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Raw Cacao Butter – Preparing it for future use

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Having fun… that is indeed what this posting is all about.  I have shared things about raw cacao butter in the past, but now, I want to share more of what I have been doing in the kitchen lately.

What is Raw Cacao Butter?

Raw cacao butter is the “by-product” of making the raw cacao powder. When the oil is pressed out of the nib, it is this “butter” that is removed, separating it from the fibrous cacao. The butter hasn’t been roasted or exposed to high heat. It still retains a light taste of chocolate and is a creamy color. Please be mindful when purchasing raw cacao butter to ensure that it hasn’t been heated above 118 degrees (F).

Often when we buy raw cacao butter, it comes in a large block. This block can be challenging to work with when you want to use a part of it. The best way to melt cacao butter is either by grating it as seen (here) or by chopping it into small pieces.

The advantage of using this technique is that it speeds up the melting process. Then when you quickly want to create a recipe, and you won’t run the risk of overheating the butter while converting it into a liquid form.

I like to Smile!

So here’s the thing… when I am working in the kitchen, or just during life in general, I like to surround myself with things that make me smile.  So, when I ended up with a massive block of raw cacao butter, I got the bright idea to melt it ALL down and pour it into molds.  So that is precisely what I did.

Creating fun shapes…

I broke the block into large pieces (this might depend on how much you have), placed them in several containers that would slide into my dehydrator.  You will need one that has a cavity large enough to accommodate the bowl or container. It worked perfectly in my Excalibur machine.

The melting process…

I set the temperature to 115 degrees (F) and left it alone so it could melt.  Once melted, I poured the melted butter into an assortment of candy molds.  You will see that I had quite the variety on hand as you scroll through the photos.

Here’s a tip that I learned through trial and error… if you are using molds that are flimsy, such as a silicone mold… first place it on a baking sheet, then fill it.  The tray will make it so much easier when transporting the mold to the freezer.  If you try to pick up a full silicone tray, it will buckle, and liquid cacao will ooze all over. After filling the molds, I slid them into the freezer to speed up the solidification process.

How to Store the Cacao Butter

Once the cacao butter had returned to a solid form, I popped them out of the molds, placed them in airtight containers, and repeated the process until all the liquid raw cacao butter was used up.  I prefer to store my cacao butter in the fridge.  It will keep solid until about 90 degrees (F).  So it’s just a habit to place it in the refrigerator or freezer just to be sure.  If you don’t have the extra space in the fridge (prime real-estate area), store it in a cool, dry place. It has a high level of stability and a long shelf-life.

When you are ready to use it…

When the time comes that inspiration hits you, the cacao butter will be ready and waiting.  Because it is in much smaller pieces, it will blend easier, melt quicker, and work more evenly.  I have some chocolate candy recipes where I don’t even melt it before adding it to the blender… so these smaller pieces work like a charm.

Gift-giving idea…

If you have a friend or loved one who enjoys playing in the kitchen, these pieces would be a wonderful gift for them. I placed the cacao butter shapes in mason jars to show you just how adorable they would be to give as a gift.

Be sure to include a note that explains that it isn’t edible as is; it is for their recipe making delights.  Cacao butter can be used in so many ways, such as it can be added to your favorite smoothie, dessert, ice cream, or chocolate creation for a rich, delicate chocolate aroma. You can use cacao butter topically on the skin, which leaves your skin glowing, vibrant, revitalized, soft, and supple. It’s euphoria for your senses!

The Institute of Culinary Ingredients™

I hope this inspired you! Many blessings, amie sue

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