OK, Eaters, it’s time to have some real talk. We’re all allowed to have failures in the kitchen … right? Even when you’re a food blogger … right?
Yes, of course! Just take scroll all the way down and read our manifesto. “The culinary experiments we tackle may not always succeed.” But we brush ourselves off and try, try again.
This week, while trying to create a raw version of a chocolate covered peanut butter ball, I had one of those failed experiments.
Admittedly, the idea of “raw” food is intimidating. I would think of ingredients to use, ask Google if they were raw or could be found in the raw … then get all in my head, second guessing and worrying.
I consulted my fellow Founding Foodie Amy, whose immediate concern was how in the world would I make the chocolate coating? Most recipes involve melting and the most basic definition of raw means you can’t heat above 117 degrees Fahrenheit. This, too, was my chief concern. I put the filling on the back burner and figured I would make my own almond butter in my food processor … add some other stuff … and BAM: filling that could be rolled into balls and get coated in chocolate.
Ahhh, the best laid plans of mice and food bloggers.
Possible mistake number one: making the almond butter. I hadn’t researched enough raw recipes to know what would work. I also didn’t quite get my almond butter right. Had I really followed just about every recipe when you Google “how to make raw almond butter”, I would have actually used my food processor and processed long enough to make a butter, about 20 minutes. Instead I used my Vitamix, which might have been ok, but with a smaller amount of almonds – only one cup – and not adding any oil, it overheated before it could get to that awesome buttery texture. I think making peanut butter works in a Vitamix, but almonds are dryer. Lesson learned.
Possible mistake number two: too much agave nectar. To combat my dry almond butter, or whatever you want to call it, I added what ended up being too much agave nectar. This part is so embarrassing I need to just whistle past it. Doo-do-doo …
Here’s what did work: the chocolate coating. So another lesson learned: When trying new things, the more thought put into them, the bigger the pay off. Seems obvious! I found a good combination of raw ingredients that tasted great and formed a good coating. Coconut oil doesn’t take a lot of heat to melt, only 77 degrees. Add in raw cacao powder for a dark chocolate taste and a combination of agave nectar, maple syrup and/or honey for a sweetness kick, and you’re good to go.
The final lesson learned? I don’t see myself doing a lot of raw “cooking” or eating. Given a specific tried and true recipe, sure! But re-invention on my own hurt my brain.
Raw Chocolate Candy Coating
Since the filling in balls didn’t turn out, I’m only sharing the chocolate recipe. You could use this to dip anything into! Fruit, nuts or your own successful almond butter filling.
1/2 cup cold pressed, virgin coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon raw unfiltered honey
1 tablespoon raw agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender or a food processor. Dip your filling, fruit or nuts of choice. The coconut oil will firm up, but best to place the coated candy into the freezer for faster results.