Next time you pick up a store brought Easter egg, I’d like you to take a quick squiz at the ingredients list. It will surprise you the number of ingredients listed on the labeling to make such a simply treat. There is an alternative. Put the Easter egg back down, go to your local Food Co-op or health food store and pick up the following 5 ingredients so you can make your own, healthier version, not only for Easter but for the rest of the year! All you need is cacao butter, cacao powder or carob powder, vanilla (optional), honey and coconut oil. Yep, that’s it. No refined sugar, no additives or preservatives, no nasty numbers….just 5 wholesome ingredients.
And here’s what to do with it….
1 cup cacao butter (220-250 grams of solid cacao butter)
6-7 tbsp raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
4 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract/essence
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
Bring a saucepan of water to boil and then turn the heat down to simmering. Add cacao butter to a heatproof bowl and place over the simmering water in the saucepan. Do not allow the bowl to come into contact with the water and make sure no water gets in the cacao butter, otherwise you cacao will seize (that is, it will turn into a grainy paste – disaster!).
Melt the butter, stirring with a metal whisk / spoon, until it is smooth and creamy. If you have a thermometer, make sure the temperature does not go over 45°C/118°F. If you get very close and the cacao butter is still melting, remove the bowl from the heat and let the butter melt further on the counter top, whilst still stirring. Don’t stress if you don’t have a thermometer, just keep your eyes on it and take it off the heat just before it is completely melted and continue stirring off the heat until all lumps of butter are dissolved.
Once cacao butter is melted, add the cacao powder, vanilla, honey or your preferred sweetener, and coconut oil and whisk together until all dissolved and well incorporated. Keep the mixture warm if possible (around 30-35°C) by mixing over a bowl of warm water. This will keep it smooth and silky, and decrease the chances of chocolate seize (for which there is no redemption).
There you have it. Silky, smooth, melt in your mouth chocolate made from a small handful of ingredients without a grain of white sugar in sight, making it a much healthier choice than the traditional store brought variety for you and the family this Easter.