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Grating and Melting Raw Cacao Butter

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Grating and Melting Raw Cacao Butter

Raw cacao butter comes in several different forms.  You can find it in one solid block form, in random-sized chunks, or preformed discs.   But to use in recipes, it needs to be in liquid form.  To speed up the melt time, we need to break it down into smaller pieces.  In the past, I always used my raw cacao butter grater (ok, really a cheese grater but I bought it for cacao butter since I don’t eat cheese. hehe)

How to Melt Cacao butter

Static Electricity!

Herein lies the problem…. and it might not only be my problem… whenever I go to grate some static electricity causes the cacao butter shreds to jump outside of the bowl.  Anytime I place my hands near it; the shreds jump further and further.  Making it a real chore for me to prepare melted cacao butter.

I use to work in a pharmacy where I compounded creams and medication.  And I had the same problem back then whenever I tried to pack the capsulation machine.  The powders jumped all over.  We tried everything to stop this phenomena, humidifiers, standing on wet rags… trust me, we got inventive in trying to “ground me.” nothing ever really worked.  lol

My Ah-ha moment…

Today, I needed 1/2 cup of melted raw cacao butter.  I groaned inwardly.  I wasn’t looking forward to the “game.”  I laid on the couch, waiting for the cacao gods to speak to me… wait for a second, the food processor!  Duh!  I have been working with raw ingredients for YEARS now, and why haven’t I ever thought of this idea?  Oy-Vey.  I may be the last one to the dinner table, but that doesn’t mean I’m not hungry.

I grabbed the food processor and fitted it with the coarse shredder blade.  I loaded the chute with chunks of raw cacao butter and pressed the plunger down.  Five seconds later, I had entirely shredded raw cacao butter, and IT STAYED IN THE BOWL!  I proceeded to shred all of the cacao butter that I could find in my pantry.  I then scooped it into a cambro, snapped on the lid, and placed it back into the pantry… all ready to go for my next inspirational moment.  To learn more about raw cacao butter, click (here).

Melting Cacao Butter for Raw RecipesIngredients: (examples)

  • 1/2 cup (50 g) grated cacao butter – yields 1/4 cup liquid
  • 1 cup (100 g) grated raw cacao butter – yields 1/2 cup liquid

Double-boiler melting method:

  1. A double boiler consists of a flat-bottomed pan that fits into another pan of simmering water.
    • The double boiler insert isn’t submerged in the water underneath; there is a gap between the water level and the bottom of the double boiler insert.
    • The double boiler is heated by the steam from the liquid below, not the hot water, which makes the heat more gentle and indirect.
  2. Add roughly 1-2” of water to the base pan, again making sure that the inner pan doesn’t touch the water.
  3. Bring the water to a simmer and place the raw cacao butter inside of the inner bowl.
  4. Stir occasionally until the butter is thoroughly melted.  Don’t let the pan get too hot.
    • Never cover the top pan of the double boiler that contains the chocolate while it’s melting, it will create moisture inside of the bowl and ruin the chocolate.  It could cause it to seize, which will make it unusable.
  5. Once 3/4 of the butter is melted, I usually turn the burner off and let the warm melted liquid continue to melt the other chunks.
    • Once the bowl of chocolate comes off the heat, wipe the bottom of the bowl to remove any excess moisture, so it doesn’t end up in your chocolate.
  6. Now the butter is ready for use.

Dehydrator melting method:

  1. You will need a box-style dehydrator so that it has a cavity that can accommodate a bowl.
  2. Place the raw cacao butter in a shallow dish.
    • The more surface of the cacao butter is exposed to the air, the quicker it will melt.
  3. Slide into the dehydrator and turn the temp to 145 degrees for roughly 15+ minutes.  It depends on the volume that you are melting.
    • Click here regarding the 145-degree temp.
  4. Stir occasionally until it is melted.
  5. Now the butter is ready for use.

how to grate and melt raw cacao butter

How to grate raw cacao butter

How to grate cacao butter

20 thoughts on “Grating and Melting Raw Cacao Butter

  1. Kelly Holden says:

    What a great idea Amy Sue! I usually use the edge of a chef’s knife to shave the cacao butter (and also for cacao paste), but this sounds even better (and a lot less tiring on the shoulders!!) Thank you so much :-)

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Kelly,

      Yes, I have used knives before too…. but this technique was just to slick not to share. I did 2 whole bags of cacao chunks in less than 30 seconds. Now I have it all ready to go for future recipes. Hard to explain but it was a game changer for me. hehe I use to dread grating the cacao butter and often put recipes aside just because of that. But not anymore.

