They say it all began with a few innocent experiments in the kitchen and yet we’ve a lot to thank for the work of Linus Gorpe, self-professed chocolate wizard and founder of The Raw Chocolate Company. Producing the sort of guilt-free chocolate many of us only ever dreamed of, Linus and his team of chocolatiers apply an ethics and expertise to the business that has enabled them to produce award-winning chocolate that’s ‘as close to the natural state [as] hanging off the tree.’ Vegan, gluten and cane sugar free, this is organic chocolate that’s just oozing with antioxidants and raw, natural goodness. It tastes pretty special too.
Awarded two gold stars in the Great Taste Awards, The Raw Goji Berry & Orange Chocolate Bar is the highest rated chocolate bar in the UK and undoubtedly my favourite of the six flavours. Chunks of goji berry burst through the bitter, dark chocolate with subtle orange undertones that make your traditional Terry’s Chocolate Orange just seem brash (and I love a Chocolate Orange). Texture-wise the bar has a surprising silkiness to it with enough bite to make it feel like a proper bar of chocolate, the 99p price tag extremely reasonable for a raw chocolate product.
At 123kcal per 22g, it’s also pretty light on calories. Speaking as someone who can easily polish off a family-size Galaxy bar in one go, a small amount of this chocolate really does go a long way – one bar enough to satisfy your chocolate cravings without sending your blood sugar soaring.
Chocolate that’s as good as this really does deserve to be spread around and thankfully Linus and co have kindly smothered a whole load of berries in the stuff too. Fat, juicy raisins and organic white Mulberries take to the raw chocolate particularly well, the large re-sealable bags perfectly made for sharing. Good luck with that though as they’re so moreish you’ll struggle to resist polishing off the lot.
A combined love of quality ingredients and concern for our planet has recently seen The Raw Chocolate Company expand their range of Fair Trade certified superfoods. I was particularly interested in trying their Raw Cacao Nibs, Raw Cacao Powder and, as I’m already a big fan of whey protein powder, their Raw Hemp Protein Powder.
Looking to Pinterest for recipe inspiration I stumbled across these vegan hemp protein truffles. Admittedly Deryn’s truffles look a whole lot more appetising than my own experimental creations, but what’s the fun in making chocolate if you don’t go a little Willy Wonka in the process.
Here’s the original recipe from Deryn’s blog ‘Running on Real Food’:
- ¼ cup + 1 tbsp organic hemp protein
- ¼ cup raw cocoa
- 2 heaping tbsp, natural peanut butter
- 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- hemp seeds for rolling
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
- Roll into 8 balls.
- Coat with hemp seeds.
- Set in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours.
- Store in the fridge in an air-tight container.
All sounds pretty straightforward but I decided to swap the 3tbsp maple syrup for 1 tbsp of natural date syrup and the hemp seeds with coconut flakes, also adding in a scoop of my new coconut flour from Sukrin.
The results were… good! Quite bitter with a nutty, earthy edge from the hemp protein that stopped the truffles from tasting overly sweet. I left them in the fridge for 4 hours and they were quite hard but this actually gave them nice bite, and they could easily have been left out to go a little more gooey. I was probably a little heavy-handed with the cacao powder and coconut flour (i.e. stuck to the original recipe) but with a little more experimentation and finesse these could definitely be a winner.
As a former Brightonian, I love that The Raw Chocolate Company is based in West Sussex and I’ll always return to Infinity Foods to load up on their raw chocolate. However, if you can’t manage a trip to Brighton (which you should), their products are all available to buy online and in numerous health food stores both across the UK and internationally. Thanks Linus.