November 15, 2012 · 2:58 pm

Those of you that have been reading my blog for a while will know that I’m a HUGE fan of raw chocolate. I adore everything about it… its smell, its taste, not to mention its amazing array of nutritional properties.

It was Dan and Paula from Elements for Life that first introduced me to raw chocolate. After just one little taste of their Yummy Scrummy raw chocolate brownie (pictured above) I was hooked. I came away from their stall at Frome Green Fair with a raw chocolate making kit under my arm and a big smile on my face from having met such a lovely couple. No doubt the smile was also due in part to the kick of serotonin and other ‘feel good’ nutrients found in their raw choc ;)   Honestly, it works that quick. A couple of bites and boom, I’m feeling warm and fuzzy all over.

So when I heard that Dan and Paula had created a range of raw hot chocolate powders, you can imagine how excited I became. I was extremely intrigued to find out what a raw hot chocolate would taste like.

As well as their original hot chocolate, they’ve also created a spiced blend, which contains cinnamon and nutmeg, and a fiery blend which has a smooth chilli bite. Both these new blends have won Taste of the West Awards this year.

All three hot chocolate blends are made with organic ingredients and, unlike most other hot chocolates, they contain no milk (which makes them perfect for those with dairy allergies and intolerances like me) and no refined sugars (which means they’re suitable for diabetics). Instead, they’re gently sweetened with coconut palm sugar (a low GI nutrient-rich natural sweetener).

A stint of heavy hinting on Facebook worked a treat ;) A few days later, Dan popped round to see me armed with a box of goodies. When I opened the box it felt like Christmas had come early! Inside were six shiny tins of raw hot chocolate as well as one of their newly launched hot chocolate mugs :)

For my first taste testing session, I invited my friend Joni to join me. I consider Joni to be a true expert when it comes to hot chocolate. Whenever we go out for coffees, she always orders a hot chocolate. She must have drunk hundreds of different blends in her life, so I was interested to find out what she thought of this raw, sugar free version. Lil’ L also wanted a piece of the action, so I set about making three cups of chocolate. For this session, we chose to try the original blend.

And what did we think? Oh my word it was good! Joni described it as “really smooth, with a great taste”. She mentioned that some hot chocolates leave an aftertaste in your mouth and a coating on your teeth (probably from the refined sugar), but this blend doesn’t have that effect at all. Often, hot chocolates are made way too sweet but, for us, this blend had the perfect level of sweetness.

Lil’ L loved it too and said “I can see why they say it’s so good!” The following morning when we went to a coffee shop Lil’ L ordered a hot chocolate but after a couple of sips he pushed it to one side and refused to drink any more, saying that it was horrible in comparison to the one we’d had at home!  See, even he’s hooked on raw chocolate now ;)   I’m really pleased he prefers it though as it’s way better for him.

The next testing session was for the spiced blend, and the tasters were M and I.  This blend has a deliciously warming cinnamon and nutmeg flavour that makes it the perfect comforting drink for the cold season.  I have to say that, of the three blends, this one is my number one favourite.

And, finally, we tested the fiery chilli. This blend contains Aji Orange Chilli Powder which is grown locally at The Wiltshire Chilli Farm. This raw hot chocolate has a fantastic flavour with a warming spicy kick to it. Perfect for all those chocolate chilli lovers out there!  I served this blend topped with Soyatoo Rice whipped cream and a sprinkling of raw chocolate shavings. Delicious!

So far, I’ve made raw hot chocolates with four different non dairy milksAlpro Almond Milk (sweetened version), Alpro Soya Milk (sweetened version), Kara Coconut Milk and Oat Dream Oat Milk.  All tasted delicious though it’s worth noting that the oat milk did add a hint of oat flavour to the hot chocolate.

On the back of the tin, there are instructions for two different methods for making the drink. I’ve trialled both methods and they both gave great results. Using the first method, I simply used a hand whisk to make the chocolate nice ‘n’ frothy. The second method involves whizzing the hot chocolate with an immersion (stick) blender. This was really effective and created a super frothy chocolate (as seen in the pics above).

During our first tasting session, Joni mentioned that these hot chocolates would make great Christmas gifts for chocolate-loving friends and family and she’s already planning to put an order in to Dan and Paula. I’ll be right behind her!

As well as the individual tins of raw hot chocolate, a new gift set has just been launched which includes a tin of your chosen blend and a mug.

One of my all-time favourite sets from Elements for Life is their raw chocolate making starter kit. This is the perfect gift for foodies and chocolate lovers. I’ve lost count of the amount of kits I’ve bought for friends over the past couple of years. As well as the original kit, they also sell a chilli kit, for those who love a spicy kick to their chocolate.

All the Elements for Life products are available online from www.elementsforlife.co.uk and they have a number of stockists in the Bath/Wiltshire area too. A full list can be found via this link.

Would you like to try some of the Elements for Life Raw Hot Chocolate yourself? The kind and generous Dan & Paula have given me three tins (one of each of the blends) to give away to my lovely readers. Unfortunately this giveaway is restricted to those living in the UK, but I promise I’ll make it up to my overseas readers next month ;)

There are three ways to enter the giveaway. If you like, you can enter all three ways, tripling your chances of winning. Just remember to leave me a separate comment below this post for each of your entries.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Leave me a comment below telling me which of the three blends you’d most like to try.
  2. Tweet the giveaway with something like “I’ve entered the @MakeRawChoc Raw Hot Chocolate Giveaway @GoodStuffSharon http://bitofthegoodstuff.com/?p=6487“, then add a comment below to let me know that you have done so.
  3. Promote this giveaway on your Facebook page with something like “I’ve entered the Elements for Life Raw Hot Chocolate Giveaway http://bitofthegoodstuff.com/?p=6487“, then leave me a comment below to let me know you have done so.

The closing date for entries is Thursday 22nd November. After the competition closes, I’ll randomly select 3 winners. The results will be published in my blog post on Friday 23rd November.

Good luck everybody! xx

 

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