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A few years ago my husband and I dabbled in the art of making chocolates. We took a three-month chocolatier course that basically just gave us a taste of what a true art form making chocolates is all about. Even though we were eating a high raw diet at the time (and now) we wanted to understand everything there was to know about chocolate.
Having a bit of that knowledge helped me feel a bit more comfortable in my kitchen yesterday. But I will say that there are some major differences when it comes to dealing with raw chocolates.
With raw, you don’t dabble with the whole tempering process so coming up with a hardening chocolate that retains a bit of a shine is a challenge. I tried three different recipes until I finally found this one which can be found in the dessert book from Cafe Gratitude.
The other two recipes that I tried didn’t meet the criteria that I was searching for but they didn’t go to waste. I popped them in the freezer and will use them later in cookie and cake recipes, where the texture won’t be noticed. I created the recipe for the minty filling in these truffles, which I must say came out pretty darn good. I can’t wait to keep playing with this base recipe and see what other truffles pop up! With Valentine’s just around the corner these would make wonderful gifts that can be individualized to your sweethearts liking!
Ensure all utensils and the bowl are dry before the ingredients are added as water can cause the mix to separate.
It is best to have everything ready before you begin dipping. Place your bowl of chocolate at your clean workstation and set out your dipping tools or dinner forks. Cover a baking sheet with a clean piece of parchment paper for placing the finished candies on. Keep your truffles or soft fillings in the refrigerator until right before you are ready to use them.
Slide the edge of your fork or dipping tool under the truffle or candy center, and lift it up gently. Drop the truffle into the melted chocolate and push it just under the surface of the chocolate. Lift it out of the chocolate with the fork, and tap the fork several times against the side of the bowl. Slide the bottom of the fork over the lip of the bowl to remove excess chocolate from the bottom of the candy. Place the fork over the prepared baking sheet, and tilt the fork so the edge of the truffle touches the sheet. Smoothly slide the fork out from under the truffle. If you are adding decorations or garnishes to your candies, do it now, when the chocolate is still wet. Repeat the process with the remaining centers and chocolate.
Once the chocolate has set, you might notice a small pool of chocolate forming “feet” at the bottom of your truffles. If desired, you can trim them with a small sharp paring knife. Wear gloves to avoid getting fingerprints on your candies, and place them on a flat surface. Grip the candy in one hand, and use the paring knife to press down on the excess chocolate and cut it off in short clean strokes. Trimming the candies is purely an aesthetic decision, and you can certainly skip this step if desired. Store the candies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Resources in locating raw cacao butter…
Whole Foods Grocery (usually carries it)