Meet Our Sponsors: Pascha Chocolate

pascha chocolate

When people bemoan the fact that they can’t eat gluten, I like to remind them about chocolate. We still have chocolate. Except, it’s not that simple.

The cacao bean is gluten-free, of course. However, some good chocolates might be cross-contaminated with gluten from other sources in the factory. (I’m still mourning the fact that the Valrhona website suggests that people for whom gluten is a health issue not eat their chocolate.) I have to check the label of every chocolate bar to ensure I won’t grow sick with one bite of that dark luscious stuff.

And of course, many of us who are gluten-free also have other food intolerances or allergies. I can’t imagine how hard it must feel to be allergic to soy and want some chocolate. So many chocolates contain soy lecithin. And frankly, almost all the “allergy-free” chocolates I have tasted have been lifeless versions of their intended ideal.

This is why we love PASCHA chocolate. We’d like to introduce you to our latest sponsor.

PASCHA makes truly good chocolate, dark and sensuous, full of cacao bean flavor, ranging from 55% to 80% dark chocolate. This chocolate is organic, fair-trade, and contains no GMO products. Best yet, it is free from gluten, nuts, dairy, soy, and even potential allergens such as fish and eggs. It’s produced in an entirely allergen-free facility. And you have to love a chocolate company that has a clearly expressed chocolate philosophy.

We are big fans of PASCHA chocolate.

We’d like to let you hear more from PASCHA Founder, Simon Lester.

Why chocolate?

I started my working life in the chocolate business in the UK. Chocolate has always been a passion of mine. I wanted to created PASCHA to offer ultra-pure delicious chocolate that is safe for anyone to eat. I was also intrigued by the health aspects which dark chocolate offers (very high antioxidants) with many reported benefits (blood pressure, positive moods, etc) which people are looking for. I felt chocolate should be made without unnecessary ingredients like soy lecithin. I wanted people with allergies or without to enjoy a pure, terrific piece of ORGANIC, NON-GMO chocolate.

Why have you taken the care to make these chocolates allergy free?

I realized how life threatening and altering food allergies can be when one of my daughters had an anaphylactic reaction to food. Then the penny dropped that someone really needed to come out with a completely allergen-free, great-tasting organic chocolate. While most people don’t think of chocolate and allergies, the reality is that almost every chocolate plant in the western world uses milk, various tree nuts, peanuts, soy and often wheat, gluten and egg. Because of the difficulties of cleaning a chocolate manufacturing plant once these ingredients are inside the plant, a residual amount is left behind – which is the danger point for people with food allergies.

Did you have to sacrifice anything to make the chocolates allergy free?

Absolutely not! The more impurity you take out of chocolate the purer it becomes and the more you just taste the cocoa bean. That’s what makes fantastic chocolate.

Can you tell us a story of a customer who was excited to find your chocolates?

Talking with our passionate customers is amazing. At a gluten-free show in Chicago, a woman came up to me and said that she had not eaten chocolate for 3 years because of food allergies. There was literally nothing on the market that she could eat. She just thanked me for creating PASCHA. Everyday, people email us their list of food allergies, fearful that they will not be able to eat our bars. It is a great feeling to email them back – PASCHA is safe and please enjoy it!

Do you have a recipe you love using these chocolates?

Chocolate Chunk Rhubarb Cookies

These soft cookies serve up a delicious pairing of sweet and tart can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature. You can adjust the level of tartness by adding/removing some of the rhubarb. The cookies are most delicious when eaten within 2 days; but don’t worry they will be gone long before that!

Yields: 36 teaspoon size cookies

1/2 cup organic palm oil shortening
1/4 cup granulated organic sugar
1 teaspoon organic vanilla
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/4 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
1 cup all-purpose gluten free flour (must include xanthan gum)
1 bar of Pascha’s 55% cacao, roughly chopped
1 cup of chopped organic rhubarb

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Using an electric mixer, whip the shortening, sugar, vanilla, maple syrup and applesauce.
3. Next, mix in your gluten free flour. Blend on low until mixed throughly.
4. In a small saucepan over very low heat, slowly melt 1⁄2 of the Pascha chocolate. When fully
melted add chocolate to the mixer. Blend.
5. Gently, by hand, fold in remaining chocolate chunks and rhubarb.
6. Using a teaspoon, scoop dough balls onto a lightly oiled baking sheet or baking mat.
7. Bake for 12 minutes or until toothpick can be inserted into the center of a cookie and it comes
out clean.
8. Let cookies rest 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before moving.
9. Enjoy!

This recipe has a lot of flexibility. You can chop the rhubarb finely so that its not as chewy or to make it more discrete looking when your kids grab a cookie. You can also do the same for the chocolate, if you prefer a less chunky cookie. You can shape the cookies round or flat.

PASCHA chocolate is offering chocolate to three lucky readers of our site. Please leave a comment about why you would like to try PASCHA chocolate.