There’s a reason the golden logo of Raw Halo chocolate shimmers, looking like it’s poured from on high into a metallurgist’s forge. For what is smelted into these bars is, in a word, virtuous.
‘Healthy’ chocolate usually goes two ways: it’s either painfully bitter, with the consistency of subsoil, or it’s simply not chocolate. Raw Halo has managed the seemingly unmanageable; it’s created chocolate that is organic, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free and contains no refined sugar.
What?! Well, that can’t be chocolate, I hear you protest.
Believe me, it’s sweet, it’s silky, it contains cacao, it’s chocolate; but it’s chocolate that’s unadulterated, unrefined. It is, essentially, chocolate as nature intended.
Founded in 2014, from a flat in West London, Raw Halo was conceived as precisely that; something indulgent but also complimenting a healthy lifestyle. Founder, Meg Haggar, had cut refined sugar from her diet but needed something that could be naughty but without the guilt, and health-conscious without the heartache.
It began with dark chocolate. Unbelievably, Raw Halo’s dark chocolate is made using only three ingredients: raw cacao powder, raw cacao butter and coconut sugar. It delivers the bitter tang you’d expect from dark, but is surprisingly smooth, melts effortlessly in the mouth and there’s a refreshingly unsynthetic sweetness that makes it gloriously moreish.
The dark chocolate recipe licked, the sugar source found, the challenge was on: how to create milk chocolate – without the milk. The secret lay in dashes of lucuma powder and coconut sugar giving a sweet, creamy texture. Naturally smooth, it combines the finest organic Peruvian cacao and cashew nut butter for a chocolate which is simple on the outside but complex on the inside. So, it tastes surprisingly like milk chocolate, enough to be called milk chocolate. But, wait, it’s dairy-free, so…milk? Not so. Meet mylk.
As the bars have been shipped out, the awards have been pouring in with Pure Dark, Pure Mylk, and Mylk + Salted Caramel bars all sweeping the boards at the Great Taste awards since 2015. Flavour combinations have followed and not only speacialist health food stockists but leading and high-end retailers are all now getting in on the action. So you don’t just need to take my word for it, Raw Halo has indeed mastered the secret of sweet alchemy.
Healthy chocolate might just have turned a corner.
Raw Halo is available in selected stockists including Harrods, Planet Organic, Whole Foods Market, and Jones the Grocer. For more information, including flavor varieties and details of gift boxes, visit www.rawhalo.com.
However you choose to celebrate, whether virtuous or indulgent, we wish all our readers a happy Easter break.