by | November 27, 2013 · 9:20 pm

With just four weeks until Christmas, I’m starting to think of gift ideas for friends and family. One gift that’s always popular is a box of home-made raw chocolates.  Dark chocolate lovers go crazy for them (and that includes a few kids I know ;) )

What I love about these chocolates is that they not only taste amazing, but they’re incredibly healthy! They’re brimming with ‘feel good’ nutrients and antioxidants (see this post for more details). They’re also dairy-free, gluten-free and sugar-free, making them suitable for those with allergies/intolerances as well as diabetics.

I love giving gifts that people are going to enjoy AND that will nourish them ♥

Raw Chocolate Goji Almond Hearts

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be making lots of batches of raw chocolates, some for gifts and some to replenish our home stash. These are the chocolates that we’ll be savouring whilst we gorge ourselves on festive films during the holidays ;)

As I make them, I’d love to share a few recipes with you.  If you haven’t tried making chocolates before, you should give it a go! I promise it’s very easy!

First up, I’d like to share my Raw Chocolate Goji Almonds Hearts. Whilst you can make these hearts 100% chocolate, I like to fill mine with fragments of goji berry and almonds, for added texture, flavour and nutrients.

Raw Chocolate Goji Almond Heart

I’ve updated my original recipe and measured out the ingredients in cups to make the recipe more accessible to my overseas friends ♥

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Raw Chocolate Goji Almond Hearts

Makes around 15 hearts
Hands on time: 20 minutes    Ready in: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients
65g / 2 1/3 oz / ½ cup cacao butter, very finely chopped
50g / 1¾ oz / ½ cup & 1 TBSP cacao powder
2½ – 3 TBSP Sweet Freedom fruit syrup (agave syrup can be used as an alternative)
2-3 TBSP whole or flaked almonds
2-3 TBSP goji berries

You will also need:
Medium-size saucepan, Heat-proof bowl, Whisk, Spoons, Chocolate mould

Method

Preparation:
Make sure that the utensils, mould and bowl are completely dry. It is very important to ensure that no water makes it way into the chocolate as it will ruin it.

Add a small amount of water to a saucepan and place a heat-proof bowl on top. Gently heat the water. Throughout the chocolate making process, you want to keep the water gently heated. On my electric hob, once the water has reached a simmer, I turn the heat down to 2. On a gas hob, I suggest turning the heat off once the cacao butter has melted and just give it an occasional blast of heat, if needed.

Finely chop the almonds and goji berries (I pulse them together in a mini chopper)

Finely chop the cacao butter. (If you run a sharp knife down the edge of the cacao butter it will flake into tiny shards)

Ready, set, go!

Place the cacao butter in the heat-proof bowl. Once melted, whisk in the cacao powder. Stir in the liquid sweetener. I use about 2½-3 TBSP Sweet Freedom. If using agave syrup, 2 TBSP should be sufficient. Taste test, and add more sweetener, if needed.

Tip the goji berries and almonds into one side of the heat-proof bowl and coat in half of the chocolate.

Pour a little of the plain chocolate into one of the heart moulds (this ensures that the chocolate will have a smooth top), then back-fill with some of the chocolatey fruit & nut mixture. (I use 2 teaspoons for this task so that I can direct the chocolate more accurately and avoid spillage). Repeat this process until the moulds are full up.

If you have any chocolate left over, spread it onto a silicon mat or piece of non stick baking paper and make yourself a mini chocolate bar :)

Allow the chocolates to cool before placing them in the fridge (I find this helps to prevent condensation forming on the chocolates). Leave for at least an hour. When they’re set, pop the chocolates out of the mould.

Raw chocolates are best stored in an airtight container in the fridge, where they’ll keep for weeks.

If you’d like to see some step-by-step pics of how to make these hearts, check out this post. It’s very old, and the pics are poor quality, but you’ll get the idea.

It was Elements for Life that first ignited my passion for raw chocolate. This month marks their 3rd anniversary and, as part of their celebrations, they have very generously offered to give away three of their new-look Raw Chocolate Making Kits to my lovely blog readers ♥

Raw Chocolate Making Kit

They’ve recently re-vamped their chocolate making kit and it’s looking very smart indeed! It’s smaller in size, with all the goodies neatly arranged in two tiers. All the packaging is environmentally friendly too, including the cellophane bags which are made from wood pulp!

If you’re interested in trying raw chocolate-making, then these kits are perfect for you. They contain everything needed to get you started including:

♥ 100g Ecuadorian Raw Cacao Powder
♥ 120g Ecuadorian Raw Cacao Butter
♥ 100ml Sweet Freedom, Natural Fruit Syrup
♥ Reusable Silicone Chocolate Mould
♥ Product info and recipes

Elements for Life Raw Chocolate Making Kit

To be in with a chance of winning one of the kits, leave me a comment answering the question featured in the Rafflecopter below. Do make sure you tick the box in the Rafflecopter to register that you have done so!  If you’re new to Rafflecopter, it’s pretty easy! You simply ‘log in’ by clicking the ‘Use Your Email’ button and entering a name and email address (which won’t be published anywhere) or you can log in via the Facebook button. A quick demo of how to use Rafflecopter can be accessed via this link.

There are a number of additional ways you can enter in order to increase your chances of winning. You will find these listed in the Rafflecopter. All entries will be verified prior to the winner being selected.

The giveaway is open to all UK residents, aged 18 and over (so sorry international readers but we’re restricted by postage costs!)

The closing date is Monday 9th December 2013 at midnight GMT.

Good luck everyone! xx


Please note: This post contains an Amazon affiliate link – if you click on the link and purchase something I will receive a small percentage which will go towards the development of Bit of the Good Stuff. Thanks in advance!

 

 

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