Crafting Cannabis + Chocolate Creations with Chocolatier Angi Pleiderer
Cannabis and chocolate. It’s almost difficult to imagine a more sultry combination.
I recently partnered with Seattle chocolatier and owner of ChocolateSpiel, Angi Pleiderer, to explore this decadent pairing. We combined my knowledge of cannabis with Angi’s dedication to quality chocolate to create two beautiful batches of homemade treats: 1) chocolate truffles infused with chocolate-cannabis ganache and 2) grain free granola with cannabis coconut oil.
In a former life, Angi and I actually used to work together in an office setting. Angi was in Sales and I was in Customer Service. So as you can imagine, I was happy to reconnect with Angi under completely different circumstances, in a setting where we could partner together to celebrate our most authentic passions.
Background on Angi and ChocolateSpiel
Angi and her husband moved to Seattle from Germany in 2016. Angi, who has a formal background in Chemical Engineering, then became interested in the art of chocolate making after touring Seattle’s Theo Chocolate Factory. She has spent several years learning more about the art of chocolate-making, including creating chocolate directly from the cocoa bean and ethical chocolate sourcing.
Angi then turned her passion into a business, creating ChocolateSpiel in 2018. Angi sells chocolate bars, cocoa nibs, and chocolate-making kits on the ChocolateSpiel website as well as pop-up shops around Seattle.
I love how Angi has incorporated her German roots into the name of her business. “Spiel” means game or play in German, and so the name ChocolateSpiel is a celebration of the play, fun, and creative experimentation that is such an integral part of creating artisan chocolate confections.
ChocolateSpiel is all about providing quality chocolate to customers. ChocolateSpiel products are 78% dark chocolate, vegan, and, as much as possible, organic. Angi goes out of her way to procure chocolate that is ethically sourced from places around the world such as Madagascar, Columbia, and Vietnam. She also partners with suppliers who pay livable wages to the farmers who cultivate the cocoa beans. Due to these conscious sourcing choices, customers can be sure that when they buy ChocolateSpiel chocolate, they are purchasing chocolate that has been thoughtfully produced, celebrates the individual ingredients within, and honors all of the people who put time and effort into cultivating the cocoa plant.
Angi’s commitment to quality and excellent sourcing remind me of the better cannabis companies out there, those that focus on sustainable, healthy, and ethical sourcing. It has been said that within cannabis, the secret to producing the best cannabis flower is to ensure that during every stage of production, from cultivation to processing, that the cannabis is handled with thoughtfulness and passion. When the plant is honored and respected, the end result is going to be that much more potent and better tasting.
For more insight into how respect for cannabis is paramount to producing the best flower, and associated implications for cannabis sellers and producers in the recreational market, check out this episode of the Leaf Life podcast, Growing Gold.
Just like any other art form, both chocolate and cannabis creations are going to be superior when they have been created through thoughtfulness, respect, and passion.
Retro-Inspired Chocolate Truffles
I joined Angi in her home kitchen to combine chocolate and cannabis in March 2019. Our first venture was to create cannabis-infused chocolate ganache and then incorporate the ganache into retro-inspired chocolate truffles.
As you might imagine, Angi and I decided to play to our strengths; I prepared the cannabis-infused bases (both coconut oil and butter) ahead of time and Angi prepped decorative chocolate molds and then walked me through how to create the chocolate-cannabis ganache filling. For the chocolate molds (what would become the outer shell of the truffles) as well as the ganache, Angi and I used her Colombian 78% dark chocolate.
To create the ganache mixture, we combined the cocoa nibs, cream, and 16 grams of the canna butter that I had prepared ahead of time. For this batch of truffles, Angi and I decided to incorporate a lighter dose of THC. In the end, we decided to include 2 mg THC into each truffle.
A note on cannabis dosing:
Let me be honest and just say… the math required to measure the amount of THC added to each chocolate treat can be a little bit complicated! I recommend running your math by someone who is very good with numbers or baking conversions if you know you might need help in this area. Angi was a perfect comrade for this challenge as she has her baking conversions down to a science.
Luckily, there are some handy resources online to outline how to calculate the exact amount of cannabis you are incorporating into your homemade cannabis edibles. For example, here is an article and video link by Cheri Sicard, renown cannabis chef and baker, in which she breaks down how to calculate the amount of THC in each edible. What you’ll need to understand is the ratio of butter/oil base to cannabis, the amount of butter/oil you used in your recipe, and the THC potency of the cannabis that was incorporated.
Once whisked, the cannabis-infused ganache was placed in the fridge to chill. After 15 minutes, the ganache was poured into the truffle molds, and then everything was chilled once again while we prepped chocolate for the bottom of the truffles.
Angi then walked me through how to temper the chocolate for the bottom of the truffles, the chocolate that would essentially “close” the truffle and prevent the ganache from escaping. After tempering the chocolate, she poured this chocolate mixture into the molds and then used a decorative contact sheet to add the retro pattern to the bottom of the truffles.
Once everything was assembled, we chilled the truffles in the fridge for another 20 minutes. And after that, voila! These beauties popped right out of the silicone molds and were almost too pretty to eat!
I just love how the truffles turned out in the end. The chocolate molds and press-paper that Angi selected contributed to a very retro, disco vibe for the final product. The look made me think back to the colorful Season 7 Mad Men promotional images, which I have always loved!
Unlike certain 70’s fashion choices, I don’t think cannabis is going out of style anytime soon!
I would highly encourage anyone reading this to try their hand at making homemade chocolate edibles. Angi and I had a lot of fun, got to express some creativity, and certainly enjoyed consuming the final result.
Here are some helpful resources for you to read through before you get started:
Grain Free Granola
Angi and I also partnered to create a cannabis-infused, grain free granola. I’m certainly going to be creating this again, as the end result was delicious and also keto!
We combined sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, coconut flakes, stevia, an egg white, walnuts, cocao nibs, and cannabis-infused coconut oil. We placed these ingredients in the oven and turned every 15 minutes until the mixture was crunchy and golden-brown.
The end result was decadently crumbly and so yummy. The granola had just a light hint of cannabis taste, which I find to be a beautiful flavor, especially when paired with the earthy taste and texture of nuts.
Angi paired the granola with some yogurt and blueberries for a truly stunning dish!
Many thanks to Angi for the idea to partner on cannabis-infused chocolate and teaching me so much about chocolate making during the process! I can’t wait to see where she takes her business next. For more information on Angi or ChocolateSpiel, visit ChocolateSpiel.com or follow her on Instagram @chocolatespiel.