We at A Journalist Reveals contacted Dietitian Sheela Seharawat for some inputs and received this article from her. We are posting this ahead of Valentine’s Day.
By Sheela Seharawat
With recent suggestions and articles on the many good health benefits of chocolate, it is important to understand the kind of chocolate that we should be having to reap all its benefits. Most of the popular and commercially made chocolates are rich in sugar – fructose and corn syrup contents. It is, therefore, we should resolve to have homemade chocolates.
Homemade chocolates are made with natural products and good quality ingredients without the addition of any preservatives and are therefore healthier and are fresher, whereas, commercial chocolates are made with preservatives and artificial ingredients and do not stay fresh for long.
Chocolates are processed, sweetened food made from the seed of a tropical cocoa tree. Cocoa beans also called as cacao beans, from which good quality chocolate is made, are being grown in tropical climates of Africa, South America and some parts of Asia. In commercial manufacture, chocolate makers use a substitute called the cocoa butter instead of real cocoa seeds.
Homemade, chocolate is unbelievable easy to make and at the same time healthier and heartier. Here are a few recipes that you can try to get your own chocolate made.
- The All Natural Mama’s Chocolate
Cocoa powder – 5 tbsp
Milk powder – 1 1/4 cups
Butter – 1/4 cup
Sugar – 2/3 cup
Water – 1/2 cup
- Sieve milk powder and cocoa powder and keep aside.
- Heat water and sugar in a vessel and bring to a boil. Reduce flame and continue cooking till the syrup reaches one string consistency. Add the butter and mix well till it melts and blends with the syrup. Turn off heat.
- Add the cocoa-milk powder mixture gradually (a few tbsp at a time) and mix well till glossy. Grease a square pan or plate. Pour the mixture into the pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Allow it to set for 10 to 15 minutes at room temperature.
- Place it in the fridge for 10-15 minutes. Remove it from the fridge and use a cookie cutter to cut into the desired shape.
Some useful tips:
- You can add crushed nuts of your choice.
- You can add 1/2 tsp of vanilla essence at the time of adding butter. Alternately, 2 tsp of strong coffee mixture can be added.
- If using cinnamon, add 1/4 tsp to the cocoa-milk mixture and sieve.
- The Perfect Bite Chocolate
Cocoa powder – 2 cup
Sugar – 1/2 cup
Flour – 1/4 teaspoon
Water – 1 cup
Butter – 3/4 cup
Milk – 2/3 cup
Powdered sugar – 1/4 cup
- Place cocoa and butter in processor and mix until they form a paste. Fill the pan about 1/4 full with water and then place the bowl on top of the water.
- Put the chocolate paste in the bowl and then heat until the mixture is as hot as needed. Put the mixture back in the processor and mix until smooth.
- Then, warm the milk to room temperature. Add sugar, flour and milk to the paste and mix the batter well so that no lumps are formed.
- Pour the mixture into molds and place it in the fridge till they become hard. Take the pieces out and munch away!
- Valentine’s Special: All For My Love
Cocoa Butter – 1 cup
Organic Dutch Process Cocoa Powder – 1 cup
Raw Honey – 1/2 cup
Real Vanilla Extract or other flavors to taste – 1 teaspoon
Toasted chopped almonds, orange or mint extract, etc. – Optional
- Melt cocoa butter in a double boiler or a glass bowl on top of a small pan with an inch of water (make sure water isn’t touching the bowl) over medium heat.
- When cocoa butter is completely melted, remove from heat and add cocoa powder, honey, vanilla and other flavor extracts. If using a solid raw honey like Tropical Traditions, melt with the cocoa butter.
- Make sure all ingredients are well incorporated and smooth. At this point, make sure that no water or liquid gets into the chocolate as it can cause the texture to get mealy! Be careful even with wet hands or a drop of water in the mold.
Note: melting on low heat in a small pan is possible, but double boiler method is more reliable and safe.
- Pour the chocolate into molds or onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a glass pan to harden.
- Let it harden for several hours at room temperature and remove from the molds. You can also stick it in the fridge to harden more quickly. The shelf-life is over a week at room temperature or can be kept refrigerated for longer.
About: Dietitian Sheela Seharawat is the founder and chief mentor of Diet Clinic Health Care.