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This homemade raw vegan chocolate is a staple in our house.
You might not normally think of chocolate as a staple food, but to me it is.
This smooth, dark piece of heaven has got me through many a wobbly moment, and it also makes the good days even better!
I’m also blessed to have an automatic chocolate maker (AKA my husband) who has taken on the responsibility of ensuring I’m always well stocked with my life-giving raw vegan chocolate.
He’s also the one who perfected this recipe – and simplified it fabulously – after I got frustrated with the fussiness of chocolate recipes.
Yes, unlike many of my foolproof recipes, this one can be a little picky, but it’s definitely worth mastering.
And it’s wonderfully low-key – all you need is a bowl and whisk, although a pair of scales and a thermometer definitely come in handy too.
I also splurged and bought these fantastic chocolate block moulds, so it even comes out looking like the real deal.
Everyone I’ve ever shared this raw vegan chocolate with (when I could bear to part with it, that is) has raved about how amazing it tastes, and I’m sure you’ll feel the same way about it too.
So here it is. My recipe for homemade raw vegan chocolate.
Simple, delicious and definitely worth the effort.
Vegan Chocolate recipe
Make sure to read the tips below the recipe to get the most out of this delicious vegan chocolate recipe.
Homemade Raw Vegan Chocolate
- Melt cacao butter at around 40-45°C (104-113°F) on a double boiler or in a dehydrator.
- Grind salt to a fine powder (e.g. in a mortar and pestle).
- Add agave nectar to cacao butter.
- Sieve cacao powder, vanilla powder and salt onto butter and agave mix.
- Whisk until smooth.
- Keep stirring and whisking until chocolate reaches around 31°C (88°F).
- Pour into moulds.
- Put into the fridge until set.
- Store in the fridge or at room temp.
- Before: 30 mins to 2 hours (to melt cacao butter)
- During: 20 mins
- After: 30 mins (to set chocolate)
- Need: Double boiler or dehydrator
- I have estimated the volumes for this recipe, because we always make it by weight. You may need to tweak your amounts until you’re happy with the result if you make it by volume, but if you follow the weights as specified, it will definitely turn out well.
- The cacao butter will melt faster and more evenly if you grate it first. Even better (and faster) if you can buy it already kibbled.
- If you want to keep your cacao butter raw, the best way to melt it is in the dehydrator. Not only will this ensure that the temperature doesn’t get too high, it reduces the chance of splashing water into it, and if you use a glass bowl, it gets wonderfully warm and helps to stabilise the chocolate’s temperature.
- If you don’t want to use agave nectar, you could use coconut nectar, maple syrup or your favourite liquid sweetener. Just remember that the flavour will change noticeably, and you may need to adjust the quantity to ensure that the chocolate sets properly, as each sweetener has a different water content.
- Sieving the dry ingredients into the mix ensures that there’s little to no lumps in your finished chocolate, which is important. Nothing spoils a mouthful of chocolate like a lump of undissolved cacao powder!
- This recipe makes a very dark chocolate, so if you’re not a fan of dark chocolate, then this probably not the recipe for you.
- Vanilla bean powder is just fresh vanilla beans air-dried and ground into a powder using a spice blender or coffee grinder. You can make your own or you can buy it from your local health food shop. If you can’t get your hands on any of this, you can just scrape out a fresh vanilla bean or two into the mix. I wouldn’t recommend using vanilla extract in this recipe, as it will definitely upset the balance of ingredients, and your chocolate may not set properly.
- I’ve found that grinding your salt as finely as possible produces the best results. Either you can buy very finely ground salt, or you can grind it yourself in a mortar and pestle. Having it this fine will ensure that you don’t get a nasty salt bite in a piece of chocolate somewhere. Eeewwww!
- I use pink Himalayan crystal salt in my chocolate because it contains lots of trace minerals that are good for you, and apparently it tastes better too.
- You should find that when you add the dry ingredients to the liquid ones, that the temperature drops to around 33°C (92°F), which is very close to where you want to get to, so it shouldn’t take too much more whisking to get it down.
- The point in starting with warm chocolate and then bringing it down to 31°C(88°F) is to bring chocolate into temper. Having your chocolate “in temper” before you put it into the moulds ensures that you get a nice hard setting chocolate, with a lovely sheen on it and a good strong “snap” sound when you break it.
- If you’re making chocolate on a warm day, you may struggle to get it down to the right temperature. You may need to move to a cooler spot, help it along with some ice-packs around the outside of the bowl, or turn the air-conditioning on. You’ll also want to get the chocolate into the fridge quick smart so it can set before it starts to separate out.
- Chocolate moulds are most definitely not necessary for this recipe. Just use any flattish container you have, and don’t pour it too thick. I enjoy my chocolate best when it’s thin and delicate rather than thick and chunky. But if you can use chocolate moulds, I highly recommend it for the “authentic” experience.
This raw vegan chocolate recipe is an absolute delight for variations. The only limit is your imagination.
- Add cashew pieces and sultanas (about 1/4 cup for each) to the mix once it reaches temper, for homemade fruit and nut chocolate (my favourite).
- Add chopped activated hazelnuts (about 1/2 cup) to the tempered mix , for homemade hazelnut chocolate.
- Add 1/4 tsp of orange essential oil and 1 tsp of finely grated orange zest, for homemade orange chocolate (can I have two favourites?)
- Add 1/4 tsp peppermint essential oil, for homemade mint chocolate.
- Add whatever nuts, dried fruits or essential oils you prefer and see how it turns out. Be brave!
- Use the tempered mix in Easter egg moulds, for homemade raw vegan chocolate Easter eggs.
- Pour (or scoop) the mix out of the Easter egg moulds before it sets fully for hollow eggs, or fill them with raw caramel sauce, berry sauce, or vanilla cashew cream, and then melt the two halves together for soft-center raw vegan chocolate Easter eggs. Yum!
- Fill pitted medjool dates with raw almond butter, and then coat with chocolate for an out-of-this-world raw vegan snickers bite. O.M.G.
- Drop or pipe small amounts of the tempered mix onto baking paper and freeze for homemade raw vegan chocolate buttons and bits.
- Grate it over your latest raw or vegan masterpiece, like my nut-free chocolate cheesecake.
Have some fun with it and create the chocolate recipe of your dreams. And let me know how it goes.
I started playing with making my own raw vegan chocolate after I came across the Raw Chef’s chocolate making course a couple of years ago.
I got a bit twisted in knots trying to find both the perfect recipe and the perfect method, and gave up in frustration at one point.
But then I tackled it again, got it mostly sorted, and then my wonderful husband took over for me, and proceeded to make the method incredibly simple.
So I’m very grateful to him for doing that for me, because it keeps me in chocolate, and it allows me to share this (relatively) easy and delicious recipe with you.
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Have an awesome day!
~ Nikki, Eating Vibrantly