I can be quiet no longer. Generally I am quite reluctant to post things using ingredients that are less accessible . I didn’t post anything using extra virgin coconut oil for ages because I anticipated all the ” why do you use expensive ingredients?” The truth is, I don’t. You will never find steak or Haagen Dazs on this site. I don’t use fancy cheeses or wines, gourmet cuts of meat or speciality baking ingredients, because that is not our thing (to explain it simply)
Coconut oil prices can vary greatly, though I buy it a local organic shop where it costs £3.something for a small jar. 30grams(plus cocoa and honey) makes a batch of at least 12 chocolates- about 50p. As for accessibility, everything can be bought online, albeit a wee bit more expensive because of postage costs.
And so I am going to share my “gourmet steak” that Christmas brought me: organic cacao butter, and no, it’s not face cream, it’s for culinary use. And oh, how we use it!
It is not cheap when bought in bulk, hence I asked for it at Christmas. It costs £15 for 500grams. (I know)
BUT! I have it costed up to 3p a gram, and 40grams or £1.20 makes a batch of about 15 chocolates, containing only organic cacao butter, organic fair trade cocoa and honey.
And then, here’s the cool bit: Every time I make a batch, I pop £1.20 from my purse into a special purse I have, labelled “cacao butter” and now I have “paid for” my chocolates . When my cacao butter has gone , I shall take my purse full of £15 and joyfully order more, guilt free!
The joy of cacao butter is the chocolate tastes more chocolatey, no coconut undertones ( not that I object to said undertones) The other joy is that, unlike coconut oil, it is solid at room temperature and you can put them in your kids lunches, or yours!
When I buy cacao butter, I roughly chop it and then grind it to a fine meal in the food processor and keep it in the fridge, ready for use. The melting process is done in a bowl over warm/hot water; I do it gently to preserve all the goodness that I have paid for. Yes, it has goodness and healthy fats! (I know) and yes, £1.20 is accessible to all, and less than some sugar-laden organic bars at the shop.
My simple ratio is 30-40-50. 30 grams of cocoa,40 grams of cocoa butter, 50 grams of honey or sweetener of choice.(this is how we like it, reduce honey for a more bitter taste)
I carefully melt the honey and cacao butter and then stir in the cocoa. To this I add:
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Other flavourings eg orange essence,freeze dried berries
Last night I added 2 capfuls of almond extract and I made 12 almond chocolates (with a whole almond in each) and in the remaining melted chocolate, I tossed almost 100 grams of almonds in and coated them. The almond essence gave it an amazing kick and frankly, my heart did rejoice .
For £1.20 worth of cacao butter, that’s not too shabby a deal (rejoicing included) and it made for a perfect end to our friends supper.
Three cheers for abundance in all it’s forms!
When you have melted the caco butter and honey down, leave to stand for around 10 minutes, or until the mixture is thicker, but still easily workable. If you try to use the mixture when it is very warm and thin-runny, the honey will separate and sink down(it being denser) and your chocolates, when hardened, will have an oozy layer of honey on the top layer. Not great.