Tag Archives: dark chocolate

Dark Chocolate (page 160)

Agave Plant
AGAVE SYRUP IS A GOOD ALTERNATIVE TO POWDERED SUGAR FOR CHOCOLATE BARS

Our rule of thumb is that there should be equal amounts of cocoa powder and coconut oil. We use the next-smallest measuring cup for the sweetener. We prefer to make chocolate the easy way: substitute coconut oil for cocoa butter. It’s technically “compound chocolate,” since it contains a fat other than cocoa butter, but it’s delicious and very easy to make.

1/3 cup cocoa powder (heaping)
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup powdered sugar or 3 tablespoons agave syrup

Combine the cocoa powder and the powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Stir in the coconut oil. When the mixture is smooth, pour the mixture into a mold.

Leave it in the freezer for 10-20 minutes; larger bars will take longer to cool. Store this chocolate in a cool place, ideally the fridge or freezer, until ready to eat. If you need to transport it–especially if the weather is warm–leave it in the freezer for a while and take it out immediately before you leave.

After you have tried the basic recipe, we encourage experimentation! The consistency of your chocolate mix can vary wildly. There are recipes out there for chocolate that contain very small quantities of sweetener, and those that contain next to no cocoa powder. As long as you come up with something that tastes good to you, go ahead and throw it in the mold. It will usually come out chocolate and merriment.

If you want to try a different blend of flavors, pair or replace the cocoa with other bitter and savory powders. Here are a few suggestions.

COFFEE BAR: Instant coffee will make a coffee bar. You may find fairtrade instant coffee in a few grocery stores, or look online. Decaf is also an option, or try powdered coffee replacements such as the Polish roasted grain beverage “Inka.”

CAROB BAR Carob powder gives a flavor very similar to chocolate but slightly sweeter.

SOUR CANDY Replace the cocoa powder with a brightly-colored sports drink powder.

Crockpot Mole Negro (p. 80)

This smoky, nutty chocolate-based sauce is a relatively quick version of the real deal, which can take an entire day to prepare. I love crockpots for recipes like this. On the stovetop, it takes nearly an hour of supervised cooking. With an electric crockpot, I just need to prep a few hours earlier, and I can walk away until the mole is ready.

If you haven’t bought chipotles en adobo before, look for them at a Mexican market or in the international aisle of the grocery store—they’re smoked chili peppers in sauce, usually sold in a small can. Mole is traditionally drizzled over burritos, enchiladas, or a variety of meats or meat-substitutes. It’s like a complex, spicy barbecue sauce.

Makes 2 cups
Takes 1 hour prep plus 3 hours cooking (unattended)

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
2 chipotles en adobo, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon chili powder or flakes
2 teaspoons cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups vegetable broth
1 ounce dark chocolate, chopped (or about 1/4 cup grated chocolate)

Put a pan on medium heat and add the oil. When the pan is hot, add the onion and garlic and sweat them for fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cumin, cinnamon, and coriander, and cook them for another minute while stirring constantly.

Move the contents of the pan to a crockpot. Add the chipotles, peanut butter, chili powder, cornmeal, and salt. Stir in the broth and add the chocolate.

Cook in the crockpot on high heat for three hours. If you don’t have a crockpot, simmer on medium heat for 50 minutes.

For a smooth texture, let the mole cool and blend it before serving. The mole can be refrigerated for up to two weeks, or kept frozen for several months. The oil separates out as it cools, but you can reheat the mole and stir it back in before serving.

simple illustration of an onion both above and below ground

Aquafaba Cashew Ganache & Frosting by Goose Wohlt (p.48)

While we were writing this cookbook, we learned about this new-fangled ingredient called aquafaba. “Aqua” as in water, and “faba” as in bean. You may know it as the viscous water that garbanzo beans are packed in. Turns out that viscousness means it can do all sorts of amazing tricks! Plant-based meringue, anyone? Seriously. Aquafaba. It’s blowing minds and rocking the vegan world.

Goose Wohlt coined the term “aquafaba” and was the first to use it to make a vegan meringue in 2015. Shortly thereafter, Rebecca August started the “hits and misses” Facebook group where all the initial aquafaba experimentation emerged. These two luminaries of the aquafaba community have both graciously agreed to include a recipe for this cookbook. Serendipitously, their two recipes complement each other perfectly.

 

Chocolate ganache is typically made from chocolate and cream. In this recipe, the combination of blended cashews and aquafaba with a touch of coconut oil act as the cream substitute.

This recipe can be a bit temperamental to match up with the variation in aquafaba consistencies available, but once you find the right balance of aquafaba, cashew, and chocolate, it makes a super easy and quick dark-chocolate ganache. Using cashew cream made from aquafaba resulted in a nice and glossy ganache, even when set, without imparting any discernible bean or cashew flavor. The best part, it only takes a few minutes to whip together.

If you have 2/3 cup of aquafaba, top it off with water. Between the aquafaba and cashews, there is enough emulsification to prevent it from seizing the chocolate. The amount of cashews, aquafaba, and chocolate will determine how thick the final ganache is. If your aquafaba is really thick, use fewer cashews. If it’s really watery, go with the higher amount.

Makes 2–3 cups
Takes 15 minutes

8 ounces 50–70% dark chocolate
1/2–3/4 cup raw cashews, as needed
3/4 cup aquafaba
1 tablespoon refined coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Put the chocolate in a medium-sized bowl and set it aside, along with a lid that will cover it, for when you’re done blending the other ingredients.

In a vitamix or other high speed blender, combine cashews, aquafaba, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt.

blender

Blend on highest speed for no more than 3 minutes. The idea is to get the cashews as creamy as possible and steaming hot, but not so hot that they cook and emulsify. If your mixture doesn’t pour out of the blender without scraping when you’re done, it probably got too hot or there are too many cashews for your aquafaba. It should be like thick cream, not pudding. I don’t need to scrape the blender.

I haven’t tried it, but I suspect that if you don’t have a high speed blender, you probably need to soak the cashews in the aquafaba overnight in the fridge before blending, and you may need to heat the cashew cream just to a simmer on the stove after blending. A high speed blender like a Vitamix will heat it up on its own in short order, so you don’t need the additional soaking or heating steps. [We found that our small “Magic Bullet” blender heated the mixture to steaming, but your blender may vary.]

Once the cashew cream is hot, pour it over the chocolate and cover the bowl. Let the bowl sit, undisturbed, for four minutes, but not too much longer because you don’t want it to cool down too much. Stir it all together quickly until completely uniform. You want the chocolate to melt slowly, but not get too cold. Stir it until there are no more chocolate lumps.

Final temperature should be right at 88–89° F (31° C) .

If you’re using it to pour onto something, you can pour right away. Or, cool it in the fridge for a bit to harden and roll into balls for dipping in tempered chocolate.

Chocolate frosting: Eight ounces of chocolate will give you a fudge-like consistency when it sets up. If you want something closer to a wet frosting, go with less chocolate (e.g., 6 ounces).