We’ve Got the (Cocoa) Powder!

If you’re a diehard chocoholic like me, might I suggest that you pass on the packaged highly-processed stuff at your local convenience store, Toblerone and even Max Brenner’s. I’d even recommend (oh the blasphemy!) you bypass Basel and Brugges and head straight to Bali instead. This is where you’ll find the creme de la creme of cocoa – with glorious texture, taste and medicinal properties to boot.

I’ve been blessed, shall I say spoiled, since arriving in Bali: Delicious food aplenty, coconut water at my fingertips, herbal concoctions are available at nearly every corner. But my most treasured discovery has been, without a doubt, stumbling upon one of the world’s most prolific producers of high quality cacao beans – the kind of unearthing that naturally tends to breed a slew of entrepreneurs and cafe owners eager to capitalize on the cravings of people like… ummm… me.

And so, though I could have continued to wander through Ubud, taste-testing various flavors and experiments in chocolate-making, I decided to take the plunge myself. I went to a raw herbal chocolate making workshop and discovered – hallelujah! – just how easy it is to whip up some of the most delectable AND nutritious chocolates I’ve ever sunk my teeth into.

Ibu Dayu held the late-morning session at her relatively new enterprise – called, what else, Dayu’s Warung – a short walk away. The ingredients were all laid out – a feast for the eyes! – and eager participants started to stream in. We started off with two versions of blended drinks – ginger lemon and jamu (healthy turmeric-based tonic).

Our taste-buds pleasantly tickled, Dayu introduced us to the colorful ingredients – basic and extra: cocoa butter, palm sugar, stevia and cocoa powder – raw, organic, not roasted, i.e. the real thing.

The extras included the outer red sheaths of the rosella flower (Hibiscus rosa sabdariffa), tamarind (Tamarindus indica), turmeric (Curcuma longa) and mint, all fresh and fragrant.

And then the whip-it-up fun began.

A few attendees rolled up their sleeves (so to speak) and went to work; chopping butter, rosella, turmeric, mint; peeling tamarind to get at the sticky paste inside;

Once the butter was boiled down to liquid, it was poured into a large mixing bowl together with a variety of extra ingredients, spooned into molds and placed in the kitchen freezer downstairs.

On my way out, I stopped off to buy a few star- and square-shaped finished treats. They melted in my mouth. If I weren’t already an avowed chocoholic, I would have become a diehard convert then and there.

I wanna share the love… because chocolate, the good stuff, should be part of everyone’s bucket list or life journey. And if you’re on a healing path, like I, then I say it ought to be compulsory!

The Basic Three:

1/4 c. organic, raw cocoa powder

1/2 c. melted cocoa butter (with tamarind, add 1/4 c. more)

1/4 c. organic palm sugar or equal amount of stevia / honey

The Extras:

Pick one of the following, chop up a handful and add to the mixture above.

Rosella – chopped – full of Vitamins A, D, B1 and B2; rosella tea has many health & healing properties. Mint can be added for a boost of flavor.

Turmeric – chopped – antibiotic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory properties; good for liver detox, rheumatoid relief.. and so much more.

Tamarind – chopped – excellent for constipation and other digestive disorders, tonic and skin cleanser.

Mix, freeze for 10-15 minutes and enjoy.

Selamat makan / bon appetit!

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2 Comments

  1. Amit, this sounds like the food of Gods from the island of the Gods. how delicious. I’m reading this in London (back for 2 weeks to see children) – it’s wet and cold but this post cheered me on this drizzly, grey morning. šŸ™‚

    1. Hi Lottie!

      Ah yes, most definitely the gods are treating us to the best of chocolate right here šŸ™‚

      Hope you are having a wonderful time with your kids and that the weather is improving. It’s been cloudy and rainy here.. just like being back in the middle of rainy season – or London!

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