I love chocolate.
Had a bad day at work? Chocolate. Feeling hungover and sorry for myself? Chocolate. Bored? Chocolate.
Milk, white, dark. Milkybar, Cadbury’s, Hotel Chocolat. You name it, I’ll eat it.
Admittedly, it’s an addiction that I need to try to curb. I gave it up for a month in March but as soon as we hit April those cravings were back with a vengeance. I’m aware there probably needs to be a longer term solution put in place to control my chocoholic nature. So when Indigo Herbs asked me to try out their Natural Organic Chocolate Making Kit, I jumped at the chance. Natural and organic had to mean healthier, right?
I have tried a couple of raw chocolate brands before, and I’ll admit the first time I heard the term I had no idea what on earth raw chocolate was.
Raw chocolate is cooked at a much lower temperature than commercial chocolate. The low temperature of 42-45 degrees allows all antioxidant and nutritional properties to be restored, including Vitamin C, Magnesium, Calcium and Iron. It typically also only contains 3-4 natural ingredients, opting to avoid the artificial flavourings found in more common chocolate.
The Indigo Herbs kit was delivered very quickly and in the prettiest packaging. The pack included all of the required ingredients: Organic Cacao Butter, Pure Organic Raw Vanilla Powder, Organic Cacao Powder and Organic Raw Agave Nectar, as well as detailed and easy-to-follow instructions.
I had a slight panic when I read that the recipe required a bain marie?! But managed to create a makeshift alternative pretty easily by filling a deep lasagne style dish with hot water and placing a glass bowl in it.
I melted the cacao butter (the lengthiest part of the process as it was solid), mixed in the vanilla powder until dissolved, did the same with the cacao powder, then poured in the agave syrup and gave it the suggested 100 stirs.
Et voila. I poured the liquid into my chocolate mould (£4.99 from Lakeland) and placed into the fridge. My fridge is very cold so after only half an hour I was able to pop the chocolates out and store in a container.
The process was easy, very quick and the chocolate smelled like chocolate. Good sign right? But I still wasn’t sure how it would taste…
The next day I shared my chocolates with my flatmate, work colleagues and my boyfriend’s family. The taste was similar to other raw chocolate I have tasted, although much less bitter. It had a smooth, dark taste that wasn’t overpowering. The texture is much softer than regular chocolate, quite biscuit-like and almost spongey but really pleasant. I enjoyed the taste so much more than expected and so did everyone I shared it with which was probably the most surprising thing! I could definitely see myself eating this more regularly, but in small doses which is perfect as it saves me from delving into a share bag of chocolate buttons and devouring the lot*.
*not an exaggeration
If I was to have one critique of the Indigo Herbs kit, it would be that you don’t know until you’ve opened the pack that a chocolate mould of some description is not included. However you can improvise – I only had 15 small moulds so poured the rest into a sandwich bag to harden into a bar!
Overall I was really impressed with the kit and especially the taste of the chocolate – this would make a lovely gift idea and I look forward to trying more of the Indigo Herbs products.
Have you tried making your own chocolate? What are your thoughts on raw chocolate? Let me know!