There is an ancient alchemy that exists between mushrooms and cacao. Both have been used in ancient healing traditions, and both have sacred and divine connotations. And their names reflect it: Cacao, Food of the Gods, and mushrooms, Flesh of the Gods.
The Aztecs held cacao in the highest esteem and a bitter beverage was commonly made from the plant for use in ritual and religious ceremony.
The Nahuatl language offers insight into other sacred foods that were used in ceremony, such as the teonanacatl mushroom, which translates to “flesh of the gods.” A fungus of divine status, the teonanacatl mushroom refers to Psilocybe mexicana, a psychedelic mushroom also found native to Mesoamerica. It is well documented that these consciousness-expanding mushrooms were consumed together with cacao in ritual. The food of the gods nourishing the divine communion with the flesh of the gods.
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Study of these ancient Mesoamerican cultures reveals that cacao has an established history of being consumed in combination with other ritualistic foods, especially psychoactive plants and fungi. In magic mushroom ceremonies, the Aztecs would combine teonanacatl with cacao to be served as a mushroom-cacao mixed beverage. In other cases, the mushrooms were eaten alone and followed by cacao drinks in order to further heighten the psychoactive effects.
It was thought that the qualities found in cacao potentiate and guide the spirit of the mushroom experience. The synergistic effects of cacao and mushrooms have become a classic pairing, thousands of years old.
While our recipe below contains non-psychoactive medicinal mushrooms, we still opt for a chocolate-based delivery system for our fungi. Yum!
The process of tempering helps the chocolate to set up firmly so it will snap when bitten into or broken. This process will also help give the final product a glossy sheen and bring out the flavors. It’s a bit more labour intensive but we love the end product. We encourage you to explore with ingredients, spices, and mushroom varieties.
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- 1/2 cup cacao powder
- 3/4 cup cacao butter, melted
- 1/4 cup Forest Juice maple syrup
- 10 ml 11:11 tincture, or any mushrooms of choice
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of cayenne
- Pinch of salt
- Chocolate Molds (unless you are making a bark, which you could lay flat on a baking sheet)
- Food thermometer
- Saucepan and mixing bowl to create double boiler
- Wash and dry any molds you will use for your chocolates
- Prepare your double boiler: fill a saucepan with water, less than halfway full, and place on the stove on high until it starts to boil. Find a dry mixing bowl and place over the saucepan once the water is boiling. The water should not be hitting the top of the mixing bowl and it should be only the steam that is heating the mixing bowl
- Place cacao butter and cacao powder in a clean, dry bowl over the heat source to melt
- Remember the bowl of cacao should not be directly touching the heat, but rather be suspended above hot water, to be gradually melted by the steam
- Stir cacao butter and powder with a whisk
- As the cacao butter and paste melt together, take the temperature of the melted paste. Bring the temperature up to 115° (46° celsius)
- Immediately remove bowl from hot water source once at this temperature
- Continue to stir. You can add a solid piece of cacao butter or a bit more cacao powder to the melted mixture to cool it down
- Add all other ingredients
- Cool down to 84° (29° celsius)
- Once the mixture has reached 84° (29° celsius) return mixture to the double boiler
- Heat mixture back up to 88° (31° celsius) and immediately remove from heat. At 88 degrees, the chocolate is in temper and will yield the best result
- Pour chocolate mixture into your molds, allow to sit and become solid, either at room temperature or by placing molds in fridge
Tonya Papanikolov is a Holistic Nutritionist, plant-based chef, entrepreneur and educator. She’s the founder and CEO of Rainbo, a medicinal mushroom based line of supplements and functional foods. Rainbo’s mission is to optimize health and open minds with medicinal mushrooms and to educate people about the healing power of fungi! Tonya believes that plants, food, and fungi are medicine for body, mind, and consciousness.