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2 Lawson Street
Byron Bay, NSW, 2481
Australia

+61 2 6685 7974

LOVE BYRON BAY ....SPECIALISTS IN INTERNATIONAL AND LOCAL CHOCOLATE.

Love Byron Bay creperie and chocolate boutique is dedicated to sourcing, creating and sharing a quality chocolate experience from Byron Bay, Australia. We'll cultivate your understanding of cocoa, stimulate the palate with a discerning appreciation, fire the imagination with unique chocolate encounters and share the passion for this legendary food of the gods. Exceptional chocolate infused with delicious flavours, irresistible aromatic characteristics and high quality cocoa. 

Blog

Choc Recipes, Choc Facts, Choc Travels and our regular Chocoholic-not-so-Anonymous feature. All this and more in our weekly blog.

Filtering by Tag: Cacao

Choc Recipe: Tasty Raw Chocolate

James Lamont

This is a simple way to make healthy raw chocolate. You can make them for yourself, friends, family or the little ones. They’re a great way to spark a table and they taste absolute delicious.

raw choc.jpg


Ingredients

  • 200 grams (1 cup) raw cacao butter or raw, extra virgin coconut oil (or a combination of 100gram of each), melted

  • 30 grams (¼ cup) cacao powder

  • 2-4 tablespoons sweetener (honey, maple syrup or rice malt syrup) you can adjust the sweetness to your taste

Method

  1. Simply melt the cacao butter or coconut oil over a very low heat (I find placing in a bowl over hot water is best), or Thermomix (temp 50, speed 1) until just melted. If making with just coconut oil, it only needs to be softened, not melted to make it. 

  2. Add the cacao powder and sweetener, mix until well combined. Pour into chocolate moulds or mini cupcake baking cups. You can also spread out over a baking sheet to make a bark. 

  3. Place in the freezer immediately to set (don't delay with this). 

  4. Once set, keep in an airtight container in either the fridge or freezer.

Tips

  1. A few people have had issues with the sweetener and base fat not combining completely. Make sure you don't over heat the mixture, it should be barely luke warm (not hot). 

  2. If you happen to overheat it, try mixing with a stick blender or whipping it up in a blender just before pouring into a mould and get it into the freezer to set asap!

  3. Because both coconut oil and cacao butter melt when exposed to even a little heat, these chocolates always need to be kept cold (especially important if you use coconut oil for the fat). So, unfortunately, they are no good for picnics or lunch boxes (unless packed against an ice pack).


Variations:

Coconut-free

Choose cacao butter rather than coconut oil. 

Fructose friendly

Choose rice malt syrup as your sweetener. You can also sub the sweetener for stevia if you enjoy the taste.

Add nuts

Roasted nuts are delicious set into this raw chocolate. 

Vegan

Choose maple syrup or rice malt as your sweetener.

Source: wellnourished.com.au

Choc Fact: From Cacao to Chocolate

Alison Campbell

The Cacao tree with the scientific name theobroma cacao (pronounce cacao as kah-kow) comes in three varieties, or cultivars, Criollo, Trinitario and Forastero. The fruit of this fairly small (4-8 metre high) tree is the cacao pod, which looks different for the three varieties and is generally about 10-30 cm in length and of an ovoid shape. The pod starts out green in colour and while ripening changes to yellow and orange or red, and sometimes even purple. The ripe pod has a skin about 3cm thick, and contains sweet pulp and, most importantly, 20-60 beans (or seeds as they are also called sometimes). Coincidentally it is roughly the number of beans in one pod which is needed to make one 100g bar of chocolate.

From Tree to Nib
After the ripe pod has been cut from the tree, it is opened, the rind is discarded, and the pulp and seeds are piled or laid out on the ground for several days. During this time the pulp liquifies - this is called sweating - and a process known as fermentation takes place, which causes the beans to lose bitterness. This is followed by roasting, which can be done in different ways, for instance by drying the beans in the sun, but also on low heat above a wood fire. Fermentation and roasting have a large influence on the taste of the cocoa, and both processes have to be done in the right way to ensure that the cocoa flavour develops fully. It is also important to note that the beans are called cacao beans when they come out of the pod, but cocoa beans after fermenting and being roasted. Inside the bean is the cocoa nib, as well as the germ. A winnowing machine or nibber is used to remove the shells of the bean and the germ, leaving only the nib.

Dutching
In some cases the nibs are dutched which means that alkali (e.g. potassium carbonate) are added. The purpose is to make the cocoa less acidic and more easily soluble in water. It also makes the flavour more mellow, though some argue that flavours are lost through this process. If cocoa has been treated this way, one can tell by looking whether the ingredients include alkali.

Cocoa Liquor 
The next step is to mill the nibs which gives cocoa liquor. This substance consists of cocoa particles suspended in cocoa butter. If the manufacturer is blending different beans, this is the point at which it is done.

Cocoa Butter 
The cocoa liquor is pressed to extract the cocoa butter. What is left behind is called a presscake, which is pulverized into cocoa powder.

Chocolate
Chocolate is made by combining cocoa liquor and cocoa butter and adding other ingredients, which can include sugar, milk, emulsifying agent and additional flavourings. The mixture is then refined by rolling it into a smooth paste. In addition a kneading process known as conching improves the flavour and texture of the chocolate. After several periods of heating and cooling to prevent crystallization of the cocoa butter the mixture is finally poured into moulds and cooled, giving us the chocolate bar.   

