Making homemade raw vegan chocolate

Raw vegan chocolate samples

Ever since I made my raw chocolate bark with quinoa and buckwheat, I’ve wanted to try making my own homemade raw vegan chocolate.

Especially since I’ve recently been eating Pana Chocolate by the block.

In fact, many of my recent lunches have consisted of:

  1. an avocado, filled with sauerkraut or chili sauce
  2. a block of Pana Chocolate (usually orange, nut, sour cherry and vanilla or plain)
  3. a bottle of coconut kefir

Weird, huh? But that’s what my body’s been asking for, and it seems to work out best for both of us if I actually listen.

Don’t get me wrong. I love, love, LOOOOOOVE Pana Chocolate. It’s my favourite raw chocolate by far, and I strongly recommend that you get your hands on some if you can.

But regularly eating SO much of it was a good incentive to finally have a go at making it for myself.

So on the weekend, I dug out the chocolate moulds I used to use as a kid (oh, the memories!), did some recipe research on the internet, and pulled together all of the ingredients:

  • cacao butter
  • cacao powder
  • coconut oil
  • agave nectar
  • carob powder
  • cinnamon
  • salt

The carob and cinnamon were inspired by Pana, as they seem to include it in all of their bars, so I thought I’d play with including it as well. After all, imitation is the highest form of flattery, is it not?

Well, my first attempt was interesting. Edible, but interesting.

I used too much oil, so it snapped at the drop of a hat and melted all over your hands before you could even shove it into your mouth.

It also separated out, so there was kind of this sweet “agave rush” at the last minute. Nice but strange.

My second batch was better, with a lot less oil, but kind of grainy and crumbly, as well as too sweet and too salty. Again, quite edible, but not spectacular.

But, boy, don’t they look super cute in those 30-year-old chocolate moulds?

And I discovered you can still buy the exact same chocolate moulds today. (I can feel a chocolate mould shopping spree coming on.)

I’m starting to understand why chocolate making is such an art. Maybe it’s time I found myself a good book on chocolate making so I don’t have to learn these things the hard way. I wonder if there’s one on making raw chocolate?

But then I wouldn’t learn nearly as much as I am jumping in head-first and making “mistakes”. Or have as many batches of raw chocolate that “need” to be eaten.

And this is definitely a chocolate that needs to be eaten. I’d go so far as to call my homemade raw vegan chocolate addictive, and I haven’t even perfected it yet.

The third batch (around 200g worth) lasted less than 24 hours between the two of us. Oops. This stuff is dangerous.

The good news is that my chocolate making is definitely improving, although it’s still a bit oily, a bit sweet and a bit grainy. Fortunately it’s all incredibly edible.

For my next batch, I’m going to add more cacao powder, try coconut nectar instead of agave nectar, and try putting them in the fridge instead of the freezer to set. I may even try making it with coconut sugar as well at some point.

And the great thing is that every time I get it “wrong”, it just means I have more chocolate to eat, and more reasons to make even more.

Sound like a win-win situation to me.

If you want to have a play with it yourself while I perfect my recipe, here’s some of the recipes that kick-started this raw vegan chocolate adventure:

Have an awesome chocolate-filled day!

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6 Responses to “Making homemade raw vegan chocolate”

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  1. Raphael says:

    They make it easy and have a unique blend of chocolate bean flour.

  2. Sarojini says:

    Looks like you have done really well- I’m planning on some raw vegan chocolate experiments myself- will let you know how it goes…

    • Nikki says:

      Yes, my attempts did turn out quite well really, given that they were all edible. But I’m aiming for spectacular, one addictive batch at a time. I look forward to hearing how your experiments go.

  3. AJ says:

    hi nice blog. Thanks.

    Me and my girlfriend are trying this exact same thing. Would be great to hear how you are going with it…. We have encountered the same problems with grainy texture and the flavour just not quite like pana. I believe because there are 4 different types of cacao beans is also a major factor. I wonder which ones they actually use?
    But of course there is more to it than that. Cacao butter to powder ratio etc.
    I was j

    • Nikki says:

      Hi AJ,

      Thank you. I did play quite a lot with the recipes from the Raw Chef’s intro to their chocolate making course
      and I also played a bit with Matthew Kenney’s raw chocolate recipes from his book “Raw Chocolate” as well

      The upshot is that I think I overdosed on chocolate and haven’t felt like making any in ages. However, what I did learn before I reached that point was that I liked Russell James / Amy Levin’s approach best, and that using a blender seemed to help a lot with the grainy-ness. I haven’t managed to get a flavour (or texture) close to Pana’s, but I did end up making some chocolate that I really liked using Amy’s methods, hence the over-dosing.

      Raw chocolate making is obviously both and art and a science, and a skill that I haven’t yet perfected, but might do one day. I definitely made much faster progress learning from experts like Matthew and Amy, but I have a lot more playing to do yet.


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