos are endless. They can be made using most nut or seed butters, sweetened or unsweetened. Traditionally praline is made by grinding candied nuts or seeds into a paste or butter. It’s soft and creamy at room temp and firms up in the fridge due to the addition of chocolate or cocoa butter in the recipe. You can hand form the mixture into balls or pipe it into chocolate shells as a layer inside a bonbon. So, no matter where you are on your chocolate journey, this recipe can meet you.
Whether you’re using cooked or raw chocolate, enrobing is the same thing 🙂 Enrobing is just a fancy word for dipping… same same. The only difference might be that when it’s done by a machine, it would be more accurately referred to as enrobing and when covering in chocolate by hand, as seen in the image above, it would be called dipping. Either way, it’s the act of covering something in chocolate. The tool I am using in that photo is called a dipping fork, although a normal eating fork can be used, a dipping fork has much thinner prongs and so the chocolate doesn’t gather on it as much. For enrobing, the chocolate will also need to be tempered, so hop over to the video if you haven’t yet.
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