Intermission: Chocolate


Yes, I know ... you can buy it in bars from the corner shop, supermarket, hypermarket, vending machine, specialist chocolate shop and even online.

I don't much like commercial chocolate. In the UK we have a lot of milk chocolate, which is so sweet by paleo tastes and the purer chocolate often uses soy lecithin as a stabiliser. Urgh!

I found a really good source of 100% chocolate from Hotel Chocolate - it's from Ecuador, and expensive! I use it primarily in Chilli recipes.

Can I make my own from cocoa powder?

I won't pretend to have absorbed all the facts yet, but on my online travels I found that making chocolate (like bars of chocolate) from cocoa powder is near impossible - it will be too bitter and too brittle.

Great! That's what I'm after ...

There's a lot of talk and something to do with the Dutch, or processing, or something which went right over my head.

I'm primal; I have some cocoa powder and I want to use it!

I found some sense from someone or other who talked about combining it with coconut oil, sugar and so on ... sod the sugar! I'm trying to get that brittle, bitter chunk that I pay so much from at Hotel Chocolate.

Experimenting in my kitchen, I found the right formula ...

It's not a secret and I'm going to share it - this makes bitter, brittle chocolate, suitable for chucking a chunk of into a Chilli, or eating a chunk of, pulling an odd face and slugging down something to take the taste away. More on that later.

The ratio?

2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon salted butter

Place the cocoa powder in a mixing bowl, warm up the coconut oil and measure into the mixing bowl, whisking together. Add in a knob of butter and continue to whisk while the bowl is held over a pan of boiling water.

The texture should go really slick and liquid. I gather this is where the cocoa is tempered and releases all sorts of goodness.

Pour out into a ramekin or onto a flat tray if you want a thin layer.

Push into the freezer somewhere between the meat and the ice cubes to set.

About an hour later, you should have a firm, brittle and very bitter chocolate.

Woo! Hoo! Expensive chocolate for literally nothing... and it tastes good! The coconut oil lends a kind of cool flavour which is more rounded than 100% but still has the bitterness.

I call this a success! This is exactly what I wanted ...

My tastes are quite primal - I like strong, honest flavours. This is exactly that. I can eat some of this chocolate and gain all the health benefits of the chocolate (go google ... seriously, go google ... chocolate is awesome!) and the coconut oil, but I do need a slug of something to take the bitterness away.

Tequila! It makes me happy ...

Take a slug of tequila afterwards and the sweetness of this beautiful spirit will make itself very known.

The chocolate enhanced by the sweetness, the tequila enhanced by the bitterness - a perfect marriage.

From here, I intend to experiment with sweetening this basic blend with perhaps coconut, perhaps cream, perhaps milk, perhaps even whey protein powder ... go ahead ... have fun ... if you come up with something great, please post up the ratio of ingredients.