Thursday, 3 February 2011

Cardamom Raw Chocolates

A much coveted Raw Chocolate Starter Kit arrived in the post recently from Choc Chick. Having tried to make raw chocolates rather unsuccessfully last July, I was very keen to give them a second go with this kit which I'd heard was virtually guaranteed to work. I started a post about the health benefits of using raw cocoa powder instead of the more conventionally dutched powder over 18 months ago, but for some reason I didn't finish it. But it is because of the additional antioxidants that are found in raw chocolate, that I am so keen to get this right. The kit consists of the ingredients needed to make the basic chocolate mixture plus a leaflet with some recipes, including truffles, fondu and cocktails. As some of you know, I do try to use organic ingredients wherever possible, so I was doubly pleased to find both the cocoa powder and the cocoa butter were organic.

I followed the instructions pretty much exactly, which as you may have noticed, is not something I'm very good at.
  • Melted 100g raw cacao butter in a bowl over hot water.
  • Ground the seeds of 4 cardamom pods with a pinch of pink Himalayan rock salt.
  • Stirred this into the bowl with 6 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • Whisked in 2 tbsp Sweet Freedom (natural sweetener from apples, grapes and carob) and carried on whisking until all well incorporated.
  • Spooned the mixture into chocolate moulds and left to set. In theory these should go into the fridge (2 hrs) or freezer (20 mins) to set, but my kitchen is so cold this wasn't necessary.
These were amazingly fast to make; melting the cocoa butter was the longest part of this process. It had a beautiful golden shine which was a real pleasure to stir and it smelt wonderful too - more chocolatey than I had expected, but with sweet syrupy notes - very different to the cocoa butter I use for making body creams. I was more successful this time than the last, but the syrup still separated out on some of the chocolates. Others have used this kit with perfect results, so it must be something I'm doing. The last moulds I filled worked well, so maybe I just didn't whisk the mixture enough or some water got into the mix somehow or perhaps I should have left it in the bowl to cool a bit before spooning into the moulds OR what has been slowly dawning on me as a possibility, did I miscount the number of spoons of cocoa and just not put enough in? I used the Golden Ticket mould that I'd won in Celia's giveaway before Christmas and as it was the first time I've used it, I was disappointed that I didn't get perfect results. I shall just have to try again, but like tempering, I am determined to get this sorted out - third time lucky!  Thankfully, they tasted lovely and the cardamom was an excellent addition - subtle but most definitely there.

PS When CT came home from work, I let forth my tale of woe. Why don't you just remelt  the bar and try again he said - doh! So I did, adding an additional tbsp of cocoa. While we waited for it to set, he polished off the remaining shells and roses - he had been working hard. His verdict was that they were very rich with a smooth mouth feel and tasted deliciously of cardamom. Its a win win situation, the body says decadent, the mind says healthy. This time, the chocolate came out of the mould beautifully - hoorah, it had worked! Looks like I miscounted the spoonfuls after all. Unfortunately, it was dark by this point, so the photograph is not the greatest.

The kit would be a great Valentine's gift in itself but if you wanted to give the chocolates to a loved one, Choc Chick also sell heart shape chocolate moulds.

24 comments:

  1. Oh wow I love that golden ticket mould. It's just so perfectly chocolate! Well done you for making the effort. I think id lose patience myself. Lucky CT. Bet the house smelt mouthwateringly divine! X

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  2. Interesting concept. I'm glad you got a good crisp finish in the end, with the 'golden' ticket mould.

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  3. oh I love this post. That final golden ticket looks fantastic and what a great mould. I would love to give this a go. Well done Choc.

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  4. Wow that golden ticket looks amazing! Bet they taste like nothing shop bought!

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  5. Dom - lose patience indeed! What happened to your plans for world domination?

    Suelle - thank you. I was ridiculously pleased after my initial failure.

    Kath - the fact there was no daylight actually worked well in the end! I was very pleased with the mould. Do give it a try.

    Gillian - you've tried it so you know it is indeed nothing like a bar of standard chocolate, but good in it's own right.

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  6. If at first you don't succeed!! That golden ticket is perfect and such a fantastic mould for a chocolate bar.

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  7. Chele - I'm really pleased with the mould, but was a little bit stressed at having to actually use it!

    Torview - Thanks.

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  8. what does it taste like? how is it different to un-raw chocolate?

    I looked at your first golden ticket and smiled, thinking how sweet and it was a lovely surprise when I scrolled down to see the PERFECT one! Also, the photo is great - it looks as if it is glowing gold around the edges!

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  9. That's exactly what I was going to say Chele ... great minds!!!

    What a fantastic experiment Choclette - I love the idea of the cardamon in there.

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  10. 'The body says healthy and the mind says decadent' - if only all life was like that...

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  11. Golden chocolate is glowing! congrats on getting it so beautifully and cardamom with chocolate sounds very interesting with pinch of salt viola wanna try one!

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  12. Grazing Kate - one day I'll get around to writing a post about the differences between raw and heat processed chocolate. But meanwhile, standard chocolate is very highly processed so many of the beneficial antioxidants disappear. Raw cocoa, used to make raw chocolate has not been heat treated so has much higher levels of antioxidants.

    In the end, the indoor photography did me a favour as the golden light worked quite nicely.

    BVG - cardamom and chocolate is one of my favourite combinations along with .......

    Liz - indeed.

    Ananda - do try. The chocolate is very easy to make, the mould not so easy to come across.

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  13. What a lovely post this was!! I loved it!

    I just moved my blog to wordpress.com/ Come over @ my blog & check it out! You must update your RSS too!

    Sorry, that you didn't hear from me in a very long time!! I has to study for my Spanish exam. I had 74%. Ans we baught our dream home too!

    Kisses from Brussels to you!!!

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  14. This was a lovely post. I love the molds and I love those cardamom chocolate candies. Decadent and festive. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

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  15. Sophie - thank you. Sounds as though you've been really busy. congratulations on house and exam.

    Mary - thank you. Chocolate and cardamom is a lovely combination and I'm rather fond of those moulds too.

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  16. Interesting post Choclette. You did very well here with this task.

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  17. Choc, you made me so happy with that second photo! I'm so glad you made such a beautiful bar! And well done with the raw chocolate - I must admit to knowing about the loss of antioxidants in dutched cocoa, but I just love the flavour of it so much more!

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  18. That looks like a load of fun! I love the lighting for the remade golden ticket. Didn't know you could do that with chocolate, good tip CT!

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  19. Cardamom is such a wonderful spice isn't it. I think it goes beautifully with chocolate. The golden ticket looks perfectly golden.
    (why dorset? I lived there very briefly when I was a lowly backpacker.)

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  20. Celia - I have to admit, it's not quite the same a the chocolate we are used to, but it's still very nice. And I was so pleased to be able to use your wonderful mould.

    Jo - thank you. The light was coincidental, but worked out well in the end.

    CityHippy - lowly? never. It's a spice I've only started using out of curries in the last couple of years - yum.

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  21. Oh what a perfect treat! Love them! xxx

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  22. yum! these look sooo good !

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