Ahhh, chocolate. Bitter–sweet like love, no?
Chocolate is one of the most romantic and fail-proof gifts you can give on Valentine’s Day. And since this day for lovers is just around the corner, we’re sharing our favourite and wholesome brands. Yes, chocolate can be choc-full of goodness and tasty, too! Especially if you choose the dark, rich and, um, unadulterated kind – one that is mostly made of organic cacao butter, organic cacao powder and unrefined sugar (e.g. coconut sugar, maple syrup or evaporated cane sugar).
Brands which fit the bill – and which we absolutely love! – include locally made Pana Chocolate and Liefje. We’re also particularly smitten by Conscious Chocolate and Alter Eco.
But, if you’d like to go an extra step and make your own chocolate for your lover, then here’s a winning recipe from The Mindful Foodie. You’ll find we have all the ingredients in store.
Homemade Chocolate Recipe
· 1/3 cup (35 g) cacao butter, roughly chopped
· ¼cup (45 g) cold pressed coconut oil
· 2 tbsp (40 ml) maple syrup*
· ¼ cup (18 g) cacao powder
· any fillings you’d like – such as activated nuts, seeds, goji berries, shredded coconut
· a chocolate mould, tiny cupcake moulds, or a small tray of choice
*use stevia drops to taste for a sugar-free chocolate
Make enough space in your freezer to place your mould or tray so that it lays flat.
Line mould with your choice of fillings (we placed a single roasted hazelnut in each of heart).
Melt the cacao butter in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (the bowl should not touch the water). Leave the bowl over the saucepan, but turn the heat off once the butter has melted.
In a small pot, gently melt the coconut oil over very low heat and stir in the maple syrup.
Pour the coconut–maple mixture into the melted cacao butter
Gently whisk in the cacao powder until there are no lumps and every ingredient is thoroughly combined (the maple syrup tends to sink to the bottom).
Working quickly (stir the mixture again if needed), pour the chocolate into your mould, and place in the freezer immediately, for about 30 minutes.
Turn out from mould. If used a tray, break your chocolate into bite-sized shards.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Savour your chocolate a little at a time.