      Have a wonderful week! amie sue

    • Debbie says:

      I found that the Pampered Chef hand held grater and a paper plate work fabulous and clean up a breeze

  2. Kat says:

    Thanks so much for the great tip! I have the exact same problem. I love making raw chocolate, but just the thought of the tedious task of grating cacao butter is often keeping me away from it.

    Question: What food processor do you use? I can’t recognize the brand from your photos.

    And do you think this would also work with a blender? I have a Blendtec and was wondering if I should try doing this with the Twister jar.. But I’m a bit worried that I’ll break it because cacao butter is really hard..

  3. Alice says:

    Thank you so much Amie Sue for this great tip. I’ve tried grating cacao butter by hand and it’s a chore. I’ve used a sharp knife to cut it into small pieces, but the pieces are never even. I will definitely use my food processor next time. And also I never realized that 1/2 cup of grated cacao butter equals 1/4 cup liquid. This is great information – thanks so much. Alice

    • amie-sue says:

      Your welcome Alice. Sometimes I feel so silly sharing such “simple techniques” but then I have to remember how long I have been doing this and STILL discover / learn new things. :) I can’t believe that I grated 2 bags worth in less than 30 seconds. Oy-vey. hehe

      I have always found measurements of cacao butter tricky. It is rare that recipe creators share what the pre-weight is, they usually provide and melted measurement…. if that’s the case, how do you how much to grate or use to get that melted measurement. Anyway, I hope this helps you in the future. Have a blessed day. amie sue

  4. susie says:

    There is a lot to read and so I didn’t fully understand whether it is necessary to grate the cacoa butter which comes in button shapes. Is it only the one which comes in chunks which has to be grated? I have always put the buttons into the double boiler for melting.

    • amie-sue says:

      Sorry for taking so long in getting back to you Susie. I have been swamped. :)

      You don’t need to grate the buttons. The grating is more for the large chunks which if left whole take so much longer to melt. Melt away! amie sue

  5. Linda St Angelo says:

    Amie Sue,
    Laughing hysterically about the jumping cacao shreds. You realize, they were just trying to get away so they would not end up melted down, so they were like jumping beans.LOL
    The Cacao gods were with you this time! The must have sent a message to your brain to use the food processor. So glad it worked, though I imagine the shreds were yelling like crazy to be let out of the bowl. haaa hee

    • amie-sue says:

      We always need humor in our life don’t we Linda? :) I always get a good giggle when working with cacao butter. hehe So nice to hear from you… as alway. I hope all is well. Many blessings, amie sue

  6. Kasi says:

    Thank you for the ratio of grated cacao before melting and how much it converts into after melting. Great piece of information which I so much appreciated. :)

  7. trishlee29 says:

    Hi Amie-Sue,
    Today I have been trying to make chocolate chips..but it’s not working out very well.
    I melted the cacao butter..and done everything you said..but it didn’t seem to want to thicken up so I could pipe it.
    Do you have to wait until the cacao butter cools..before adding the other ingredients?

    Yours Sincerely Trish

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Trish,

      I combined all the ingredients as instructed in the recipe. There is a sweet spot in the thickness of the chocolate when you are piping. I kept whisking it until it thickened up. As the chocolate cools it gets thicker. You can place the bowl in the fridge to speed up the process but keep a CLOSE eye on it, stirring it to see if it ready for piping. If you forget about it and it hards, you can soften it again by placing it in the dehydrator. It’s a process that requires proper timing. I hope this helps. Keep me posted. amie sue

  8. naturalkandy says:

    I should have read this before making the hardening chocolate recipe. I hand shredded the cacao butter, naturally it melting all over my hands in the process (my arms got a nice moisturizing though ;)
    Next time food processor!

  9. Nan says:

    Try putting cacao into a mason jar with lid, then put jar in a bowl/pot and add boiling water 3/4 height of jar, then let it sit and melt. Takes about 10 minutes. Remove jar from water and dry it well before unscrewing and using melted cacao in recipe. Cheers!

    • amie-sue says:

      Thanks Nan… I have done that too in the past. There are are many ways to melt cacao butter… it’s great to share all ideas with everyone. blessings, amie sue

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