Sunday, 15 February 2015

Homemade Hemp Seed Chocolate

I have made quite a lot of raw chocolate now but had always followed a recipe.  None of the recipes seemed to use coconut oil or coconut butter but I noticed that shop bought ones did sometimes list that on the ingredients.  As substituting some of cacao butter with coconut butter would be less expensive, I thought it was worth a go.  I also thought it was about time I was brave enough to make up my own recipe completely.

So beyond the cacao butter, coconut butter and cacao powder that would be the backbone of the recipe, I had to decide what else to put in it.  Firstly the sweetener.  In previous recipes I had used agave or yacon syrup but had noticed coconut nectar blossom being used in shop bought ones.  I had some coconut sugar so, although not strictly raw, I thought I'd give that a go.  

I thought I would also mix things up a bit and use some carob powder alongside the cacao powder. Carob is up to 8% protein and contains vitamins A, B, B2, B3 and D. It is also high in calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium and contains iron, manganese, barium, copper and nickel. So all in all, carob is good to get in there and does add a little sweet roasted taste as an added advantage.

When it comes to protein you can't get much better than hemp seeds. They contain all of the essential amino acids, which makes them a complete source of protein. If that wasn't enough they also contain perfectly balanced omega oils and essential fatty acids in an easily digestible format. How could you resist that? So in they went. One tablespoon seemed to go a long way and you can see these little superfood seeds just sat below the surface of the chocolate in the photo.

Flavour wise I wanted to keep it simple; after all the coconut sugar, carob and cacao powders are pretty flavoursome anyway. A little bit of vanilla went in but also some maca powder. Maca has a subtle but noticeable taste which has a little vanilla, nutty or even butterscotch flavour. Maca powder comes from a root vegetable that is mainly grown in Peru and is a rich source of the B, C and E vitamins and has abundant levels of zinc, calcium, iron and potassium. It is one of the few vegetables that has all of the essential amino acids so, like hemp seeds, make it a complete protein. It is also said to improve, among other things, energy levels, mood swings, depression, anxiety, stress and menstrual issues. You wouldn't think that chocolate could make you feel even better than it does, so in the maca went as well!

I was 'taking a punt' when I made up this recipe but the proof was in the eating. I did manage to get a couple of squares and very much enjoyed it but then mysteriously the next time I went to have some, it had all disappeared! I guess that must mean Phil likes it huh?

Homemade Hemp Seed Chocolate

2 oz cacao butter
1 oz coconut butter
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1 tablespoon cacao powder
1 tablespoon shelled hemp seeds
1/2 tablespoon maca powder
1/2 tablespoon carob powder
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or essence

Completely melt the cacao butter and coconut butter in a glass dish over warm water. Once melted stir in the coconut sugar whilst it is still warm to dissolve fully.  Add in the rest of the ingredients and stir until well incorporated.  Pour in to the mould of your choice. I have a chocolate bar mould and the recipe above (more by chance than judgement) made exactly two bars of about 4" x 2.5".  Pop in the fridge or freezer until completely set.  Remove from the mould and store in the fridge or keep cool.  Hide from Phil otherwise by the time you go to get some it will all be gone!

Enjoy and experiment!

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