Raw Chocolate by Mathew Kenney and Meredith Baird has been my inspiration for Valentine's day treats.
I'm gonna give you the Chocolate Base Recipe and from Raw Chocolate by Mathew Kenney and Meredith Baird and from there go WILD. (hint**our dried strawberrys are kinda the most amazing thing with this!)
You will need:
2 1/2 cups cacao paste
2 cups of cacao butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup liquid sweetner
Finely chop cacao paste and cacao butter. Place in a metal bowl. Dehydrate at 115 degrees F for approximately 1 hour until two-thirds of the chocolate is melted. Stir occasionally to increase the speed of the melting process. Once two-thirds is melted, remove bowl from dehydrator and stir until all chocolate is completely melted. Add vanilla, liquid sweetner and salt. Continue to stir until well combined. (If mixture starts to thicken, place immediately back in the dehydrator.) Once all ingredients are combined, place back in dehydrator and warm mixture for approximately 5 minutes. You don't want the chocolate to exceed 88 degrees F at this point. Remove from dehydrator. Your chocolate should now be tempered and ready to pour into molds (**or onto any combinations you would like) In order to test if your chocolate is tempered, pouir a drop on wax paper and allow it to cool. If it becomes firm and shiny then it is properly and correctly tempered.
To properly make chocolate, it is essential that every utensil you use be very dry. Moisture will cause the chocolate to seize, which means the oil will separate from the other ingredients. If this does happen you can blend the chocolate with a touch of warm water in a high-speed blender to bring it back together. Although the chocolate is not ruined if this happens, it will no longer be possible to properly temper it, so it must be stored the refrigerator in order stay firm.
Makes enough for approximately 1 dozen chocolate bars.