Raw chocolate by definition means that it has not been heated above 45°C, unlike most commercial chocolate which is roasted at 130°C, meaning all the anti-oxidants, enzymes and nutrients remain intact.
MOCOCU raw chocolate is made from ethically and sustainably sourced, raw cacao powder that is prepared from organic, Peruvian Criollo beans, which have been carefully cleaned and dried at low temperatures.
It is created by cold-pressing the cacao beans into a cake and separating the oil from the protein and fibre. Slowly, the pure, liquid cacao butter begins to sift off down a stainless-steel valve. The remaining dry ‘cake-like’ material is then cold-ground, fine-milled and sifted so that only the finest, most bio-available raw cacao particles filter through into the finished product.
At MOCOCU, we hand make our chocolate in small batches, by melting the cacao butter and coconut oil in a Bain-Marie and then mixing in the cacao powder, agave nectar and essential oils. It is then poured into moulds and hand- decorated with dried nuts, fruits and berries.
Modern large-scale manufacturing of chocolate
By contrast, in most large-scale chocolate manufacturing, the beans are roasted in large machines up to 120 - 130°C. They are then cracked into nibs and ground with intense heat that liquefies the cacao into chocolate liquor. The liquor is then mechanically heat-pressed to separate out the cacao butter and leaves solid cacao ‘cakes’, which are then powdered and alkalised with potassium carbonate to raise its PH level and make it soluble in water. It is then ‘conched’, which is when the cocoa powder is mixed with cocoa butter, gm soya lecithin, refined sugar and milk powder. Finally the mixture is ‘tempered’, reheated to 150°C and then cooled into moulds which stop it from crystallising. A typical chocolate bar contains a mixture of alkalised cocoa powder, cocoa butter, gm soya lecithin, refined sugar and milk powder.
The Chocolate Tree
In 1753 Carl von Linnaeus, a Swedish scientist, thought that chocolate was so important that he named the genus and species of the chocolate tree himself. He named it 'Theobroma Cacao', which means, ‘cacao, the food of the gods’, which is what the indigenous people called it.
The cultivated tree grows anywhere between three to ten metres in height. The tree begins branching fairly close to the earth and from its branches spring the dark green leaves, about 10-25 cm in length and 5-8 cm wide. The small cacao tree flowers produce fruit all year round and are five-petalled, pale and lightly scented and grow straight out of the trunk. They are pollinated by midges and then grow into a pod-fruit, which starts off green, then develops into beautiful red, yellow, blue and purple colours, depending on the variety. It takes five to six months for each fruit pod to ripen and they grow 18-20 cm in length. Each fruit contains anywhere from 20 to 50 beans, surrounded by a sweet white pulp. A mature tree will produce about 50 fruits, harvested twice a year.
Fermentation & Drying
The fruits’ pulp and seeds are removed from the pod and laid on leaves to sprout and ferment. During the fermentation process the fruit pulp liquefies into a vinegar alcohol-like solution and drains away over the seeds. As this occurs the temperature of the fermenting beans steadily increases. The seeds briefly germinate releasing amino acids, creating a stronger chocolate flavour. However, the seeds do not make it far as they are soon overwhelmed by the increased acidity of the fermenting vinegar. Usually the seeds are turned over a few times every day to keep, the enzymes active and draw out the perfect flavour.
During fermentation the beans’ enzymes ‘chew’ on the proteins, freeing the amino-acids. The amino-acids are flavour precursors, which give rise to the different flavours characteristic of chocolate. Usually, after fermentation, the beans are spread out onto mats to dry in the sun for several weeks, but for raw chocolate they are dried at a very low temperature.
For food purposes cacao beans do not have to be fermented and dried, they can be eaten straight out of the fruit or quickly dried with the pulp on them for a tasty treat. This way they have less of a chocolatey flavour, yet generate stronger neuro-transmitter activity.
MOCOCU uses high purity, certified, organic, food-grade essential oils in all our chocolates, paints, butters and dips. We have found that the essential oils allow the layers of flavour to linger longer in the mouth and create a purer more intense taste.
Cocoa butter, also called Theobroma oil, is a wonderful, natural moisturiser that melts just above room temperature. It is high in fatty acids which penetrate the skin for deep hydration. This is why we love to use it in our edible chocolate massage butter. It is high in antioxidants which help to neutralise free radicals throughout the body, particularly in the skin, and reduce the signs of ageing. The high ratio of cocoa butter in our raw chocolate contributes towards its silky, creamy texture and taste.
MOCOCU uses coconut oil to give our chocolates a softer texture, a creamier taste and to add extra goodness. Coconut oil has many health benefits.
It helps to strengthen the immune system because it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, which have anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. Coconut oil is good for our digestive system as the saturated fats help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, and parasites that can cause indigestion.
It also helps in the absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, and amino-acids. It facilitates absorption of calcium by the body, and helps in developing strong teeth and preventing tooth decay. The presence of medium chain triglycerides and fatty acids in coconut oil helps in preventing liver diseases. It also helps in preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases and helps to dissolve kidney stones.
Organic agave nectar is a natural alternative to refined sugars and has a low glycaemic index rating. The honey-like sap comes from the leaves of the blue agave, a succulent plant widely grown in Mexico. MOCOCU uses agave nectar to add just enough sweetness to our chocolate, as we like to create the perfect balance that allows the intensity of the chocolate flavours to burst through.
Sweet Almond Oil
MOCOCU uses a high purity, organic, food-grade, cold-pressed sweet almond oil from Italy, with a delicate, sweet and slightly nutty aroma. We use it in our cacao Body Paint and in our chocolate Massage Butter.
Organic sweet almond oil is excellent for massage, rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, and also makes a nutritious moisturiser for all skin types. It has a light to medium consistency which does not leave the skin feeling oily or sticky, and makes an ideal base oil for our Body Paints and Massage Butters.
As well as being good for your skin, sweet almond oil is also good to eat. It is known to be good for the heart due to its high omega-3 and omega-6 fatty-acid levels, as it helps to balance cholesterol levels and minimise the risk of heart-attacks and strokes. It also helps to boost brain power and helps to improve our memory and cognitive function.
MOCOCU uses certified, organic maple syrup in our Body Paints, Massage Butters and Sharing Dip, as a nutritious and low-glycaemic alternative to sugar. We love its unique, warm, sweet flavour and its ability to absorb into the skin without leaving it feeling sticky.
Maple syrup contains the following vitamins and minerals: thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B6, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium and zinc. It is high in antioxidants that neutralise free radicals in our bodies and zinc that is good for a healthy heart. Zinc and magnesium also play a key role in strengthening the immune system.
MOCOCU’s Sharing Dip is packed full of organic roasted hazelnuts mixed with maple syrup and cacao.
Hazelnuts are very high in energy and loaded with many health-benefiting nutrients. They are rich in mono-unsaturated fatty-acids like oleic and linoleic acid, that helps lower bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol.
Hazelnuts are exceptionally rich in folate, a unique property. They are an excellent source of vitamin E which is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of mucosa and skin by protecting it from harmful free radicals. Besides being rich in folates, they are packed with other important B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. They are a rich source of minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.