Raw Chocolate Bar Recipe or Chocolate Bark Experiment #2
This delicious chocolate bar recipe was created as what I thought of yesterday as a failed chocolate bark experiement. But now, since today I can’t stop eating it I am realizing that this is sometimes how awesome creations are born. And so my chocolate bark just had a little transformation into an amazingly delicious new fruit and nut filled chocolate bar. How things can turn around sometimes, or sometimes just a new perspective is needed!
After my last chocolate bark experiment: Chocolate Bark Recipe Version 1, I wanted to try again, and this time make a chocolate that I could drizzle over dried fruits and nuts and that would stay hard like most chocolate barks, and chocolate bars do. The last one, version 1, is delicious but it will get soft if left out of the fridge for long periods. Too bad because it is really nutritious and easy to make. This recipe, what we will now cal our new Chocolate Bar, instead of chocolate bark, hardens and doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge, but it was too thick and so I had to mix the nuts and fruit in with it in a bowl, instead of pouring the liquid chocolate over the nuts and fruit. It turns out it still is delicious and hardens as I wanted it to and so worthy of a post. Especially now as I taste it and it tastes amazing!
I love chocolate. If you are following this blog you may have figured that out 😉 ..and I have some experience working with chocolate. I used to work side by side with some chocolatiers – ChocoSol, for about a year and then when they moved into a new kitchen space I would go visit, and even make chocolate with them sometimes.
Here’s a post of a chocolate making adventure with them – Chocolate Journey post
and here, making ChocoSol Fudge Cookies, that I developed using their delicious chocolate. I love the ChocoSol kitchen. It was always fun and lifted the soul. I always would feel amazing after a few hours there!
So, point is, I am not a complete novice to making chocolate. But what I am trying to do now is make chocolate using powder, instead of cacao liquor from the cacao bean, which is usually used in chocolate production, as that is harder to get and harder to work with at home with simple kitchen equipment. Also, it is harder to get in its raw form. I have discovered that making raw chocolate, with liquid sweeteners instead of a dry sugar is more difficult also. So it’s a balance of a lot of factors. I will still work on it and figure out how to make bark raw, but for now we have a new raw chocolate bar recipe. with all of its incredible antioxidants left intact. Cacao left in a raw state has an off the wall nutritional and antioxidant rating that drops considerably once you roast the bean, as is almost always done, not to mention adding dairy and sugar and all of the processing that usually goes along with commercial chocolate production.
Chart from here. As well as being one of the highest natural known sources of antioxidants raw cacao is known to decrease blood pressure, improve circulation, promote cardiovascular function, improve digestion, fight depression and anxiety among many other wonderful benefits. More on cacao here.
So although I didn’t end up with the Chocolate bark I had intended, we have a new creation, a fabulously nutritious and delicious fruit and nut filled Raw Chocolate Bar. Yay! And now you all need to come help me eat it! I have so much chocolate!!
Raw Chocolate Bark Recipe Experiment #2
1 cup raw Cacao Powder
¾ cup Cacao Butter – shaved into small pieces
¼ cup Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp Maca
1 tsp Vanilla
½ cup Hazelnuts – chopped
½ cup Almonds – chopped
½ cup dried Cranberries
½ cup Goji Berries
Set the cacao butter in a bowl and place that bowl in a larger one or a pot filled with hot water and let the cacao butter melt.
While that is melting, prepare the dried fruit and nuts. I decided to toast the nuts a bit to see the difference in flavor and set them on a baking tray in the oven at almost 400 degrees for 10 minutes, stirring half way through. After they cool, mix with the gojis and cranberries.
When cacao butter is melted add maple syrup, maca and vanilla and stir so that there are no clumps. Then add the cacao powder, stirring well to make sure there are no clumps in it. Then add the dried fruit and nut mixture to bowl, stir well and transfer onto a baking tray which has a piece of wax or parchment paper on it.
Shape into a block one half to three quarters thick and let harden. I set mine in the freezer for 5 minutes. Then cut into desired sized pieces.
Then try not to eat it all in one sitting. Recommendation: leave a couple pieces out and hide the rest away. I am going to go do that now!
Shave cacao butter into small pieces.
Place in a bowl or pot of hot water to melt.
Toast nuts, if desired. Next time I may leave the untoasted. It is a decision of taste vs nutrition and living enzymes.
Mix nuts and dried fruit together.
I had hoped to pour my liquid chocolate over, but it was too thick, and so mixed it all in a bowl together and then flattened out into a block on a wax paper lined baking tray.
Cool and then cut into pieces.
It is delicious. But it is an incredible highly nutritious superfood filled chocolate bar that you can feel great about eating. Awesome!!