There is something beautifully exhilarating about teaching something new to children… and it does help when the topic has a lot to do with chocolate!
Last week I went in to my daughter’s year two class as well as my son’s year one class and taught them about the origins of chocolate as well as demonstrating some basic chocolate recipes… just in time for Easter. Nothing is more pleasing to me than seeing children’s eyes light up in delight over tasting something new. The good news is that most of the children loved my chocolate, even though it is a far cry from the standard choices at the local supermarket…
We made the homemade chocolate recipe (below) upgraded with a little peppermint oil.
And then we made our own “mixtures” using the chocolate recipe as a base and adding our own “secret ingredients” which included fun things like popcorn, cranberries, bee pollen and rose water! There was no exact recipe (since we made it up) but the concept is similar to this raw chocolate recipe.
If you are looking for a healthy alternative for Easter then this simple recipe may hit the spot!
95g cacao butter (buy in some IGA stores as well as health food shops)
40g organic, raw cacao powder (I get mine at IGA or a health food store)
up to 40g coconut oil* (again, IGA is my answer!)
1 tsp vanilla extract (make sure you choose one that is just pure vanilla & alcohol – no sweeteners or preservatives)
45g of maple syrup (you could use rice malt syrup, if you prefer)
Pinch of sea salt (choose Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan rock salt)
You may like to add flavourings to your chocolate such as peppermint or rose water. Or, you may like to add texture as well as flavour and consider some of these ideas: desiccated coconut, nuts, goji berries, bee pollen, popcorn, chilli…
And – just as an aside – my favourite brand of all things cacao is Loving Earth, which you can get at many health food shops.
* Check your oil to see that it is in liquid form. At cooler temperatures, it will be solid. To liquefy, simply place the whole jar in to a bowl of warm water. It should only take a couple of minutes to turn to liquid.
1. Set up a double boiler to gently melt the cacao butter.
2. In a bowl, add the cacao powder, coconut oil, vanilla, salt and your sweetener and then mix (preferably with a whisk).
3. Add the melted cacao butter and continue to mix thoroughly. You are looking for a runny, shiny, smooth mixture.
4. Add your flavourings to the mixture. Or, if you are adding crunchy ingredients, sprinkle them on the bottom of the mould / patty pan before covering with the chocolate mixture.
5. Pour the mixture in to your chocolate moulds or little patty pans and refrigerate to set. Store in the fridge.