Source chocolate-revolution.com

Choc Recipe: Raw Cacao, Date and Walnut Slice

Alison Campbell

We thought we'd kick off the New Year with a super healthy Choc Recipe featuring nothing but superfoods (raw cacao, dates, walnuts, avocado, coconut oil, honey). The slice is gluten-free, sugar free, lactose-free, vegan and raw. What's not to love. :)

Ingredients

For the Topping
8 dates (about 170 grms), pitted
1 1/2 avocados, peeled and pitted
Heaped 1/2 cup (40 grms) raw cacao powder
3 tablespoons (60 grms) honey
2 tablespoons/30 ml coconut or olive oil
1/2 cup (50 grms) walnuts, chopped, to decorate

For the Base
3 cups (300 grms) walnuts
1 cup (75 grms) raw cacao powder
Pinch salt
1 cup (150 grms) dried fruits, such as apricots or raisins
15 dates (about 340 grms), pitted
1/4 cup (90 grms) honey

Method
For the Base: Line an 8-by 8-inch/20-by 20-centimeter baking pan with parchment or wax paper allowing some of the paper to hang over the sides.

Place the walnuts, raw cacao powder and salt in a food processor and blend until the mixture forms a sticky ball, about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the dried fruits, dates and honey and blend again until combined, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Press the mixture into the prepared pan with a rubber spatula. Refrigerate at least 20 minutes.

For the Topping: Soak the dates in cold water for 20 minutes. Drain them and pulse them in a food processor along with the remaining ingredients until completely smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula as needed. Chill at least 2 hours.

For the Assembly: Pull the base out of the baking pan using the excess paper and place it on a cutting board. Spread with topping and sprinkle with the chopped walnuts. Run a sharp knife under hot water and cut into 12 slices.

These slices, which are gluten-free, lactose-free, sugar-free, vegan and raw, can be stored in the fridge for five days.

Serves 12

Recipe by Papa Kazmi, at Hills and Mills in the Netherlands. 
Photograph by Daniël Sumarna.
Source Kinfolk Magazine.

Choc Fact: The Origin of Chocolate

Alison Campbell

The exact beginnings of humans’ relationship with chocolate are still in question.

Archaeologists know that humans tasted chocolate at least 4,000 years ago in Mesoamerica, amidst abundant cacao forests. But the cacao of the ancients was very different from today’s chocolate. For many centuries, chocolate was a bitter drink. Made from cacao nibs, it was akin to modern-day baking chocolate mixed with water. Some cultures drank it cold and some hot.

The ancients added flavorings such as allspice, cinnamon, chili powder and vanilla. They may have mixed in maize or sweeteners such as honey, agave syrup or cactus. Then they poured the drink, either from a height or back and forth, to produce a froth—and drank the foam that rose, because it was closest to heaven.

Olmec artwork.

Olmec artwork.

The Olmecs (1500 B.C. to 100 B.C.+) 

The Olmecs, famous for carving colossal stone heads, were the first people known to process and eat cacao beans, which they called kakaw.

What’s most interesting is that the Olmecs figured out how to eat cacao at all. Animals simply spat out the hard, bitter seeds, lending no clue to the mysteries inside. The Olmecs had a better idea. They devised the fermenting, drying, roasting and grinding process that remain the basis of today’s chocolate production, which took extensive knowledge of food science and biochemistry. They then passed this knowledge down to the Mayans.

Mayans (1800 B.C. - 1500 A.D.)

Perhaps the first chocoholics, the Mayans were open about their love for cacao. They wrote about cacao as “the food of the gods,” carved the shape of the pods into their stone templates, painted people drinking cacao into their artwork, hired artists to decorate elaborate drinking vessels, placed those vessels in tombs and even used the beans in human sacrifice. They also grew cacao trees, planting them in their household gardens. The Mayans also used cacao for medicinal purposes.

Mayan artwork. In the forefront the cacao vases filled with cacao drinks bubbling over, and cacao beans in bags.

Mayan artwork. In the forefront the cacao vases filled with cacao drinks bubbling over, and cacao beans in bags.

Southwestern Americans (1000-1125 A.D.)

The early Mesoamericans didn’t keep cacao a secret. Instead, they traded it to their neighbors living many miles to the north. Pottery fragments show that sometime between 1000 and 1125 A.D., people living in northwestern New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon drank cacao from cylindrical jars believed to be used for rituals. At the time a cacao drink coated these jars, the closest cultivated cacao grew in central Mexico. Because cacao is not native to the area, the knowledge of how to prepare and use it would have been imported along with the beans—and having that knowledge may have bestowed prestige to those in charge of the cacao. 

Aztecs (1420 A.D. - 1520 A.D.)  

While the Aztec royals continued the tradition of drinking cacao at ceremonies, they could not grow it in the seat of their empire at Tenochtitlán, in the central highlands of Mexico. As such, they too traded for it, with their southern neighbors the Mayans and others. Aztec rulers also demanded that their tributes, an early form of taxation paid by citizens and those they conquered, be paid in cacao. In the communities themselves, cacao seeds were used as currency, traded at the market and kept locked up. A rabbit cost between four and 10 beans, a mule was worth 50 and a turkey hen went for 100.

In fact, cacao was so valuable in early times that it was counterfeited. People would hollow out the pods, fill them with dirt and pass them off as newly harvested.

Believing that the god Quetzalcoatl brought the cacao tree to them, Aztecs also used the beans as offerings to the gods. For certain rituals, they added achiote from the annatto tree to turn their cacao red—and signify blood. The Aztecs also are said to have used chocolate to calm those who were about to become human sacrifice!

Source thestoryofchocolate.com