Typically I will write about food shopping on Mondays. However, I didn’t do the grocery shopping this week; my husband did. This is not a typical scenario. He hates grocery shopping (we split household chores based on who likes to do what. Luckily, there’s not a lot of overlap!). Anyhow, I suppose that I could just write about his shopping experience. But I really think that if I got a pass this week, I should just take it! Besides, this post is still food-related!
Dave and I attended a candy-making class at the Traditional Food Warehouse on the Thursday before Valentine’s day (yep, I’m a little behind on posting about this!). The class was taught by Dave’s sister Sheri, who, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, is the goddess of mind-blowing healthy desserts. It was framed around creating a gift for one’s valentine. Of course, I was there with my valentine, so he and I just made our candy to our own liking (how romantical, right?! This is what starts to happen after 7 years of togetherness!). It made for a fun date night, regardless, as we listened to music, sampled different flavor combinations with cacao, and drank wine while learning about, and learning to make, raw fudge.
I’m not going to go into great detail regarding the content of the class, as I recommend that anyone interested should check out one of Sheri’s classes in person. I will say that the basic premise of the class is that raw cacao (uncooked ground cocoa beans), and the other ingredients in the fudge, are health foods. This fudge contains no oil and no sugar; raw honey is the only sweetener.
Pasture butter is used instead of oil or corn syrup:
Here’s some of the class pounding the clumps out of their raw cacao (that’s Dave in the foreground, of course, and the guy next to him is my uncle Pete!).
Here’s my brother-in-law and his girlfriend creaming the butter:
Raw Cacao is a controversial amongst health-foodies. Some nutritionists list it as a superfood. When uncooked our bodies are able to derive a buffet of nutrients from the cacao, including much-needed enzymes and anti-oxidants. However, some still argue that cacao is toxic. Toxicity is doubtless when cacao is added to sugar or corn syrup and hydrogenated oils to make the candy bars found in standard grocery stores. I tend to doubt that raw cacao sweetened with honey is anything but good for us (in moderation, of course!) – especially since it has been used medicinally since ancient times! Here’s the raw powder :
We could choose from a variety of spices to add (Sheri measured them out for us – I chose cinnamon!):
When we were done mixing up all the ingredients, we spooned them into these heart shaped candy molds (I also added walnuts to mine):
The two pieces of candy above may not look big, but in terms of how rich this fudge is, they are enormous! Between Dave and I we had four, and there are still 2 1/4 sitting in our fridge. They are so good, but not in the addictive, crack-y way a Hershey bar is good. The raw fudge, unlike commercial chocolate, tastes really good. You eat one bite, and are satisfied. It doesn’t impart what Dave and I call the “shovel reflex.” Anyone who has ever eaten half a bag of Hershey’s kisses without realizing it knows what that means! It’s the impulse to keep eating that sugar signals.
Sherri has started a product line of raw cacao ice cream toppings called “Rock-a-Cow” (get it? raw cacao = rock a cow!):
If you are interested in trying some of this delicious dessert topping, or in taking one of Sheri’s healthy dessert classes, she can be reached at email@example.com!