With a strangely naive approach, last Saturday found me attending a chocolate making course. My aim? To find out more about why chocolate is so calorific and to find out if it would be possible to create chocolate and chocolate recipes at home with loads less calories.
When we arrived at the course which was held in a hotel in Leeds City Centre, I realised my self control would go out of the window pretty quickly! The smell of chocolate was all pervasive and wafted through the hotel. Mmmm. And the amount of chocolate which was all around was just too much for bear for someone who doesn’t have an ‘off-switch’ when it comes to cakes and choc-ies.
The process itself was quite easy. The choc company gave us lots of 60% cocoa solid chocoate which looked like huge buttons. This was melted in a microwave and then we added a tub of double cream and some essential oil as flavouring. My brains ability to compartmentalise is brilliant. I was able to express horror at how many calories are in a normal sized tub of cream (about 1300) whilst stuffing chocolate in my mouth!! The shaped chocs were then coated either in almonds or cocoa powder, or tempered in other melted chocolate.
So can you make low calorie chocolate at home?
Sadly, the answer seems to be not. However there are still some good ways to use chocolate in cooking when you’re keeping weight off. Firstly, use good quality cocoa powder. From what I could gather, cocoa powder has all the cocoa butter removed from the cocoa bean so should save some calorites. The problme is how much you have to use to get a good flavour.
Another option is to use raw cocoa niblets which are the raw cocoa bean. They have some fat in so you can use in recepies without fat and sweeten using artifician sweetners.
And of course, if you do need to satisfy a chocoholic tendancy, then you should always try and eat as high as possible cocoa content. When the cocoa content is higher then the amount of sugar and added fat is less, and the taste is more powerful. Most shops will sell 80% bars and I’m aware that Lindor even do a 90% bar.
Over the summer I’ll also be trying out receipes using cocoa and niblets so I’ll keep you updated.
I’m not disheartened though that I didn’t find an easy solution. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surpirsed. If it was possible I’m sure that someone would have done it by now!!! And I did get to eat loads of chocoate with a good mate.