In August, when I was reading about the ethics of the cocoa industry and how chocolate is produced, I wondered whether it would be possible to make chocolate myself using cocoa powder, sugar and oil. This way, I would be able to make my own chocolate exactly how I wanted it: vegan, fair-trade and refined-sugar free with lots of desiccated coconut and ground almonds. I managed to find some tips on the internet (I can’t remember where) and started making my own chocolate. The finished product is slightly different to the chocolate we buy in supermarkets, but I think it actually tastes a million times better. It needs to be kept in the fridge and the sugar crystals don’t properly dissolve, making the finished product crunchy and ‘raw’ tasting (which I love). Making your own chocolate is not as cheap as the cheapest ready-made option, but it means that you have complete control over what you are eating. If you’re vegan, avoiding palm oil, refined sugar or cocoa that isn’t fair trade, this is a great way to keep enjoying chocolate. Even if you’re none of the above, this chocolate is easy to make and absolutely delicious.
Chocolate is my favourite treat by a mile – it’s probably the one sweet I would find really difficult giving up. Especially when its in brownies. There’s nothing like a chocolate brownie to make a rainy day spent in the library better. Just the thought makes my mouth water.
I took a module in Human Rights last semester, and when we got to the week on slavery I was shocked to find out that the chocolate industry is notorious for its human rights violations, especially regarding child slavery and trafficking. My post-library guilty pleasure suddenly became a whole lot guiltier. So I decided to do a bit of research into the cocoa industry to find out if what I’d heard was true and whether there was any way to enjoy a chocolate bar guilt-free.