Making Raw Chocolate 10 Easy Steps

Making Raw Chocolate video takes you through the steps to make your own home made chocolate. Use the recipe or just use the natural nibs in smoothies, on chocolate or just nib-ble them. .

Making chocolate for yourself is as easy as following these 10 steps. You of course must get your hands on some cacao trees but after that it’s smooth sailing (read entire post). We also have a photographic tutorial of just making cacao nibs that will show you some detailed images of the cacao tree and fruit. We decided to take our beans to the next level and make chocolate. We were perplexed for the longest time because the information we had access to tells you to separate the cocoa butter from the chocolate and then add it back in. We didn’t want to make gourmet chocolate, we just wanted a nice hearty, healthy chocolate treat that we could make by hand.

Here are the *DIY Instructions for making the Solar Food Dryer  and the DIY Outdoor Cooker used to roast the cacao beans.

Our Chocolate Recipe (not raw)

The Ingredients:

  • Powdered Milk
  • Cinnamon
  • Sugar
  • Condensed Milk
  • Vanilla
  • Cacao Beans

Our ingredients are as natural as we could get, with the exception of the condensed milk. There is a way to make your own “type” of condensed milk, but this post isn’t about that. Besides, we only harvest cacao twice a year so we don’t feel guilty about eating so little of it. I hand measure everything so each batch is unique. The video shows you when to add the ingredients. Be creative.

Growing Cacao

If you live in a tropical climate you can grow your very own chocolate trees! You can plant a single bean to start a cacao tree or you can do what we did and get your starts from a university that has done the research of the climate in your area and used the best organic soil to give the little trees a good fighting chance.

Cacao trees do best in shade with dappled sunlight. They like moist soil so we planted ours along a stream. The trees almost always have several lower branches and a primary branch that grows directly up. If you cut the primary branch the tree will then send its resources to the lower branches, making harvesting easier. The pods grow directly on the trunk and branches.

cacao pods growing on tree

Costa Rica Cacao Initiative

If you live in Costa Rica the Ministry of Agriculture has a program available that helps farmers to start cacao operations. The services include a Farm Assesment – They have a calculation based on the size, layout and altitude of your farm that sums up how many trees you can plant and what your average yield will be. A nursery or vivero where you can buy cacao trees for $2 a piece and ongoing business support which includes contacts in the cacao export industry. Organic and Non-organic information is available.

Cacao Tree Row

We chose to buy 30 trees, that when added to our existing 30 trees should give us a personal supply of nibs and chocolate for a long time to come. We believe that everything should be planted in moderation and that mono-cultures are unsustainable. Costa Rica used to be a major cacao exporter until a disease took out many of the farms that existed in the 1970’s. Had the farmers used inter-cropping techniques the disease might not have destroyed entire farms.

If you are interested in the history of chocolate this article offers a great deal of information from the Heritage Daily

All of our Fruits and Foods of Costa Rica

8 comments on “Making Raw Chocolate 10 Easy Steps”

  1. Stacy Cruz Reply

    Fantastic articles. .. moving to CR soon. My casita is between San Isidro PZ & Quebradas. Does cacao grow in those areas? I thought perhaps the elevation would be a problem. Love me that fruit too!
    TY

    • Kimberly Beck Reply

      Stacy,

      I’m not certain how well will grow there. I have a friend who lives close to that area. He has a few trees but I’m pretty sure they are for personal use. There is a program in CR which helps farmers to calculate their possible cacao production. You could look into that if you were interested.

  2. Rita Reply

    I don’t want to plant a lot of Cacoa trees….will 5-6 make enough for 2 people to get chocolate for a years supply?

    • Kimberly Beck Reply

      Yes, depending on how much chocolate you eat. We use nibs every morning in smoothies so our trees keep us loaded and we still have some to give away as gifts on holidays.

  3. Sue Mako Reply

    What does inter cropping techniques mean? Is there enough raw material output for me to plant only 4 or 5 trees? Your article is fabulous

    • Kimberly Reply

      Sue – In this case when I said inter-cropping I meant that planting cacao trees amongst other tree species is the best plan to avoid one single organism taking out all of your trees. It is more difficult for disease to spread when the trees aren’t so closely planted to one another.

  4. carolyn tait Reply

    hee hee and yum yum! that video was fabulous. you guys have really refined your videographing and kim, you sound oh-so-professional! i’d mistake you for a grown-up, if i didn’t know better. =D

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