Easter is around the corner and I can smell a chocolate fest! My girls used Easter as an excuse to get me to make some chocolate. I’ve made eggs before, but never with the white and yellow middle – so I thought, ‘why not’?

Thankfully, it turned out well on the first try.

I’ve added cashew nuts as I’ve got lots of that and I love it at the moment. It is also white, so it is perfect for the egg white bit. I thought I’d firm it up with some gelatine and it was just perfect. If you are vegan or vegetarian, try it with some coconut oil or agar agar. I haven’t tried it with those, so can’t really comment, but I have a feeling it will turn out well.

Why make chocolate at home, when I can buy it from almost any store?

Have you looked at the ingredients? If you haven’t, then here are some facts for you.

It’s got artificial flavorings and colours, E numbers, 3 or more different types of sugar…these are linked to hyperactivity in children, fatigue, headaches, increased asthma, central nervous system damage and cancer risks.

What’s more, they could contain GMO products in them as well – there are not enough long-term studies to show the effects of GMOs in human beings.

The stuff you buy in stores are highly processed and devoid of any nutrition. Even the ‘healthy’ ones are full of sugar, albeit organic sugar. Same thing in my opinion!

So why not make your own with ingredients like raw cacao, cacao butter and maple syrup. Yes! 3 ingredients and a few minutes. Got you, didn’t I? It is super easy.

Let’s go through why this version is so good for you.

Cacao butter – This comes from the cocoa bean. Have you ever smelled cacao butter? It smells like chocolate. You can also use this butter for beauty products, so it can be used topically as well.

Cacao butter contains lots of healthy oils, just like coconut oil, which could keep your heart and brain healthy. It gives your mood a boost (chocolate does that!)

It contains vitamin D which helps in calcium absorption in the bones. It also has cocoa polyphenols which help to prevent chronic disease, immune disorders and boosts our immune system. This is a vitamin that many of us are deficient in so get it in any form you can.

Raw cacao – has much of the same benefits (or even more than) cacao butter. It is good for your mood (could help with depression), skin, heart and brain. Raw cacao is rich in flavanols and increased flavanol intake have been shown to improve type 2 diabetes symptoms.

It fights inflammation and has antioxidant effects, therefore helping to prevent cancer. It is antibacterial and, surprisingly, could improve oral health!

Maple syrup – contains up to 24 antioxidants! These help to reduce the oxidative stress that we are all subject everyday in this toxic world. Reduction of this kind of stress on our cells helps to prevent inflammation, therefore preventing heart disease, cancer, arthiritis, respiratory diseases, etc.

Would you also believe that maple syrup could have therapeutic benefits in diabetes?

It contains zinc and manganese in high amounts. Zinc helps in keeping your immune system strong and healthy, and manganese is wonderful for your brain.

Gelatin – I’m sure you’ve heard of this immune boosting wonder food. It helps to heal the gut and prevent intolerances and other digestive problems – it is anti-inflammatory. Gelatin can help reduce joint pain; it is good for your skin, heart, brain and bones.

Do you need any more reasons to make this chocolate at home?

Homemade chocolate easter eggs

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: chocolate, dairy free, easy, gluten free, nutrient dense

Ingredients

  • 300 gms cacao butter
  • 150 gms maple syrup
  • 150 gms raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder (optional) or vanilla paste / essence
  • 2 cups cashews soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
  • 2 tsps gelatin Add it to the cashews 9 minutes into soaking time
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder use extra if required

Instructions

  • Soak the cashews in hot water (use just enough water to cover the top of the cashew nuts)

Basic chocolate recipe

  • Meanwhile, put the cacao butter in a bowl and use a steamer to melt it (uncovered)
  • Once the cacao has melted, turn the stove off and add the maple syrup and whisk with a fork or a small whisk, till combined evenly
  • Then add the raw cacao powder, tablespoon by tablespoon, whisking all the time. The mixture will begin to thicken. At this point, cool a bit of chocolate and taste it - add more of the powder or sweetner if you think it needs it.
  • Using a brush, brush the inside of a silicone egg shaped mould until a thick layer of chocolate has formed
  • Keep the mould in the freezer for around 5-7 minutes

Egg white and yolk

  • You can prepare the egg white / yolk mixture while the cacao is melting.
  • Begin by adding the soaked cashew nut and gelatin mixture in a high speed blender and blending it till smooth
  • Take around 1/2 cup of cashew paste and add the turmeric powder bit by bit. Mix well to combine. If you feel it doesn't look yellow enough, add some more turmeric. DO NOT add the whole 1/4 spoonful of turmeric all at once (turmeric powder is very different from each other, in that one could have more curcumin and therefore be a brighter yellow than another)

Making the eggs

  • Take the chocolate out of the freezer and spoon just enough white cashew paste to fill the mould to about 3/4 of the way
  • Make a well in the middle of the paste
  • Then add a teeny bit of the yellow cashew paste in that well
  • Pour enough melted chocolate mixture onto the top of that to cover the cashew paste
  • Keep the mould in the fridge for around 15 minutes to a half hour, or you can put it in the fridge for around 3-4 hours

Notes

  • If you don't have a steamer, put the bowl in a thick bottomed pan filled with about an inch of water over medium heat.
  • Do not let water / steam get into the cacao butter
  •  

REFERENCES
Kühn J, Schröter A, Hartmann BM, Stangl GI. Cocoa and chocolate are sources of vitamin D2. Food Chem. 2018;269:318–320. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2018.06.098

Rathish Nair and Arun Maseeh. Vitamin D: The “sunshine” vitamin. Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics. 2012 April-June; 3(2): 118-126.

Hewison M. Vitamin D and innate and adaptive immunity. Vitam Horm. 2011;86:23–62. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-386960-9.00002-2

Gasser P, Lati E, Peno-Mazzarino L, Bouzoud D, Allegaert L, Bernaert H. Cocoa polyphenols and their influence on parameters involved in ex vivo skin restructuring. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2008;30(5):339–345. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2494.2008.00457.x

Khan N, Khymenets O, Urpí-Sardà M, et al. Cocoa polyphenols and inflammatory markers of cardiovascular disease. Nutrients. 2014;6(2):844–880. Published 2014 Feb 21. doi:10.3390/nu6020844

De Araujo QR, Gattward JN, Almoosawi S, Silva Md, Dantas PA, De Araujo Júnior QR. Cocoa and Human Health: From Head to Foot–A Review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2016;56(1):1–12. doi:10.1080/10408398.2012.657921

Maskarinec G. Cancer protective properties of cocoa: a review of the epidemiologic evidence. Nutr Cancer. 2009;61(5):573–579. doi:10.1080/01635580902825662

Martin MA, Goya L, Ramos S. Potential for preventive effects of cocoa and cocoa polyphenols in cancer. Food Chem Toxicol. 2013;56:336–351. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2013.02.020

De Araujo QR, Gattward JN, Almoosawi S, Silva Md, Dantas PA, De Araujo Júnior QR. Cocoa and Human Health: From Head to Foot–A Review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2016;56(1):1–12. doi:10.1080/10408398.2012.657921

Frasca G, Cardile V, Puglia C, Bonina C, Bonina F. Gelatin tannate reduces the proinflammatory effects of lipopolysaccharide in human intestinal epithelial cells. Clin Exp Gastroenterol. 2012;5:61–67. doi:10.2147/CEG.S28792

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