Review: Choc Chick Raw Chocolate Making Kit

Have you ever tried raw chocolate?

I hadn’t, which is why I was intrigued when I received a 100% cacao raw chocolate making starter kit from Galia at Choc Chick.

Choc Chick Raw Chocolate Starter Kit Ingredients

How does raw chocolate differ from any other chocolate? Well, it’s very interesting from a health perspective. In its raw state, cacao is three times richer in antioxidants than green tea, which we already know is pretty good stuff. It also beats even the very best quality dark chocolate when it comes to nutritional content and can act as an anti-depressant, aphrodisiac and an appetite-suppressant – give me more!

So much of the commercially produced chocolate that we eat is heavily processed and contains additional refined sugars, dairy products, bad fats, ‘E’ numbers and more. The raw Choc Chick kits contain unprocessed ingredients, so you know exactly what you are eating and you can be certain that the chocolate that you are eating really is good for you!

My chocolate making starter kit contained -

  • 100g organic cacao powder (made by compressing raw cacao beans and extracting the fat)
  • 100g organic cacao butter (the edible natural vegetable fat of the cacao bean)
  • 100ml Sweet Freedom (a natural sweetener made from fruit)
  • An instruction leaflet and recipe leaflet with 5 recipes

South American-born Galia, the owner of Choc Chick, sources all her cacao directly from family-farm suppliers in Ecuador, who use bio-dynamic and organic farming methods. Galia has been lucky enough to visit the coastal towns of the Esmeraldas region in Ecuador with her father to meet her cacao supplies. All Choc Chick ingredients are also free from pesticides and Galia’s company is Soil Association Organic licensed.

How did I get on?

I had great fun experimenting with the raw cacao chocolate making kit. I took over my friend Jessica’s kitchen to have a play, while she and third amigo Monika made bath bombs and baked a Camembert, more on that later. There was minimal mess, the instructions were easy to follow and we got some great results. The chocolate mixture did seem very runny, but it behaved well in all the recipes below.

Firstly, we made a Raw Chocolate Cocktail, by melting the cocoa butter, then adding the raw cacao powder, some natural sweetener and a little dash of some Polish honey liqueur that Monika had brought back from her travels in Poland – you could use any liqueur that you fancy, such as Amaretto or Cointreau. I should add, we don’t usually drink in the day…

A Raw Chocolate and Polish Honey Liqeuer Cocktail.

We also used some of the cacao mixture to make a raw hot chocolate, taking care not to heat the hot chocolate too much otherwise you can lose some of the nutrients. This was like drinking liquid gold and it was the closest thing Monika had tasted since drinking her most memorable cup of hot chocolate in Barcelona.

Raw Hot Chocolate – made with dairy milk, although you could use a non-dairy alternative

And finally, raw chocolate truffles, made by using the raw cocoa butter, raw cocoa powder, natural sweetener, a dash of Valencian orange extract and some organic, fair trade Ndali vanilla powder sourced directly from Uganda. We poured the chocolate liquid into ice-cube trays (bought from the supermarket) and set them the freezer for about fifteen minutes. Once set, we sprinkled over some crushed pistachio nuts and edible rose petals. The chocolates popped out of the tray really easily. These raw chocolates don’t so much melt in your mouth, they dissolve, leaving you with a pure taste, followed by an intense chocolate hit.

Raw Chocolate Truffles with Ndali Vanilla, Orange Extract, Pistachio and Rose

Using the raw cacao has really opened up my mind to the possibility of trying more recipes. I’m keen to seek out and try more raw cacao and to learn more about the chocolate making process.

I would definitely try one of the Choc Chick kits again, you actually feel as though you are making the chocolate yourself, rather than just melting down something that has already been processed.

I’m sending my Raw Chocolate Polish Honey Liqueur Cocktail over to Chocolette over at the Chocolate Log Blog for We Should Cocoa’s Second Birthday – the theme for September is cocktails. I do hope she will approve!

I will also be making more and taking more of my Raw Chocolate Truffles with Ndali Vanilla, Pistachio and Rose Chocolates over to Vanessa Kimbell’s Ndali Vanilla Gift Swap at Fortnum and Masons. Someone will be in for a nice treat on the day…

 

You can find Choc Chick kits at some John Lewis food halls, Whole Foods Market, Planet Organic and at various stores within the UK, the kits and ingredients are also available on-line.

My chocolate kit was sent to me by Galia for the purpose of a review and I will definitely be back for more. Thank you also to Jessica for letting me take over her beautiful country kitchen.

Have you had any adventures in raw chocolate? Have I convinced you to try it?

 

Comments

  1. says

    Coincidentally – my friend Ariana (check out her lovely cook book Pomegranates & Roses) is a friend of Willie Harcourt-Cooze. “Who?” I said. She let me borrow two books and gave me one of his bars of solid cacao. Only one problem….what to make first.

    • Ren says

      Thanks Sally, I will definitely get Ariana’s book, thanks for the reminder. I haven;t tried Willie’s raw cacao, only the very dark chocolate he makes but I do remember watching his programmes when then were on in the UK. Will look out for his books too. x

  2. says

    Love your post. But i’m still looking for a clear definition of “raw.” Can you provide some background as to what the parameters are? who defined them? what organization or body certifies that a food is “raw”? Since fermenting cocoa beans raises them to very high temperatures as well as pressing them to get butter and powder, are the biproducts still truly raw?

    • Ren says

      Hi Jeffrey, good question – my understaning is that the cocao bean is not roasted – there is a fermentation and drying process that is undertaken by the farmers on a small scale. The extraction of the butter and powder is done at a low temperature. Second to that, nothing is added to the process – so no sugars or added fats. However, I have some chocolate expert friends that I can ask – perhaps a follow up post to further explain the process as well as perhaps a note from Galia, the owner of this particular company.

    • says

      Hi Jeffrey,
      You make some very good points in your comment. There currently is no regulating body or industry standard and that’s why I went out to Ecuador last year to see for myself what the exact process is and also meet the farmers I source my ingredients from.
      I saw the process from start to finish. The beans are fermented for 5 days and I didn’t actually find that they reached a very high temperature in the fermentation stage. The beans are put into vats and covered with sacks and left outside to ferment naturally. I lifted several sacks and could easily pick up fermenting beans with my bare hands (clean of course!) and they weren’t hot at all. The smell is very alcoholic though! The beans are then laid out in large shelves above ground to dry for around 7 days and the farmers took great pride in knowing exactly when the beans were ready to then use to produce the cacao butter and powder. The beans are then sent to the factories that then shell the beans and mash them all together into a cocoa mass/cocoa liquor which is compressed to extract the cacao butter (a bit like extracting olive oil) and the rest is ground up into the cacao powder.
      Although the raw aspect is important, the main issue for me is that the ingredients are grown organically, minimally processed and in as natural a condition as possible. The ethical side, both from an environmental and human aspect is also very important to me and I found that working with growers that use organic and biodynamic farming methods (as the cooperative I work with does) is generally the best way to ensure the ingredients are ethically and sustainably grown.
      I hope this helps and please have a look at my CHOC Chat blog where I documented my visit to Ecuador http://chocchick.com/chocchat/
      All the best,
      Galia

  3. says

    Ren, I could have sworn I’d commented here already – I really do worry about my brain sometimes. I very much do approve of your wonderful raw chocolate cocktail. Thank you for helping celebrate WSC’s 2nd birthday. Now I’m dying to try Polish honey liqueur. I wonder if it is similar to mead. I’ve tried one of Galia’s kits and got on really well with it. I wasn’t nearly as adventurous as you though, all your creations look wonderful.

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