I was first introduced to making my own chocolates shortly after arriving in North Devon. The first workshop I attended was led by Angus ‘Vijay’ Miller of Edible Love and covered the basics of raw chocolate, some desserts and was a good starting point.
More recently I’ve been inspired by Amy Levin.
So when trying to decide what to make as a Yule gift for a friend with diabetes whose wife is on a sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free diet I plumped once again for making some chocolates, only this time I wanted to up the ante.
First step – Make the Cacao flavoured Marzipan style filling.
1/2 cup Cashews – can be soaked beforehand if preferred
1/2 cup ground almonds (soaked and dried Mediterranean almonds ground fine would be best)
1/4 cup cacao powder
6-9 dates (depending on size etc. if using Medjool dates likely 6 or 7)
Add to food processor and process till fairly fine.
2 heaped tbsps almond butter
1tsp almond essence
sweet almond oil to achieve soft marzipan like consistency that can still be shaped.
Process further to achieve desired consistency.
Something like this – still slightly textured rather than completely smooth, holding together nicely and a little sticky.
Make some raw chocolate to whichever recipe you choose. For speed you can try Cacao Liquor buttons with some Lucuma.
Choose a mould and put some liquid chocolate into the bottom to cover this. Put in freezer for about 5-10 minutes. Shape or cut the filling to make centres and place in the mould. Add more chocolate to cover sides and bottom. Put back in freezer to set.
I used some of the remaining liquid chocolate for the flower shaped chocolates below.
I part filled the mould, added balls of the marzipan and pressed down to cover, chilled and turned out. In this instance the chocolate has only covered the top and sides.
To the remaining liquid chocolate I added some additional coconut oil (the odourless variety), cacao powder and a couple of tablespoons of a buckwheat based mint sprinkle and a couple of drops of peppermint oil to make some mint sticks using the packaging from a box of mint sticks someone had taken into work. Perfect size and shape for what I wanted.
Chocolate, mint and reused plastic all in one hit.
I still have some of the marzipan left. I don’t yet know what to do with it.
If I can get some more ingredients on Christmas Eve (payday) I will make some more chocolates for my birthday to share with my night crew as I will be working my birthday for the first time in 20+ years.
In the meantime I wish you every blessing of the season, may your Yule be peaceful and abundant and may you know the joy of the returning light in the cycle to come.