The basis of any chocolate is high-quality cocoa products: cocoa beans, cocoa powder and cocoa butter. And the basis of live chocolate is cocoa products with minimal thermal and chemical processing. It would seem that in order to make live chocolate at home, it is enough to visit a health food store for cocoa butter and cocoa powder. But not everything is so simple.
Natalia Spiteri, raw chocolatier, author of the only complete professional course on making raw chocolate in Russian:
“The main difference between live chocolate and ordinary, industrially prepared chocolate is that live chocolate is made from ingredients that have undergone mild heat treatment, without the use of microwaves and refined sugar. The composition may include only natural flavors and dyes (spices, essential oils, flower extracts, etc.). In the process of making live chocolate, we have the opportunity to preserve the active substances of cocoa beans, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, as well as avoid the use of refined sugar and additives that benefit only the manufacturer, not the buyer.
The process of making real chocolate on an industrial scale is quite complicated and consists of several stages:
1. Collection of cocoa beans, their fermentation and drying.
2. Roasting cocoa beans, peeling off the outer layer of the husk (cocoa wells).
3. Grinding cocoa beans into cocoa paste, followed by separation of cocoa butter.
4. Obtaining cocoa powder from the remaining cake, alkalization.
5. Grinding cocoa products with refined sugar in a melangeur.
6. The process of tempering, which is often carried out using microwave ovens.
This is how real chocolate is prepared, which does not involve the use of other fats, artificial flavors and dyes, additives that extend the shelf life and improve the presentation of chocolate products.
To make live healthy chocolate at home, all you need is a few tools and quality ingredients.
The minimum required tools are a metal bowl, a food thermometer and a table scale.
The ingredients are cocoa butter, cocoa powder and a sweetener (coconut or cane sugar is more commonly used, but other types of sweeteners can be used). With this set, you can start working at home.
How is raw chocolate made?
The process itself is quite simple: cocoa ingredients are melted in a water bath in a metal bowl with temperature control using a thermometer – heating should not exceed 48-50 degrees. The sweetener is then added to the cocoa. Ready chocolate is tempered and poured into molds.
The main point after mixing the ingredients is the tempering of the finished mass. Not everyone knows about this process, and it, in turn, is the most important in the preparation of chocolate. Tempering consists of several stages: heating the chocolate to 50 degrees, rapid cooling to 27 degrees and a slight heating to 30 degrees. Thanks to tempering, chocolate becomes glossy, retains a clear shape, there is no sugar or greasy coating on it.
Various nuts, dried fruits, freeze-dried berries and seeds can be added to chocolate poured into molds. The scope for imagination is limited only by your taste preferences. Tempered chocolate is cooled in the refrigerator until it hardens.
It is better to buy all the ingredients for live chocolate in health food stores. Ideally, every product should be labeled raw.
Happy chocolate experiments!